Author Topic: While searching for POW's .......  (Read 4437 times)

liverpool annie

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While searching for POW's .......
« on: July 23, 2008, 12:59:12 AM »

I found these interesting pieces of information - I thought you maybe interested too !

Brigadier Sir Philip John Denton Toosey, CBE, DSO, TD, JP (12 August 1904 – 22 December 1975) was (as a Lieutenant-Colonel) the senior Allied officer in the Japanese prisoner-of-war camp at Tha Maa Kham (known as Tamarkan) in Thailand during World War II. The men at this camp built the Bridge on the River Kwai which was described in a book by Pierre Boulle and later in an Oscar-winning film in which Alec Guinness played the senior British officer. Both the book and film outraged former prisoners because Toosey did not collaborate, unlike the fictional Colonel Nicholson.

Ronald Searle was born in 1920 in Cambridge and drew obsessively from an early age.  At the age of just fifteen he had his first cartoon published in the local paper, The Cambridge Daily News and his career blossomed in the mid-to-late thirties.  However in 1939 he joined up and after two years of training he was posted to Singapore.  He says that for a month they were 'running backwards' through the jungle before being captured by the Japanese and he spent the rest of the war as a P.O.W.  They were traumatic years – he felt driven to draw as a way of recording what was happening around him - but his work led to him being singled out as a trouble-maker and as a result he was assigned to work on the infamous ‘death railway’ that the Japanese were building between Thailand and Burma.  Ninety-five per cent of those working on it died but, despite coming close to death on several occasions, Ronald Searle survived.

Ronald William Fordham Searle C.B.E.(born March 3, 1920) is an English artist and cartoonist. Searle trained at Cambridge College of Arts and Technology, currently known as Anglia Ruskin University. He is the creator of, among other things, St Trinian's School—subject of several books and five full-length films—and co-author (with Geoffrey Willans) of the Molesworth tetralogy.
Searle was born in Cambridge where his father was a porter at Cambridge Railway Station. He started drawing at the age of five and left school at the age of 15. In April 1939, realizing that war was inevitable, he abandoned his art studies to enlist in the Royal Engineers. He trained for two years in the United Kingdom, and in 1941, he published the first St Trinian's cartoon in the magazine Lilliput.
In January 1942 he was stationed in Singapore. After a month of fighting in Malaya, Singapore fell to the Japanese, and he was taken prisoner along with his cousin Tom Fordham Searle. He spent the rest of the war a prisoner, first in Changi Prison and then in the Kwai jungle, working on the Siam-Burma Death Railway.
The brutal camp conditions were documented by Searle in a series of drawings that he hid under the mattresses of prisoners dying of cholera. Liberated late in 1945, Searle returned to England where he published several of the surviving drawings in fellow prisoner Russell Braddon's The Naked Island. More of these drawings appear in his 1986 book, Ronald Searle: To the Kwai and Back, War Drawings 1939-1945. Some 300 of these original drawings are in the permanent collection of the Imperial War Museum, London.