A new documentary, produced by Strident Media, tells the story of Dr Frank Murray and his then fiancée Eileen O’Kane.
Frank, a Belfast doctor, made a promise to Eileen that he would return home from the Second World War. This is the story of that promise, revealed in love letters that are now brought to life to reveal their long-distance romance and how this promise was kept.
Dr Murray served as a medic in the Second World War and was deployed to Singapore where he was eventually taken prisoner of war. The documentary covers Frank’s perspective of the fall of Singapore and his time as a prisoner of war of the Japanese, including becoming the Commanding Officer in a camp in northern Japan.
The documentary has been filmed with contributions from Eileen and Frank’s children, historians, psychologists and military experts.
You can watch Litir Ghrá ón Dara Cogadh Domhanda on BBC Two Northern Ireland, or the BBC iPlayer, on Sunday 9th October at 10pm and TG4 on Wednesday 12th October at 9:30pm. The documentary is broadcast in the Irish Language with English subtitles available.
If you would like to read more about the documentary you can read this article on Northern Ireland Screen in both Irish and English.
If you would like to read more about Dr Frank Murray, you can read more about Gaeltacht to Galicia: a Son’s Tale, a book written by Paul Murray (Frank’s son), here.
By Charlie Inglefield
I am currently working on two FEPOW projects which may be of interest to this community.
The first is a documentary concept to mark the 80th anniversary of the completion of the Thai-Burma Railway in October 2023. We had the honour of interviewing a UK FEPOW in February and we hope to have more news on that in the coming weeks and months.
The second project is a book to also mark the 80th anniversary next year and would be primarily based on a final voices theme. If approved, this book would be based on the voices of FEPOWs that have not been previously heard (i.e. not been published outside of family and friends). I have had the privilege of interviewing families of POWs around the world over these last 18 months and reading extracts and accounts about this remarkable generation.
My grandfather was a FEPOW, Captain Gilbert Inglefield, who I did not know that well and subsequently as I got older I wanted to learn more about – so there is a personal attachment to this. It is an obvious point to be made but one which I feel is important to the point of this book and that is there are so few FEPOWs still with us and that number is sadly diminishing week in, week out. Whilst all but a few are still with us, they remain the last human link to these extraordinary set of events that took place in Asia-Pacific between 1941-45.
I am looking to speak with families/descendants of FEPOWs who may have written summaries and accounts from their fathers/grandfathers – which have not been previously published outside of family and friends. The point of this is to potentially allow families who through their fathers/grandfathers can perhaps teach future generations about this specific piece of WWII history.
I am based in Boston but can happily chat to suit UK hours, if there is anyone who may be interested.
To contact Charlie please email email@example.com with details, and include permission for your email and contact details to be forwarded on to him.