Saturday, 6 November 2010
Maurice O'Connell from Ireland writes
My mother, baby brother and I were put on a ship by my father VERY EARLY in December 1941 after the Japanese invasion. Possibly 10th December. Possibly 'Empress of India'. Most lists seem to deal with 1942 when the evacuation got moving. The word from the high-ups was that Europeans were to stay put to 'show the flag'. My father, Basil (BMB), O'Connell, (1900-1971), a police officer who had been following events for years, and had served in most parts of the Peninsula did NOT agree with their optimistic assessment. He had to stay behind and was in Changi (civilian internee) 1942-1945. We went to Colombo, ( then Ceylon). Thence to Durban. Eventually got back to Ireland. Being only five years old, I did not keep a diary!