Category Archives: News

Changi digitisation project: Cambridge

Originally posted by the Southeast Asia Library Group: Changi digitisation project at Cambridge University Library

 Cambridge University Library has been awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Resources Award to conserve, digitise and make freely available online the archives of two WWII civilian internment camps on Singapore – Changi and Sime Road. These form part of the Royal Commonwealth Society’s British Association of Malaysia and Singapore archives. The two-year grant commences in September 2015 and it is planned to launch the records in Cambridge Digital Library in August 2017.

The archives will be of immense interest to the families of internees, academic researchers, students and the general public, since few survivors ever spoke of their traumatic ordeal. The first stage of the project involves the meticulous conservation of the archives.

The archives contain invaluable primary sources for the reconstruction of the lives of Singapore’s civilian internees. They include official records compiled by the camps’ internal administration, which document personal data like an internee’s name, date entered camp, marital status, occupation, age, nationality, and camp address. Other sources shed light upon accommodation, camp discipline, relations with the Japanese authorities, work parties, diet, health and hygiene, recreation and leisure, the delivery of mail, and the repatriation of internees at the end of the war. Newspapers circulated within the male camp, such as the ‘Changi Guardian’, reported upon events, disseminated news of sporting, musical and theatrical societies, and published fiction, poetry and humour. These official records are complemented by the correspondence, diaries and memoirs of individual internees.

More information on the historical background and provenance of the archives can be found on the Cambridge University Library Special Collections webpage.

An article by Peng Han Lim on “Identifying and collecting primary sources of information to reconstruct the daily lives of the civilian internees at Changi Prison and Sime Road Camp 1942-45” is included in the SEALG Newsletter 2013.

Duncan Bannatyne

Forgotten Heroes

BBC 1 Thursday 5th November 09:15

Former Dragons’ Den businessman Duncan Bannatyne views rare documents which shed light on his father’s experiences as a prisoner of war in the Far East. Presenters Sophie Raworth and Andy Torbet are also joined by a veteran who endured years of forced labour in the same prison camps as Duncan’s dad.

Duncans Father was FEPOW  William Bannattyne, Pte, 2980214. At the end of the war he was held at the Fukuoka #17 Camp in Omuta, Kyushu, Japan, where he worked as a slave for the Mitsui Corporation Zinc Foundy.

New Book – Captive Memories

Captive_MemoriesCaptive Memories

By

Meg Parkes and Geoff Gill

Captive Memories, a new book by LSTM’s Honorary Fellow Meg Parkes and Emeritus Professor Geoff Gill, will launch next week at an event at the Liverpool Medical Institution. The book charts the history of LSTM’s longest running collaborative project involving Far East Prisoners of War (FEPOW).

At the end of WWII, even before the men returned to the UK following the end of hostilities with Japan, LSTM’s then Dean, Brian Maegraith addressed a large group of their families in Blackpool in early September 1945, answering questions about the kind of tropical diseases and infections that the men may return with. On their arrival back in the UK, the men went their own way, but in early post war months many, especially those living in the north if England, found their way to LSTM, beginning the unique scientific and medical collaboration which is now in its seventh decade.

From 1967 onwards LSTM became the primary centre to carry out Tropical Disease Investigations (TDIs) for FEPOW. By this time hundreds of men had been under the care of LSTM and in the mid-1970s Dr Geoff Gill became involved in their care until the last TDI was carried out in 1999. The relationship with LSTM did not end there and out of this enduring relationship came knowledge which improved the diagnosis and treatment of some tropical diseases.

In 2007 Meg began a social history project and recorded interviews with 66 former FEPOW as well as some of their wives and widows, the culmination of which is Captive Memories. It charts the history of these survivors, remembered six decades after their release. It is a touching and personal account of their captivity, survival and the struggles, both physical and psychological, faced on their release. Each person interviewed is quoted in the book which provides a fascinating history underpinned with eyewitness accounts and personal perspectives.

Price: £12.99
Imprint: Palatine Books
ISBN: 978-1-910837-00-9
Binding: paperback
Extent: 272 pages
Format: 243 x 169mm, with flaps
Illustrations: c40
BIC code: HBWQ
Category: history/war/medicine Audience: general and academic
Pub date: 28 May 2015
Author: Meg Parkes & Geoff Gill

STANLEY INTERNMENT CAMP – REUNION and GATHERING

STANLEY INTERNMENT CAMP – REUNION & GATHERING Hong Kong
30 November – 6 December 2015

Following the highly successful reunion in 2011 Geoff Emerson, resident of Hong Kong, is organising another Stanley Reunion/Gathering this year.  Geoff is the author of the book Hong Kong Internment 1942-1945: Life in the Japanese Civilian Camp at Stanley.

(Tentative Itinerary – as at 15 June 2015 – subject to change)

  • 30 Nov. Monday Arrive & Check-in Hotel.
  • 1 Dec. Tuesday 10:30 a.m. leave hotel. Welcome Lunch. After lunch, visit Stanley Military Cemetery.
  • 2 Dec. Wednesday 10:00 a.m. Day in Stanley – St Stephen’s College; Lunch at the Correctional Services Club; after lunch, visit Stanley Prison grounds.
  • 3 Dec. Thursday Free day. Evening – dinner hosted by George Cautherley.
  • 4 Dec. Friday 10:00 a.m. Guided walk of Wong Nei Chong Gap battle site. Evening – Chinese dinner.
  • 5 Dec. Saturday 9: 30 a.m. Visit to Hong Kong Observatory, Kowloon. Lunch – dim sum near the Observatory.
  • 6 Dec. Sunday 9:30 a.m. Attend the Canadian memorial service at the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery, Chai Wan, HK Island. Farewell lunch.
  • 7 Dec. Monday Check-out of hotel

For full details and updates please contact G. C. Emerson

Or complete the enquiry form below: