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

The Secret Art of Survival Survey

The Secret Art of Survival: the hidden documentary artwork of WWII Far East captivity.

LSTM will be working with Far East prisoner of war (FEPOW) community groups, schools and local communities to stage a fascinating exhibition of hidden artworks at the Victoria Gallery & Museum. With the help of additional funding the project is also planned to deliver an extensive education and public engagement programme.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this via a quick survey that will help us to shape the project further.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SecretArtofSurvival 

Featured image by ex-FEPOW Jack Chalker.

Changi Concert Party: AWM Talk

Free public talk

Australian War Memorial

Thursday 15 February, 12 pm
Research Centre Reading Room

https://www.awm.gov.au/visit/events/changi-concert-party

After the fall of Singapore in February 1942, many Australians were imprisoned in the Changi prisoner of war camp. Within a few days the Changi Concert Party was formed. During their imprisonment, the men of the concert party staged hundreds of performances, each with a detailed, vibrant program. Join a curator from the Research Centre to learn more about these programs, the concerts they advertised, and the men who made them.

Image: Concert Party, Changi Camp, 1942. Murray Griffin. Courtesy of AWM ART24467.

Call for Information: The Art of Henk Brouwer

AWM ART92787

Henk Brouwer was a Dutch artist who drew portraits of PoW in Singapore.

Stichting Tijdlijn Historische Projecten (STHP) is trying to trace the portraits that are held in possession by families or relatives.

They want to organize an exhibition and publish a book.

If you have a portrait or picture drawn by Mr. Brouwer, please contact:

http://www.henkbrouwerchangi.com/

 

Image: Staff Sergeant Arthur Cyril Robinson, by Henk Brouwer. AWM: ART 92787.

“Pilgrimage to the Far East” – Paul Murray, 10 March

An illustrated talk by Paul Murray on his experiences in October as he follows the daily diary entries of his father’s secret Prisoner of War love letters written to Paul’s mother from the camps in Singapore and Japan, Feb 1942 to Sep 1945.

Saturday 10th March 2018, 7.30 p.m.

The Pavilion, St. Peter’s High School,

Stroud Road, Gloucester, GL4 ODD

ADMISSION FREE

Light refreshments will be provided by the School’s P.F.A.

Voluntary donations to the P.F.A. and Philomusica

 

 

 

Remembering Tom Boardman

It is with sadness that we have learned of the death of former FEPOW, Tom Boardman. Tom was a POW in Changi and on the Thai-Burma Railway.  It was whilst a POW that Tom made a ukulele, fashioned out of Red Cross boxes and telegraph lines – leading singalongs around the fire at night in camp, to keep up morale and entertain his fellow men. You can hear him singing ‘Please don’t talk about me when I’m gone’ whilst playing that very ukulele by clicking this link.

Tom’s ukulele took pride of place in the Imperial War Museum, and was one of the objects used to commemorate the musem’s centenary in 2017. Most of you will remember Tom as a stalwart of our conferences and meetings. He even put in a guest appearance on Sunday afternoon in June last year. Always smiling, kind, wise and a true witness, he will be missed by many.

Remembering captivity across Southeast Asia and the Far East during the Second World War