Before Hiroshima: Forgotten Prisoners of War in Japan, Burma and the Far East - Published Book, Publishers Online

2nd edition published 2016 ISBN: 978-0-9926100-9-8

My father was a prisoner of war (POW) in Japan for three years and while many people think of VE day in May, they forget those in the Far East (FEPOWs) were still imprisoned until August 15th after the US bombed Hiroshima. Note orders had already been issued by Japanese High Command for ALL POWs and interns (women and children) to be executed “by whatever means” immediately if the Allies started to attack – this was just 2 days before Hiroshima.

I was Secretary of the Midlands FEPOW association for many years, and represented British FEPOWs by laying the wreath at the War Cemetery in Japan in 1997. Over the years, I started to research into the impact of the Far East POW experiences on their families, collating statements and reflections from many sources, here and abroad, so have now put this together as a book (an E-Book version will be available soon).

Before Hiroshima: Forgotten Prisoners of War in Japan, Burma and the Far East is not just a history of events, nor the personal story of my father as a FEPOW (although clearly this is also a part of the whole picture), but it does include comments and stories from families in UK, Canada and Australia as these represented the biggest proportion of prisoners taken in the Far east.

As you know, their treatment was particularly cruel, and many more of them died in captivity than those held in Germany, for example. Remember the Burma Railway, which my father worked on. By the end of WWII, where there were 500 prisoners originally in his last prison camp, only 50 survived to be released.

I have received responses from families of FEPOWs around the world, including a woman who was born in Changi prison and, amazingly, has photographs of her as a baby there! I have also included examples of how things were on their return - one FEPOW receiving a bill from the MOD when he got home for “non-return of uniform: greatcoat £1.10s” clearly a sad reflection on the lack of understanding of what these FEPOWs had been through. When my father arrived home, my grandmother didn’t recognise him at the railway station, and sadly other people have told me the same thing, something unimaginable as a mum of 5 sons myself. Of course, there are many examples of PTSD with no help or support from anywhere – nothing changes then!

While the book is based on a unique set of real examples from the people involved, much of this reflects the current situation as families try to cope with hostages being held long-term in the Middle East.

The book price is £16 + £2.50 p&p and I am committed to donating £1 per book between remaining FEPOW associations and Help for Heroes.

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About Dr Jacqueline Jeynes B.Ed(Hons), BA(Hons) Creative Arts, MBA, PhD

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