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A Cruel Captivity (Hardback)

Prisoners of the Japanese – Their Ordeal and The Legacy

WWII Prisoners Of War Military History

By Ellie Taylor
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781526732613
Published: 31st May 2018


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Carefully and sensitively researched, A Cruel Captivity describes the ordeals of, and lasting impact on, survivors of Japanese captivity.

Differing in a number of respects from other moving POW accounts, this book covers the experiences of 22 servicemen from the Army, Royal Navy, RAF and volunteer forces who were held captive in numerous locations through South East Asia including Thailand, Burma, Hong Kong, the Spice Islands and Japan itself. Some had to endure the inhumane conditions during hazardous journeys on the ‘hellships’ and all suffered appalling cruelty, starvation, disease and prolonged degradation on an epic scale. Yet these were the fortunate ones – many thousands perished and their graves were unmarked.

The book also examines the differing mental and physical effects that the prisoners’ captors’ cruel treatment had on them. The author’s handling of the ‘legacy’ of their experiences during the post-war years makes this moving book particularly important. For a full understanding of this dreadful aspect of the Second World War, A Cruel Captivity is a must-read.

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 Ellie Taylor

About Ellie Taylor

Fred Cox was born in 1916 and brought up in a children’s home. He joined the army at eighteen. His wartime experiences as a prisoner of war of the Japanese are told in this book. He married Joan who was his nurse in Ceylon after his release. They set up home in Buckinghamshire and had two children. Joan died in 1989 and Fred in 1991.

Ellie Taylor, who is the daughter of Fred Cox, a former Prisoner of the Japanese, was born in Buckinghamshire in 1952.

She obtained a degree in sociology and psychology with the Open University and
went on to work as a voluntary counsellor with vulnerable adults.

She edited Faith, Hope and Rice, her Father’s Second World War POW memoirs, which is published by Pen and Sword Books. Now retired and living in Staffordshire, she has two daughters and six grandchildren.

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