A.G. (George) James
Born in Knightsbridge, London in 1915, like so many of his generation, the Second World War proved to be a traumatic and defining period in George James’s life. Within 24 of war being declared, he had joined the Royal Artillery. He was soon commissioned and became a troop commander and was twice mentioned in dispatches for gallantry and distinguished conduct. In 1941, he was taken prisoner by the Japanese, survived a horrific sea voyage to Japan where he was held in the POW camp called Hiroshima 17 for nearly 4 years - learning Japanese in the process. The dropping of the Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, both of which were visible from George’s prison camp, undoubtedly saved his life as the prisoners had already been ordered to dig their own graves. His mother was told in 1941 that her son was missing presumed dead. This was tragic news because she had lost her husband, George’s father, also in the Royal Artillery at Ypres in 1917. She had no further news of George until 3 months after the end of the war in December 1945 when he was already almost back in England on a hospital ship.
George’s account of the sea journey to Japan in 1946 was written in manuscript form and told to Graham Fisher.
It has been kindly supplied by his son Steve for the Fepow Community pages.
Hell-Ship - by A.G. James
Roll of Singapore Maru Deaths and Illness
George was born at Knightsbridge, London
22nd October - Yoshida Maru left Batavia, Java with 1000 men
26th October - Yoshida Maru arrived Singapore
30th October - Singapore Maru left Singapore with 1100 men
25th November - Singapore Maru arrived Takao/Moji, Japan
Headmaster of Hunstanton Primary School
Moved to Gorleston, Norfolk as Headmaster of Herman Junior School
Became Headmaster of Cliff Park Junior School
George and wife visited Singapore
13th November - George died
May George rest in peace