Sketch by Jack Chalker

Mister Sam

This story is not Public Domain. Permission must be obtained before any part of this story is copied or used.



Sam and Enid-2tn

by Ray Watson

A professional footballer and army nurse – Sam survived the Japanese prison camps long enough to see the Setting of the Rising Sun

This story is mainly about Prisoner-of-War life with the Japanese.  But first, I will shed a little light on the person – Sam Purvis.

I started work at the tender age of fourteen to start an apprenticeship as an engineer. Signed professional forms for Middlesbrough in the First Division of Football League. Transferred to Watford AFC after three and a half years with Middlesbrough. This lasted for only one season and finally entered the nursing profession where I was to give forty- five years service.

My nursing profession was only six months old when I was called up to Military Service where I was to become Nurse Sam.

      Kick Off Kick Off- Schoolboy’s dream

      Nurse Sam Purvis Nurse Sam Purvis - Playing ball

      Call Up Skipper of the 197th - Private makes Captain

      SS Washington SS Washington - Japan joins opposition

      Empress of Asia Empress of Asia - Scuppered with a dose of Bombay

      Singapore Singapore - No cheering crowds

      Empress of Asia Singapore Hospital - Scavenging supplies

      Road to Changi Road to Changi - A friendly match

      Welcome to Changi Welcome to Changi - Nursing for a nicer death

      Shanty Town Shanty Town - Lovely boys

      Selerang Selerang - Football, lectures and lodgers

      A Good Jap A Good Jap - The footballers’ ally - Yashata

      Walking Dead Walking Dead - Return of the Railway slaves

      Kranji Kranji - Eat our dogs and die

      Timberyard Timberyard - Mister Sam’s potent fertiliser

      The Last Post The Last Post - RIP on Kranji Hill

      Setting of the Rising Sun Setting of the Rising Sun - Homeward bound

      Acknowledgement Acknowledgement - The re-union

      The Last Laugh The Last Laugh - Two Upmanship

      The Quest The Quest - Searching for Yashata

This is the very first time I have ever spoken or written of my experiences of Prisoner of War life with the Japanese.  Even so, I tell of only a few incidences relevant to the story.  The rest are too horrible and now too controversial to commit to record.

I now have a terrible memory, yet even as I write, the memories flood back – and I find myself crying after all these years for those gallant men who never lived long enough to see – THE SETTING OF THE RISING SUN.

I wasn’t a bad fellow

When I went into the camps,

But I came out from them



Sam and Ray

Sam and Ray

In memory of Samuel Sinnott Purvis – 197th Field Ambulance


Copyright is held by Ray Watson

7 Browning Hill



Co Durham

Tel:  0191 377 21 76








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[Mister Sam] [Kick Off] [Nurse Sam Purvis] [Skipper of the 197th] [SS Washington] [Empress of Asia] [Singapore] [Singapore Hospital] [Road to Changi] [Welcome to Changi] [Shanty Town] [Selerang] [A Good Jap] [Walking Dead] [Kranji] [Timberyard] [The Last Post] [Setting of Rising Sun] [Acknowledgement] [The Last Laugh] [The Quest]


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