Readers will find in this carefully researched and assembled book the incredible story of an ordinary man who endured extraordinary hardships as a far east prisoner of war (FEPOW) taken captive by Imperial Japanese forces at Singapore during World War II.
Stan Moore’s daughter, Jill Robertson, has made brilliant use of her father’s wartime diary and an audio recording he made during his lifetime to create a clear picture of the suffering endured by POWs at Changi prison camp and also the resilient spirit of these men. The book is well-written; the blending of diary entries with statements given by Stan, in addition to detailed historical research, blends together seamlessly in a way that makes it easy to read.
The 1942 Fall of Singapore has been overlooked in popular historiography of the Pacific War. Details of the lives and tragic deaths of those taken prisoner there have tended to fade into the background in comparison to famous naval battles and fighting at places like Okinawa and even, to some degree, in Burma, although Britain’s Fourteenth Army in Burma has been called “The Forgotten Army” for similar reasons.
The stories of POWs such as Stan should never be overlooked nor the bravery they displayed in the face of their enemies underestimated. These men defied their captors just by surviving, and the more of their stories that are told to the world, the better.
The book is at times a grim read but readers will likely be impressed by Stan’s sense of humor and also the dedication of his family in preserving and publishing his war memoirs. The book is a valuable resource of information for those interested in the history of the Pacific theatre of the war, particularly the fall of Singapore, the British military history in the Far East and war crimes committed by the Imperial Japanese Army.