16 May 2009

The Missing Years: A POW's Story from Changi to Hellfire Pass

The Missing Years is the story of Captain Hugh Pilkington's disastrous Malaya campaign in which he was shot by a Japanese sniper, became a PoW while hospitalised in Singapore, then— with only one good arm — was packed off to work on the Thai-Burma Death Railway.

This account has two unique elements which make it standout - Pilkington survived the infamous Alexandra Hospital Massacre of February 1942 and his memoirs were completed in October 1945 while on a POW repatriation ship, hence providing a raw, unfiltered, surprisingly dispassionate voice, undistorted by time.

Travel writer Stu Lloyd (who has spent 13 years in Southeast Asia) retraces the captain's steps with Pilkington's son Paul, to uncover Pilkington's past as a rubber planter and soldier, and find out— with often surprising results— what the locals today make of that period they know largely as 'Japan time'.

Captain Hugh Pilkington was born in India, 1904 and worked as a rubber planter in Malaya from 1922-37 before joining the Royal Norfolk Regiment in 1939. His knowledge of the tropics, landscape and language proved invaluable to the Allies. He died in 1982. Paul Pilkington was born in 1941 and was nearly five before he met his father, back from war.

Available from:
Rosenberg Publishing

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