Thursday, 4 October 2012

Aircraftman 1 William Mundy

It was an honor to host lunch at the Singapore Cricket Club with William Mundy 91, his son Bryan and avid historian Andrew Glynn who was escorting William and Bryan who were out in the region from England. William's story was that with the RAF he sailed from England bound for Kuala Lumpur in 1941 but as the city had been taken his ship was diverted to Java. Some 3 weeks after disembarking he was captured at Garoet and his subsequent camps were Boei Gllodok and Tandjong Priok in Batavia (Jakarta). In April 1943 he was taken to Ambon where, as one of 1000 men , he was marched across Ambon to build the camp and an airfield out of coral at Liang camp.

When returned to Java for 5-6 weeks he should have then been sent to the Thai-Burma railway but being unwell the MO on board arranged for William and another POW to be transferred to Changi hospital where he remained for 6 months. He tells the story how being an avid bee keeper in England he managed to set up a bee hive in Changi prison that produced a small amount of honey every 2 weeks which was used by the hospital as a form of dressing. After Changi William was transferred to Kranji in Singapore to dig tunnels in the granite hillside for the Japanese but the surrender came before they were ever used. William was in the region with a group from the Java Far East Prisoners of War Club 1942 and it was terrific to see him in Singapore spritely and fit!

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