…there were far more brutal places than Changi.
While the stories of the suffering and survival of Australians at Changi, the biggest prisoner of war camp on Singapore island, are well known, the stories of Outram Road Gaol are far less so. This was where escapees and traitors were sent, including allied prisoners of war as well as Chinese civilians and even Japanese soldiers. It is estimated that thousands of people died here, many executed, others of malnutrition or disease.
Stubborn Buggers tells the stories of twelve Australian prisoners of war and their experiences in Outram Road Gaol as well as on the Thai-Burma Railway and Sandakan. It is not an easy to read book, because of its subject matter, but it is compelling, sharing not just facts, but stories of survival and perseverance, even humour.
Drawing on extensive interviews with the survivors, this is a moving and important look at a dark piece of history.
Stubborn Buggers, by Tim Bowden
Allen & Unwin, 2014
Available from good bookstores and online.
When Tim Bowden recounts a journey, he writes much more than a simple travel diary. Instead, he fills his work with diversions into history, geographical information, character sketches and more.
In his latest book, Penelope Bungles to Broome, Tim and wife Ros journey from their home in Sydney across the country to Broome, exploring the Kimberley, Pilbara and Mid-west regions.
Bowden recounts in great detail their journey in their trusty four wheel drive, known affectionately as Penelope and their camper trailer, The Manor. They also explore the coastline on the boat The Coral Princess. Along the way readers are aquainted with some of the wonders the West has to offer, as well as many of the highs and lows of travelling the district. Bowden’s enthusiasm and detailed knowledge and research show through, so that there is plenty to learn even for those who have already experienced the region.
Penelope Bungles to Broome is a treat for lovers of Bowden’s work and those interested in travelling our fair country.
Penelope Bungles to Broome, by Tim Bowden
Allen & Unwin, 2002