Authors write tales of wartime Singapore to honour fathers
Two new books about the Japanese Occupation of Singapore have been written by two authors eager to honour their fathers, who lived through World War II.
Australian historian Justin Corfield, 45, is behind The Fall Of Singapore, a hefty, 750-page tome which gives battlefield accounts of the fighting over 90 days as the Japanese dethroned the British and occupied Singapore. The author's father Robin initiated the book but died two years before it was completed. It was published this May by Singapore publisher Talisman Publishing at retails at $64.15.
Apart from a detailed diary of fighting, The Fall Of Singapore lists the names of over 13,000 soldiers, seamen and aviators who defended Singapore, including Corfield's great-uncle on his mother's side. "That was one of the major ideas my father had for the book, trying to document the dead and commemorate their sacrifice," he says.
When There Were Tigers in Singapore by Edmund Schirmer is a more personal account of the Japanese Occupation. It tells the true and tragic tale of the author's grandfather, whose death in 1944 forced the author's father to live a hand-to-mouth existence at the age of six. "I can't imagine how difficult it was for him. He learnt to take care of himself but he had to eat out of garbage cans,"41-year-old Edmund says.