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Posted on Wednesday 15th February

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the day Singapore fell to the Japanese during the Second World War and thousands of British soldiers were taken prisoner.

Carol Cooper, the daughter of Lance Corporal William Smith of the Royal Norfolk Regiment, who was captured by Japanese troops and taken to Changi Prison in eastern Singapore along with many other British prisoners (and later died of malnutrition, dysentry, malaria and a cardiac condition), set up the Children of the Far East Prisoner of War charity.

Mrs Cooper was motivated by a desire to educate people about the Far East prisoners' experiences. Her father's experience had not been discussed in the family and she knew very little of his experiences until his diaries were found in 1994.

The COFEPOW charity will hold a remembrance service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire later today in honour of all the POWs who suffered and died in Asia.

For a further account of serving in 1942 in Singapore, see that of Fergus Anckorn in Warfare issue 4.

Further Reading

No Mercy from the Japanese

Only £19.99

No Mercy from the Japanese

(Hardback - 160 pages)
by John Wyatt

By the laws of statistics John Wyatt should not be here today to tell his story. He firmly believes that someone somewhere was looking after him during those four years. Examine the odds stacked against him and his readers will understand why he hold this view. During the conflict in Malaya and Singapore his regiment lost two thirds of its men. More than three hundred patients and staff in the Alexandra Military Hospital were slaughtered… Read more...


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