In this website I’d like to share some of them, and showcase some of the books and articles that have been generated along the way. Journalists are generally rated in the public mind on the same level as used car salesmen, lawyers, politicians or other professionals of dubious reputation. But I’ve always been a happy traveller in journalism which – providing your liver holds out in that traditionally hard-drinking profession – gets you into all kinds of situations that you otherwise would have had a snowflakes chance in hell of experiencing. And talking of snowflakes, that includes Antarctica, as well as stints in Vietnam during the Indo China war, working in London for the BBC, and in Asia and North America for the ABC.
I’ve also travelled widely in Australia as a not-so-grey nomad, and now a fully fledged one, in our 4WD Penelope towing our trusty camper, and have written four books on these travels. Like Clancy, there are times when ‘we don’t know where he are’. Well, for some weeks anyway. Outback camping is addictive.
STUBBORN BUGGERS – The survivors of the infamous POW gaol that made Changi look like heaven
This is the little known story of Singapore’s Outram Road Gaol and the POWs who endured it.
Deprivation here was so extreme that there really was a fate worse than death. Stubborn Buggers is the story of twelve Australian POWs who fought and survived the battle for Malaya, then captivity and slave labour, followed by the unimaginable hardships of Outram Road Gaol. It is a story of how they dealt with the brutality of the Japanese military police, the feared Kempeitai. And it is the story of how they found a way to go on living even when facing a future of no hope and slow death.
But Stubborn Buggers is about more than suffering and brutality. It is also a story of grit, determination and larrikin humour. It is very much about the triumph of the human spirit.
SEE RECENT POSTS ON THE RIGHT OF THIS PAGE
In the recent feature film The Railway Man the Japanese soldier who tortured Eric Lomax, an English prisoner of war on the Thai-Burma Railway who was caught with a secret radio, is portrayed as a sadistic officer in the Kempeitai, the feared Japanese military police. His real name is used, Nagase Takashi, but the real Nagase whom I met and interviewed in Japan in 1983 has a vastly different story to tell.
Read his remarkable story from the RECENT POSTS column on the right. There are four sections.
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- STUBBORN BUGGERS – The survivors of the infamous POW gaol that made Changi look like heaven
- PART ONE – NAGASE TAKASHI, A SINGULAR JAPANESE
- PART TWO – ERIC LOMAX & NAGASE TAKASHI
- PART THREE – THE MEETING WITH NAGASE
- PART FOUR – SEEING THE MOVIE ‘THE RAILWAY MAN’
- ODDMENTS 1
- THE CHANGI CAMERA
- Dame Edna’s Last Fond Farewell Tour
- Antarctica And Back in Sixty Days
- Bashing The Poor Old ABC
- BackChat Remembered
- Amundsen Centenary Celebrations 2
- Quaking and Shaking in En Zed
- Amundsen Centenary Celebrations 1
- Scott the Clot?
- Conversation With Richard Hughes
- No Tern Unstoned
- Down Under In The Top End
- The Devil in Tim
- Penelope Bungles To Broome