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Prisoners of the Sumatra Railway


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Table of Contents

List of Figures List of Maps Preface: The Man in the Photograph Acknowledgements Note on Text List of Abbreviations Introduction 1. Building the Sumatra Railway 2. Writing the Sumatra Railway 3. Guard Your Tongue 4. The Body of the Prisoner 5. Aftermath Afterword Appendix: Research Resources Selected Bibliography Index

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An exploration of the prisoner of war experience on the Sumatra railway, and its legacy, through the life-writing of those who survived.

About the Author

Lizzie Oliver completed her PhD at the University of Leeds, UK, and Imperial War Museum, London.


Prisoners of the Sumatra Railway offers a much-needed study on the experiences and memories of the British prisoners of war (POWs) on the nearly forgotten Sumatra Railway ... Oliver's book provides focused research on a particular group of British men and fills a gap in the literature on Far East captivity by the Japanese during World War II. Her work is also welcomed and supported by the community of the descendants of British Far East POWs. * H-War *
Prisoners of the Sumatra Railway amplifies the voices of POWs from a forgotten corner of the Pacific War and traces their stories of misery and survival through the latter half of the twentieth century. By her meticulous research and deft analysis of how POWs shared, preserved, and made sense of their experiences, Lizzie Oliver has made a most valuable contribution to the literature of Far Eastern captivity during the Second World War. * Michigan War Studies Review *
Memoirs from Sumatra, including meticulous recollections from former POWs, post-war statements, diaries, notebooks, and letters, as well as explorations of life-writing from POWs held captive at the railway, transgenerational responses in Britain, notes, a bibliography, and an index distinguish this exceptional contribution to public and college library world history and military history collections. Highly recommended. * Midwest Book Review *
Based on original sources, like memoirs and diaries, this book superbly explores the lived experience of British POW's on the forgotten Sumatra Railway during World War II and their struggles in remembering and transmitting their experiences after their liberation. Written in highly accessible prose, it will prove to be indispensable reading for anyone interested in the Pacific War, the experiences of Far Eastern POW's (FAPOW's), and the cultural importance of memory. * Arnout H.C. van der Meer, Assistant Professor of History, Colby College, USA *

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