Fergus Anckorn: The Conjuror on the Kwai

It is with sadness that we have learned of the death of the remarkable Fergus Anckorn, 22 March 2018 aged 99.

Anckorn, of the 118th Field Regiment Royal Artillery, survived the horrendous Alexandra Hospital Massacre and went on to become a POW – first at Changi, and then on the Thai-Burma Railway.

A member of the Magic Circle, Anckorn had performed his magic tricks as a POW to help save the lives of his fellow men, and can be heard speaking here about how magic helped him to acquire food in the camps. His oral history recording for the Imperial War Museum can be listened to online.

In 2016, Anckorn’s story would capture the nation’s hearts, as Britain’s Got Talent winner Richard Jones used magic to tell the story of ‘the conjuror on the Kwai’ himself.

A thoroughly inspirational man, he will be much missed.


Image credit: Meg Parkes