Online Magazine

RN Prisoner of War Correspondence and the Fall of Singapore, 1942

Posted by Derek Law, on June 20th, 2014

Abstract

Five postcards and a letter describe the experiences of Lieutenant Stanley Kirton after the fall of Singapore. Evacuated to Sumatra, he was captured and spent over three years as a POW. The letter to his nephew at a prep school in Eastbourne is a masterpiece of understatement through which shines a stubborn resistance and habit of understatement. The worst experience is described as being transported in a coal barge, and yet being hospitalised in India until November 1945 indicates that he had suffered severely. From atrocities and massacres in Sumatra to the building of the infamous railway he was at the heart of some of the most savage events of the war.

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