The Lives They Live

The Lives They Live :An advocate of peace after surviving war

Mr Donald Wyatt, 82, showing documents and photos taken during the Occupation and after independence. His mother died in World War II and his father was tortured by the Japanese. He also experienced the 1969 race riots. Today, Mr Wyatt is a member of
Mr Donald Wyatt, 82, showing documents and photos taken during the Occupation and after independence. His mother died in World War II and his father was tortured by the Japanese. He also experienced the 1969 race riots. Today, Mr Wyatt is a member of the Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle in Tiong Bahru, where he helps build religious understanding.
(Above) An autographed photo of Lady Edwina Mountbatten and a certificate given to Mr Wyatt's aunt who was a volunteer nurse.
(Above) An autographed photo of Lady Edwina Mountbatten and a certificate given to Mr Wyatt's aunt who was a volunteer nurse.
(Above) Mr Wyatt's National Service Ordinance registration card.
(Above) Mr Wyatt's National Service Ordinance registration card.
Captain Wyatt around 1969. He was then the Ministry of Interior and Defence's first uniformed public relations officer.
Captain Wyatt around 1969. He was then the Ministry of Interior and Defence's first uniformed public relations officer.
Mr Wyatt's family (anti-clockwise from top right): father Bertie Wyatt, grandmother Betty, aunts Marie and Margaret, and mother Nora.
Mr Wyatt's family (anti-clockwise from top right): father Bertie Wyatt, grandmother Betty, aunts Marie and Margaret, and mother Nora.

While the pioneer political leaders were the original architects of modern Singapore, everyday heroes helped build the society. This is a story of one such person in the series, The Lives They Live.

Singaporean Donald Wyatt understands the gravity of not taking peace for granted. After all, he survived World War II.

The year was 1941. On a December afternoon atop the hilly town of Kuala Lipis in Pahang, Malaya, a group of British Indian army tanks were moving southwards, away from their posts.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 21, 2018, with the headline 'An advocate of peace after surviving war'. Print Edition | Subscribe