Bibliography and List of Resources

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY of BOOKS (links to other related websites can be found toward the end of this page)

In September, 2022, The Australian Nurses Memorial Centre History & Heritage Committee presented: “Belalau & Beyond” by Dr. Judy Balcombe, a zoom talk that can be found on YouTube by clicking on the image below. This excellent talk summarizes the events surrounding those civilians who escaped from Singapore in February 1942 and whose ships sailed into the Bangka Straits, their capture there, and their eventual release from captivity in August – September, 1945.

Armstrong, R. (2003). Short cruise on the Vyner Brooke. George Mann.

Arthurson, A. C.  (2009). The Story Of 13th Australian General Hospital; 8th Division; 2nd A. I. F.; 1941 – 1945.

Balcombe, J. (2023) The evacuation of Singapore to the prison camps of Sumatra: Eyewitness accounts of tragedy and suffering during WW2. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Military

Banks. G. (2023). Back to Bangka: Searching for the truth about a wartime massacre. Hawthorn, Victoria: Viking

Brewer, F. (1991). Prisoners of the Japanese: A record of certain camps in the Palembang area of Sumatra. Tunbridge Wells: E. M. Brewer.

Brummelaar, E. (1996). You can’t eat grass. [Sydney] E. ten Brummelaar.

Bullwinkel, V. (1945). Statement made by Vivian Bullwinkel at the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal about the Banka Island Massacre and her later imprisonment in Muntok, Palembang and Belalau. [13 page PDF]

Campbell Hill, A. (1994). Scenes from Sumatra. Almondsbury.

Clancy, V. A. (1992). The Vonnie Clancy story. Robinvale, Victoria. V. Turner.

Colijn, H. (1995). Song of Survival: Women interned. Ashland, OR White Cloud Press.  [For more details on this publication click here]. Also: ‘Song of Survival Blog’ at Stanford University

Coombes, B. (2022). Women interned in World War Two Sumatra: Faith, hope and survival. South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Books.

Cullen, G. S. & Grant, M. E. (1946).  A memorial of Margaret Dryburgh, Ann Armstrong Livingston, Sabine Elizabeth Mackintosh … With an account of their internment by their fellow-prisoner. London: Presbyterian Church of England.

Darling, P. (2001). Portrait of a nurse: Prisoner of war of the Japanese, 1942-1945, Sumatra. Mona Vale, NSW, Australia: Don Wall.

Felton, M. (2011). Children of the camps: Japan’s last forgotten victims. London: Pen & Sword Books.

Fulford, S. M. (2016). Training, ethos, camaraderie and endurance of World War Two Australian POW nurses. Curtin University Masters Thesis.

Horn, S. H. (1987). Promise deferred. Washington, DC: Review and Herald Pub. Association.

Howe, J. (2022) That’s the way it was dear: Three generations of women in South East Asia. ISBN 978-1-7386444-0-7

Jacobs, G. F. (1980). Prelude to the monsoon: Assignment in Sumatra. Stroud: History Press.

Jeffrey, B. (1988). White coolies: The graphic account of Australian nurses held captive during World War 2. North Ryde, N.S.W: Eden.

Kok-Schurgers, G. P. (2011). The remains of war: Surviving the other concentration camps of World War 2. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, Inc.

Kuyl, A. (1984). Opgeborgen bij de evenaar: Het leven in 4 Japanse burgerinterneringskampen voor mannen op Sumatra. Gravenpolder: Jumbo-Offset. [Dutch]

Landzaad, B. A. (1997). Betsy’s story: Recollections of a civilian prisoner of war, Sumatra 1942-1945. Mount Evelyn, Victoria: Phoebe Pub. [Recollects Pematang Siantar, Poeloe Brayan and Aek Pamienke camps]

Leffelaar, H. L. (1980). De Japanse regering betaalt aan toonder: Een oorlog die niet verdween. Alphen aan den Rijn: A.W. Sijthoff. [Dutch]

Lim, J. (1958). Sold for silver: An autobiography of a girl sold into slavery in Southeast Asia. Singapore: Monsoon Books.

Maddever, J. C. & Manson, L. (2011). Unposted letters from a Japanese prisoner of war camp, 1942-1945. Wellington, N.Z.: Steele Roberts.

McCabe, S. J. (2010). Waiting for the durian: A child’s life as a prisoner of war. Bloomington, IN: Trafford.

McDougall, W. H. (1983). Six bells off Java: A narrative of one man’s private miracle.

McDougall, W. H. (1983). By Eastern windows: The story of a battle of souls and minds in the prison camps of Sumatra. Salt Lake City: Western Epics.

[In Chapter 8 of his book ‘By Eastern Windows’, William McDougall (American journalist and later priest) wrote about his Christmas in 1942 spent as a civilian internee in the camp at Palembang which can be read here]

MacLeod, I. (2005). I will sing to the end. Singapore: Horizon Books and Coco’s Publications: Worthing, Sussex.

Manners, N. G. (1999). Bullwinkel: The true story of Vivian Bullwinkel, a young Army Nursing Sister, who was the sole survivor of a World War Two massacre by the Japanese

Minto, J. (1996 ). The Shoe-Horn Sonata. Currency Press Pty Ltd.

Pether, M. (2021). Michael Pether has been researching what happened to individual ships as they left Singapore in February 1942 and sailed south. A section of this website has been set aside for Michael’s research which can be found HERE.

Roberts, D. E. (1978). Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer [Welsh Language].

Roberts, D. E. (1996). No bamboo for coffins. Denbigh: Gee and Son.

Seddon, R. H. (n/d). Affidavit to War Crimes Commission re Massacre on Radji Beach. (one page)

Shaw, I. W. ( 2010 ). On Radji Beach. Melbourne: Pan Macmillan.

Simons, J. E. (1954). While history passed: The story of the Australian nurses who were prisoners of the Japanese for three and a half years. London: Heinemann.

Simons, J. E. (1985). In Japanese hands: Australian nurses as POWS. Melbourne: Heinemann.

Sinclair, J. (1969). Girlhood in a Prisoner-of-War Camp. Australian Women’s Weekly, 12th November, 1969.

Smyth, J. G. (1970). The will to live: The story of Dame Margot Turner. London: Cassell.

Starnes, P. (2010). Surviving Tenko: The story of Margot Turner.

Stubbs, R. S. (1995). Prisoner of Nippon. Upton upon Severn: Square One.

Taylor, K. D. (2011). Faith: Behind the fences: A true story of survival in a Japanese prison camp. American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communications.

Topping, G. (Editor). (2007).  If I get out alive: World War II letters and diaries of William H. McDougall Jr.  Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press.

Tuttle, J. B., Zelling, J. M. T. & Toeter, J. T. (2005). Mammie’s journal of my childhood: Interned in Sumatra. New York: iUniverse.

Tyrer, N. (2009). Sisters in arms: British army nurses tell their story. London: Phoenix. (An extract from this book can be read HERE.)

Tyrer, N. (2011).  Stolen childhoods: The untold story of the children interned by the Japanese … Orion Publishing Group.

United States Army. Far East Command (1953). Palembang and Bangka Islands operations record. [Tokyo?]: The Command.

Warner, L. & Sandilands, J. (1997). Women beyond the wire: The story of prisoners of the Japanese, 1942-45.

A critique of the film Paradise Road can be read HERE.


Allgrove, N. (1988). Wartime Experience. (Speech at meeting in Adelaide on 15 February 1988 as guest of honour at RSL sisters)

Allgrove, N. (1981). Transcription of interview of Mrs Allgrove, formerly Captain Ellen Mavis Hannah, at Grove Hill House Dedham, Colchester, on July 13th, 1981 for the Oral History Programme of the National Library of Australia

Allgrove, N. (No Date). Ellen Mavis Hannah’s Statement Regarding Dr Anna Maria Goldberg

Five Months on the Run” – Charles Herridge’s recollections of his escape from Singapore and his hiding from the Japanese before being captured and eventually held at Muntok, as told to his daughter Jenny Norvick. October 1977.

Camp News – the newsletter produced by the internees themselves and circulated among them at the Palembang jail 1942-1943.

Dryburgh, M. (1945). Margaret Dryburgh’s Internment Diary 1942 – 1945.

Bob Paterson’s Nursery Rhyme Book made for him in the Palembang Camp.

A summary of the Butler-Madden family prepared by Michael Beck. A Butler-Madden page on this website is HERE.

A Contemporary List of Male Internees’ Deaths Made by Someone in the Camp. [Given to us by Ron Bridge who was held captive as a child in Hong Kong]

The Japanese invasion of Bangka Island and Palembang in 1942. Where the troops landed, and where the planes came from that most likely bombed the Vyner Brooke, etc.

My story of Aunt, Clarice Isobel Halligan by her niece Lorraine Clarice Curis. [Clarice was an Australian Army nurse gunned down and killed on Radji Beach]

Henning, P. (2012). An Anzac Story – Finding the Nurses in Sumatra Tas Military Nurses Project

William McDougall’s description of five deaths at Muntok in June 1944.

Nunn, G. (2019) Bangka Island: The WW2 massacre and a ‘truth too awful to speak‘. Sydney, Australia.

Pether, M. (2019). Commemorative Address: “On Radji Beach“. Delivered at the Tin Winning Museum, Muntok, Bangka Island, on 16th February, 2019. (See also a list of Michael’s research HERE)

Tebbutt, W. A. One page report on living conditions.

Private Papers of Lieutenant J M Brander RNVR

Private Papers of Lieutenant F Brewer CMG OBE at IWM

Private Papers of Miss P M Briggs at IWM (Some extracts from these papers can be read HERE (<– PDF)

Private Papers of J. C. Brodie at IWM

Private Papers of Miss D S Brown at IWM  

Private Papers of Mrs M F Colley at IWM

Private Papers of Mrs E Cross at IWM

Private Papers of K G A Dohoo at IWM

Private Papers of Miss M Dryburgh at IWM

Private Papers of L G Haldane at IWM

Private Papers of D N Livingstone at IWM

Private Papers of Mrs. M Jennings at IWM

Private Papers of M J V Miller at IWM Some pages from Miller’s recollections have been scanned and can be viewed HERE.

Private Papers of J H Pennock at IWM

Private Papers of D Robertson at IWM Transcript (9 pp, but p. 6 is missing) of a semi-official letter, dated October 1945, from the Singapore depot manager of the Marconi Company describing the uncertainties surrounding the evacuation of civilians from Singapore in early February 1942, his embarkation with other evacuees in the REDANG on 12 February, her sinking by two Japanese destroyers in the Bangka Straits the following day and his 24 hour voyage with other survivors in the lifeboat to Sumatra, their rescue by the TAPAH and her capture by the Japanese on 17 February and his living conditions during his subsequent internment in camps at Pladjoe, Palembang, Muntok and Loebek Linggau in Sumatra, 1942 – 1945. These pages can be read HERE.

Private Papers of Dr. G F West OBE at IWM

Jock Brodie’s Internment Diary

NOTE on the above. The diary was written by J. C. [John Cowie] Brodie. When it was originally submitted to the Imperial War Museum it was mis-catalogued by the museum as written by G. Brodie.

Philip Hogge’s description of his father’s escape from Singapore based on his father’s letters and notes with particular reference to the Mata Hari.

Gordon Reis’s Prisoner of War Diary also at the Imperial War Museum.

Ann Silbermann’s Three Page Recollection of the Sinking of the Giang Bee

Harry Walker’s description of his escape on the Mata Hari

“The Jeyes List”  — a the remarkable document created by a Changi internee, Mr. J. Bennett, by microscopic writing on 18 pages of ‘Jeyes’ toilet paper which contained the names and last known existence of several thousand men. Now held in the United Kingdom National Archives at Kew.

Judy Balcombe’s summary of the Women and Children’s camps can be read HERE.

Military Prisoners of War Held at Palembang (Mulo School, Chung Wa School, and Sungei Ron)

Scholarly article: Sisters Behind the Wire: Reappraising Australian Military Nursing



Sanford, S. (1985). Audio interviews conducted by Susan Sanford with people connected with the Women’s Vocal Orchestra

Notes: 5 linear foot (1 manuscript box) Five audio tapes and their transcripts are included, together with a dub of the piece as it aired on NPR. A release form is in the first folder.

Named Person: Chambers, Norah; Colijn, Helen; Hennings, Patty; Longstreth, Stephen.

Mayer; Antoinette Colijn.
Named Corp:  Women’s Vocal Orchestra.
Genre/Form:    Audiocassettes.

Note(s): Bio/History: Susan Sanford did original interviews with several people about the Women’s Vocal Orchestra for a piece that aired on National Public Radio on May 27, 1985. These tapes are the raw recordings collected for the preparation of that piece. Helen Colijn and Antoinette Colijn Mayer were sisters and were prisoners in the WWII camp. Patty Hennings directed the Peninsula Women’s Chorus. Stephen Longstreth made a documentary film about the Vocal Orchestra called “Song of Survival.”


Archer, B. (2004). The internment of Western civilians under the Japanese, 1941-1945: A patchwork of internment. London: Routledge Curzon.

K. Blackburn and K. Hack (eds.). (2008). Forgotten captives in Japanese occupied Asia. London and New York.

Kenny, C. (1986). Captives: Australian army nurses in Japanese prison camps. St. Lucia, Queensland: University of Queensland Press.


Britain at War East Indies Camp Archives

Malayan Volunteer Group (MVG)

Researching COFEPOW History  (loads of articles and information plus group with over 700 members)

Captive Memories

Children and Families of Far Eastern Prisoners of War

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Far Eastern Heroes (Stories, many from the FEPOWs themselves)

Java FEPOW 1942 club

The Second World War in Music

Authorised Tenko TV series website (includes Muntok memorial page)

Roll of Honour (lists service personnel & civilian deaths in the Far East during WW2. this site is over 1 gig in size).

East Indies Camp Archives [A Dutch resource indicating and describing all the camps in the Dutch East Indies]