I have finally got around to reading that book about my dad’s uncle surviving the infamous Japanese Prisoner of War (POW) camps in southern Asia and then managing to survive being shipwrecked along with about 1,300 POWs on their way to slave labour in Japan.
As I said at time (see here for that post) I will do a full review when I have finished the book but while I am just about half way through I read some pages that I thought were relevant to today’s crazy goings on… So I have to write about it right now.
I have reached the point in the book when the convoy is hit by American submarines. First of all I need to point out that the Americans did not know that there were POWs on board two of the cargo ships. The only thought they were sinking enemy supply ships.
First of all there was hope and a sense of freedom as ‘prisoners’ and Japanese abandoned ship. This was quickly followed by despair when the Australian and British ‘prisoners’ realised that they were adrift at sea with no drinking water or food and many hanging on to anything that floated. Then when other ships from the convoy finally turned up to collect survivors the Japanese only picked up their own. Even though some of the lifeboats and makeshift rafts contained both ‘prisoners’ and Japanese. Even though some British ‘prisoners’ had shown a mixture of compassion and seemingly cunning in saving some Japanese lives in the open sea.
Things got worse. Just when you think the limit of inhumanity could not go any lower the ships then proceeded to ram the rafts and lifeboats and scatter the bodies of the struggling allied ‘prisoners’.
After more than a year of being inhumanly mistreated and starved while working on the Burma railway, this was the ultimate insult. The Australian and British ‘prisoners’ who had been rammed by the Japanese ship then mostly gave up and some lay down to await what they now saw as their inevitable fate; death.
Incredible Bravery and Defiance
But all was not lost. The survivors recalled that there was a final note of defiance. (This next part I have copied word for word from the book.)
From a raft full of British, deep throaty voices could be heard singing:
Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves,
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.
The mood caught and spread. Soon hundreds of British voices echoed across the dark sea. The Australian Jack Flynn: “I’ll never forget that moment. I thought it was fantastic.”
Indeed, it was fantastic. It was not just patriotic nor was it pure jingoism. This was laughing in the face of adversity. Stubbornly clinging to life and reassuring their fellow victims. Encouraging them not to give up. I am sure this act of defiance lifted spirits and saved lives. As soon as I read that section I immediately thought of a recent and ongoing news item.
What have we become?
Contrast that to today’s pathetic generations and the things being foisted upon us all. For those who don’t know what I am talking about, I refer to a real news item, right now! The annual series of classical music “Proms” concerts held at the Royal Albert Hall in London has been hijacked by the politically correct, history re-writing, soft as shit arseholes. Concert organisers in league with the BBC (TV) had decided in their wisdom that the traditional ‘Last Night of the Proms’ concert – which includes patriotic singing along to songs such as ‘Rule Britannia’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ – should not go ahead. Then they said that the words would be changed so as not to appear too patriotic or jingoistic.
Angry? You should be….
Who are these people? Why do we let them get away with things like this? They owe their very freedom to men like those prisoners fighting for survival on the China Sea. They should be made to hang their heads in shame and show their respect for real human beings like those brave men I am reading about.
After much public backlash it seems they have back-tracked on their plans but we shall see. The ‘Last Night of the Proms’ is set for this coming Saturday (12th September).
What on earth did those men fight and in many cases die for? I am sure they would not have bothered if they could see some what the modern-day fools – like this Proms lot – have turned out like. They are truly a disgrace to the memory of those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen. Quite literally not fit to lick the dirt off the bottom of their shoes.