A timely reminder to learn lessons from the past
26 October, 2017 — By John Gulliver
IT all seems a slice of history now, some 72 years ago, when thousands of women, children and military servicemen suffered appallingly in Japanese camps in the Far East.
But history is important. Forget its lessons and we will repeat them.
My hope when the memorial funded by New Journal readers to those who suffered in that conflict was installed in Mornington Crescent five years ago was that schoolchildren could be taken by teachers and given a history lesson there.
Who will remember the victims?
There will, of course, be a memorial ceremony on Armistice Day, which is soon upon us, in Mornington Crescent.
My thoughts turned to this because a new edition of a little classic Java Nightmare was sent to me by Daphne Slater, daughter of its author, Daphne Jackson.
She hoped I would mention it, and I am more than delighted to do so.
She makes the point that the memorial in Mornington Crescent is probably the only one in Britain that honours the plight of the civilians caught up in the Far East war.
This was something in our minds at the New Journal when the idea of a memorial came up first nearly 10 years ago.
Her mother, Daphne Jackson, suffered in five different Prisoner of War camps in Indonesia.
Although the writers of the BBC television series Tenko interviewed her, the actual conditions she described were considered to be too shocking for viewers to take in.
I heartily recommend Java Nightmare, endorsed by the actor Dirk Bogarde, which is available in good bookshops and, of course, Amazon.