Schooling Family

Daphne Pearl Schooling nee Boswell. She was the wife of Joe Schooling [Changi internee]. Interned at Palembang Women’s camp 1942 and then Muntok. Aged 23 in 1942. She survived and was repatriated to India then on the Ranchi from Madras, arriving Southampton 24.11.45.

Ms Phyllis Joan Schooling – daughter of Harry Schooling. She was evacuated aged 13 on 13.2.42 on the Giang Bee [sunk] — picked up by HMS Tapah – captured Muntok then to Palembang. She survived and was repatriated to India then on the Ranchi from Madras, arriving Southampton 24.11.45. Married a REME Sgt. Lives in Wisbeech.

Also Phyllis’s siblings – Ida,  Herbert ‘Sonny’, Kathleen, Rosemary & Rose ALL of whom drowned in the Banka Straits.

Ms Pricilla Elizabeth Rose ‘Prisllise’ Schooling interned Palembang Women’s camp 1942. Aged 1 in 1942. She survived and was repatriated to India then on the Ranchi from Madras, arriving Southampton 24.11.45.

28 July 1995
Daily Mirror

BRAVE Phyllis Jameson broke a 50-year silence yesterday to reveal the full horror of her years as a teenage prisoner of war.

She wept as she told a Tokyo court of the sadistic Japanese guards who tortured her, robbed her of the chance of having babies and drove her to the edge of suicide.

The 67-year-old retired nurse described how the guards: Sexually abused her; punched and kicked her constantly, even kicking her into an open grave; forced her to work on a starvation diet, which left her body wrecked, unable to have children.

_221902_youngphyllis300She added: “The only reason I was not raped was because I had shaved my head to make myself less attractive.”

Phyllis, spoke out with other former prisoners who are demanding £15,000 compensation each and a full apology for what they suffered.

Recalling the horrors of 50 years ago was a huge ordeal for Phyllis.

Until now she has not even been able to tell her own family the full story.

But she was determined to confront the Japanese government with what they have refused to admit.

The nightmare began in 1942 when Phyllis was 13 and living in Singapore.

When the former British colony surrendered, her father, a retired sergeant major, tried to get the family out by boat.

But it was torpedoed – and Phyllis’s mother and five sisters died.

She was picked up by a lifeboat which reached Sumatra but within 24 hours, they were captured by the Japanese.

She said: “We were taken in a boat so crowded that people could not move. When people died, they were simply thrown overboard.”

Phyllis was marched to a slave labour camp in Palembang, Sumatra, where she was forced to cut down trees for firewood and dig graves.

Many older prisoners died while building roads under the fierce sun.

“We were given half a pint of rice a day with the occasional slice of vegetable,” she said.

“We had to capture snakes and monkeys to eat. If we were caught we were punished.”

Phyllis, from Preesall, Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, had to stand in the sun for 12 hours with heavy baskets hanging from her neck after being caught up a fruit tree.

Another time she answered back a guard who complained about the way she was digging a grave.

“He went berserk, punching and kicking me until I fell into the grave.”

Many women in her camp were raped. Phyllis said: “We did not talk about what the guards did to us, we were too ashamed and full of guilt.

“To this day, 50 years later, I still have a feeling of great shame over what happened to me.


“The Japanese have inflicted on me a legacy that has hung over my life like a dark cloud._221902_wedding150

“I suffered malnutrition, tropical disease, malaria and leg ulcers. What happened to me was by no means unique among civilian internees.

“But it is a legacy that will remain with me until the day I die.”

After being freed, Phyllis twice tried to kill herself while severely depressed.

Her ordeal ended in August, 1945 when she was liberated.

On the boat home to England, she fell in love with Tom Jameson, another PoW.

Unable to have children of their own, they adopted two youngsters and today have three grandchildren.


‘Every night the soldiers sexually harassed us’

By Michael Smith Defence Correspondent. 08 Nov 2000

PHYLLIS JAMESON was just 13 when she was captured by the Japanese and subjected to three and a half years of terror.

Mrs Jameson said: “We lived in Singapore where my father worked for the Air Ministry. When it came to the crunch and Singapore was about to fall, my mother decided that we girls and my youngest brother should go.

“We went down to the docks and went on a ship, the Ganges, but it was shipwrecked. I lost my mother, five sisters and one brother, all drowned. We were washed up on an island off Sumatra and captured by the Japanese.”

The survivors were taken to Muntock jail on Sumatra. Mrs Jameson said: “We were there for three months with rats and God knows what else. I saw a group of Australian nurses shot on the beach.” She was moved to Pelambang camp. “We had to fend for ourselves there. Married women with children did the cooking. The young ones like me dug the graves for those who died and did the manual work.

“At night, we were sexually harassed by the Japanese guards. Some of my friends were raped. I never was. But every night they sexually harassed you.” Mrs Jameson, 72, from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, broke down as she described what happened to her and other internees.

Told that she did not have to continue, she replied: “No. I want them to know so that after 50 years they know they should apologise. You just lay there and let them do it. You didn’t dare scream and in the morning you just got up and had a bath. I still feel guilty about it. My husband always said I shouldn’t, but I still do.”

As the end of the war drew closer, the guards’ cruelty increased. Beatings were heavier and more frequent. In August 1945, the half-starved internees were liberated by Dutch, British and American troops. The sickest were evacuated first, then the remainder were flown to Singapore in transport planes. While recuperating in hospital, Jameson met up with her father, who broke the news that her mother, brother and sisters had died.

They were returned to England with other Britons who had been held by the Japanese. These included Mrs Jameson’s future husband, Thomas, a sergeant in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

“He and his friends looked after me and my father. He courted me for three years. I lost him two years ago. I couldn’t have children because of the way I was treated by the Japanese. We tried but I had four miscarriages. In the end we adopted two wonderful children. At last we’re being heard. We have waited for this compensation a long time. It should have happened years ago, not wait for the Japanese. We’ve gone through all that with no result.”

In 1951 she received £45 in compensation.

Phyllis Jameson Mention

Thursday, November 26, 1998 Published at 01:26 GMT

A Japanese court has rejected a legal move by World War II prisoners of war and civilian internees demanding an apology and compensation from the Japanese Government.

Juliet Hindell reports from Tokyo on the POWs’ reaction to the verdict

Thursday’s court decision means Japan will not have to pay compensation to the PoWs, who are now all pensioners.

The Tokyo court’s ruling was the final stage of a 50-year campaign to get a full apology, and £14,000 each, for the mistreatment they suffered.

The fear is still fresh in Mrs Jameson’s mind

Phyllis Jameson, one of the 20,000 former internees, says: “We lost everything. Our pride, my family – mother, my sisters, my, brother. People say that’s the past and that you should forgive and forget. I say it can be forgiven, but not forgotten. Never forgotten.”

Peter Hunt speaks to PoW survivor Phyllis Jameson about her struggle for compensation

She was imprisoned in a camp for civilians on Sumatra after being evacuated from Singapore, when it came under heavy and sustained attack by the Japanese in February 1942.

She was just 13 and lost her five sisters and her mother as the boat that was evacuating them was sunk by the Japanese.

Mrs Jameson’s husband is dead but she is still fighting

By day, she was made to dig graves, build roads and cut down trees. At night, it was worse – she was sexually harassed by the guards. She shaved her head to make herself less attractive.

“I had lice so as not to make myself pretty. I shaved off my hair. That was the worst for me because my hair was my pride and joy. Some of them still pestered me at nights, I couldn’t get away from it.

“After all these years I still can’t get away from it.”

Her marriage was the only good thing to come out of the PoW camp

At the end of the war, she received about £45 compensation – prisoners of war got slightly more.

Many other countries negotiated much larger payments from Japan.

On the boat home, she fell in love with and later married Tom Jameson – a Japanese prisoner of war.

Only recently, did she find the courage to speak out and join a dwindling band of ageing campaigners. Many of them have died, including, two months ago, her husband.

Those left campaigning have a tough fight on their hands. The Japanese say they have apologised and the issue of compensation was legally settled 40 years ago.

The British Government does not want to reopen the issue. It believes its relationship with Japan wants to look forward, not back.

The Japanese government has admitted that allegations of appalling treatment made by former Allied prisoners who are suing for compensation are true. Lawyers see this a significant softening of the Japanese position, writes Will Bennett.

Ministers in the Tokyo government have decided not to contest the evidence given by seven former prisoners of war and civilian internees in Tokyo District Court last month, in the opening round of a case which could cost Japan pounds 450m.

Instead, they will oppose the claim by alleging that individuals cannot sue governments for breaching international conventions on the treatment of prisoners, and that small payments made to former captives under the 1951 San Francisco peace treaty settled the question of compensation.

On the eve of today’s 50th anniversary of VJ Day, lawyers representing the claimants from Britain, the United States, Australia and New Zealand welcomed the defence filed by the Japanese government last week.

“Clearly it was open to them to argue that the treatment was not nearly as bad as alleged, or that these things happen in war. But their defence is not saying that,” said Martyn Day, who is acting on behalf of British prisoners.

“Basically, what the government is saying is that having heard what these people have had to say, they are not attempting to deny what happened to them. Until now they have remained silent on this.

“It does not get near enough to what we want, but it is an implicit admission of the case of the prisoners of war and internees. Their {the Japanese government’s} argument is purely on points of law.”

The Japanese reply to Mr Day and his colleagues coincided with the release of the letter from Tomiichi Murayama, the Japanese Prime Minister, to John Major expressing “profound remorse” for his country’s wartime actions. The attitude of Mr Murayama is more conciliatory than that of his predecessors, but he refused to meet the former prisoners when they went to Japan in July to give evidence.

The seven plaintiffs , who include three Britons, represent 30,000 former prisoners of war and civilian internees who each want pounds 15,000 damages plus an apology. They gave evidence in a pre-trial hearing which revived traumatic memories.

Phyllis Jameson, 67, described how, as a teenage civilian internee in Sumatra, she suffered beatings, constant sexual abuse and near-starvation during a year and a half of slave labour. As a result, she had been unable to have children and had twice attempted suicide.

Arthur Titherington, 73, gave evidence about his three-and-a-half years of forced labour and frequent torture. He said: “Our work quotas were impossible, but if we failed to fill enough skips we were beaten with hammers. There were 523 of us when I entered the camp in December 1942, and only 100 alive at the war’s end.”

The plaintiffs’ lawyers now plan to assemble a team of leading experts in international law to refute the Japanese government’s defence. This group should be ready by early next year, and judgment is expected by next summer.