Sketch by Jack Chalker

Far Eastern Heroes

All the stories within the Far Eastern Heroes are owned by the writer, supplier of the story or the FEPOW Family and are not ‘Public Domain’.

Permission must be obtained before any part of these stories are copied or used.

To the many who have researched the men and women who fought in the Far East, they hold our utmost respect.

They fought an enemy who were not only trained for jungle warfare but who were also better equipped.

Their battle carried on into captivity, a battle to survive, many did not make it, the odds were stacked too high against them.

After three and a half years in Japanese hands, the ones left, still fought on, the battle would last their lifetime and hopefully end, the day they meet their maker.

These pages are dedicated to these men and women, all are heroes, Far Eastern Heroes.


‘Walk Into a Story’ by using Search below to display a ‘Topic’



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Signalman Wagner

Supplied by Ann and Jesse

A  newspaper article published in 1946 by the Foxton paper, on prison life in Macassar as experienced by Signalman R.J. Wagner.



Sime Road

During the Japanese Occupation, British and European civilians were held at the internment camp at Sime Road. Amongst these essential service workers were not interned but put to work wearing arm bands to distinguish them.



Singapore Surrender at Singapore

Major General Sir Charles Lane attended

The Surrender of 680,000 soldiers in South East Asia took place in the Council Chambers in the Municipal Buildings, Singapore on 12th September 1945.



Singapore to Jinsen

By James Sinclair

Tracey George Clifford Sinclair was a Captain in the 13th Auxiliary Pioneer Battalion. Captured Singapore, Tracey was then transported with the special Parties to Chosen (Korea) in the Fukkai Maru.



Standing on My Grandfathers Shoulders

By Andrew Finn

Isaac Newton said ‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ I have got further in life by Standing on the shoulders of my Grandfather, Nevil C.C.Benham. (1918-1999). Captured in Java and at Tanjong Priok transported to Borneo via Sngapore



Sukoshi Matte - A Short Wait

By - George Idlett

George Idlett, known to his friends  as ‘Doug’, was a member of the American Forces captured in the Philippines. His identification number at the Niigata ( Camp was 497). He now resides in Virginia, USA.



The Changi Sketch Book

By Peter Coppenrath

Jan was a gifted artist in the Netherlands Army, he was captured when Java fell to the Japanese on the 8th March 1942. On 9th February 1943, Jan was transported to Singapore in the Roko Maru with 1000 PoW’s making up Java Party 13. He then started his ‘Changi Sketch Book’ till he was released in September 1945.



The Dairy of James O’Toole

Transcribt by Mike Peaker

Staff Sergeant James O'Toole found himself thrown into action when the Japanese attacked Hong Kong on December 8th 1941. He was later to find how the Japanese treated their prisoners when the British Colony fell on Christmas day of the same year.



The Empty Chair

By Gerard L. Becker

Gerard wrote this as part of his senior creative writing group in the hope that it in some way it honoured those who had to live through the hell of a Japanese PoW Camp.



The Friendship

By Tony Banham and Ron Taylor

Francis ‘Mickey’ Myles and William ‘Bill’ Spooner became friends with the sinking of the Lisbon Maru. Tony Banham has given me permission to use some of the text from his book ‘The Sinking of the Lisbon Maru



The Rising Sun On My Back

By Ernest S. Benford

This book is an autobiography of Ernest S. Benford’s life during World War II, 1939 - 1945, in which he and his dad, were prisoners of the Japanese Imperial Army. His dad died at Kanchanaburi Hospital during captivity. Sadly, Ernest, did not live to see his autobiography printed, he died in 1984. The story covers Changi, Thailand-Burma railway, Fukuoka and Nagasaki.



The White Flag

By Tommy Thompson

Born in old Killingworth village on the 12th September 1918, Tommy worked as a Joiner before joining the army in 1939 when he was still only 20. This is his story of the time he spent as a Japanese POW for three and half years between 1942 and 1945, and for a large part, working on the infamous Burma ThailandDeath’ Railway.



The Will to Live

By John Emmett

John Emmett, a Scotsman by birth and inclination joined the Gordon Highlanders in 1935, just four years before the war, which was to involve most of the known world, began to erupt. He no doubt signed on  for nine years, not the “Duration of Hostilities which became the norm as soon as conscription was authorised by Parliament. As a regular soldier he became one of the core around which the British Army of volunteers and conscripts was created. His story is centred on Formosa.



Through My Eyes

By Dianne Cowling

A look at FEPOW family through the eyes of a child.



Walter Pollock

Walter kept of his time with the 1st Independent Company prior to his capture in Singapore in a diary, this follows the Malayan Canpaign.



Wartime - the Good and the Bad

By Arthur John Stagles, Compiled by Ian Stagles

When the war broke out in 1939 Jim Quadling and myself were working on a friends new house in Westfield Road, Dereham. We were building a gable wall and, on hearing that Britain was at war with Germany, Jim and I wrote our names on the back of a brick and layed it in the wall. Off home to get cleaned up and then up to the Drill Hall in Norwich Road, Dereham. If I remember correctly we were told to bugger off home and come back tomorrow! That was the start of a period in my life that was, in the earlier years, a unique experience learning to live a completely different lifestyle. The story covers the 5th Royal Norfolk’s and the Thailand to Burma Death Railway



Where are all the Madmen 

Supplied by Athur Lane

Full length book by Arthur Lane based on the battle for Malaya and Singapore



William Chapman’s Notebook

Transcribed by William George Chapman

Documents and Verse, transcribed by Miranda, sent to me as collected by William George Chapman of the Royal Norfolk Regiment, dispatch rider for the 5th Battalion.



William Stobbs Kirsop

By William Stobbs Kirsop

Because of a request from my daughter, and a little gentle nudging from my wife, Ive been asked to record the happenings of my life as a POW under the Japanese. Worked on the Thailand-Burma Railway also the Mergui Road, the escape route for the Japanese Army from Burma.



WX6865 8th Division AIF

By Patrick Cooper

Cecil ‘Don’ Cooper joined the AIF 8th Division and was shipped to Singapore in February 1941, captured he worked and died on the Thailand-Burma Railway.



Your Gods Are Stronger Than Ours

    By Frank Percival

Pte. Frank Percival, R.A.S.C. wrote a vivid story for the Willesden Chronicle in  November 1945 of his experiences as a prisoner in the hands of the Japanese since February, 1942. He was on the Thailand-Burma Railway.


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Ron Taylor is an Honorary Life Member of COFEPOW

(For starting the COFEPOW Website in 1998)



Far Eastern Heroes

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