Reginald Elston Engineer, Cable & Wireless. Cpl Perak LDC. Left Singapore on the S. S. Redang [sunk]. Rescued by HMS Tapah. Captured at Muntok 17.2.42. Wife Kathleen M. evacuated with daughter P.M. on Aorangi, arriving Fremantle WA 23.1.42 then to Southend-on-Sea UK.
He died at Belalau on 17 May 1945.
According to William McDougall (‘If I Come Out Alive’, p. 149), Elston made a little money in captivity by rolling cigarettes for other prisoners.
Jan 20 1943 Britisher Elston says he’s rolled about 20,000 cigarettes since internment. He charges 30 cents a hundred for rolling. Smokers supply paper & tobacco. It keeps him & his pal in spending money for necessities. He averages between 100 & 150 per day. If he buys a towel for 1.90 he figures it costs him 600 cigarettes.
By this method he earned enough income that allowed him to purchase extra food which may explain how he managed to survive until the last few months of captivity. McDougall does not note Elston’s death in his diary.