Escape to Japanese Captivity (ePub)
A Couple's Tragic Ordeal in Sumatra, 1942–1945
Mick and Margery Jenning’s comfortable life in Singapore ended with the Japanese invasion in late 1941. Margery was captured in Sumatra after HMV Mata Hari, the ship taking her and other families to safety in Australia, was bombed. Mick left Singapore after the surrender in February 1942 when he and other soldiers commandeered a junk and sailed to Sumatra. After crossing the island, he and Bombardier Jackson set sail for Australia in a seventeen-foot dinghy. After an appalling ordeal at sea he too was captured and, having recovered in hospital, was incarcerated on Sumatra until moved to Changi Goal in May 1945.
Despite not being far apart, Mick and Margery never saw each other again, although they managed to exchange a few letters. Tragically Margery died of deprivation and exhaustion in May 1945, shortly before VJ day, while Mick miraculously survived.
Based on personal accounts and Margery’s secret diary, this outstanding book describes in graphic detail their attempted escapes and horrific imprisonments. Above all it is a moving testimony to the couple’s courage, resilience and ingenuity.
The book is extremely interesting and makes you want to turn the pages to learn more about the events of Margery and Mick Jennings' journey and captivity. It also has the merit of demonstrating that in times of war certain loyalties are often questioned, with comrades who betray while enemies prove loyal (if not human). It is one of the most interesting and significant war memoirs on the Far East Front I have ever read.On The Old Barbed Wire
Read the full Italian review here
It's an incredible story of surviving open boat journeys and Japanese captivity. A page turner and must read on the 80th anniversary of the fall of Singapore, which heralded Britains declining post-war presence in the Far East.Richard Gough, Military author and historian