In March 2010 I was sitting on the side of a bed in my father’s home three months after his death. I opened a box file and started to read the contents.  It contained the letters, cards and telegrams between my parents, Barry and Phyllis, from July 1941 to October 1945. For most of this time Barry was a Prisoner of War in the Far East.

In July 2010 I found another box file in the Royal Signals Museum. This contained letters from many of the relatives of the sixty-nine men of 27 Line Section RCOS taken prisoner with my father and under his command. My mother had kept in touch with these wives and mothers during the weary years of silence. She had written to celebrate joyful moments and to commiserate with bad news and they had all written back to her. She made a dossier of these men to give to the War Office for recognition by rescued PoWs.

These documents, combined with the Memoirs Barry wrote in his eighties about life as a prisoner of the Japanese, give a view of this theatre of war from both the Far East and from Britain.

Surviving the Death Railway was published in 2016 by Pen and Sword.

Surviving the Death Railway: a POW’s Memoirs and Letters from Home

Barry and Robin June 1941

First letter home after three and a half years

Copy of Racine’s plays, rebound in camp, still readable

Concert poster Chungkai Camp

Letters that survived the jungle