Bagged in World War 2 - Two Tales of Royal Marines Prisoners of War
Privately published by Royal Marines Historical Society in 2001, 104 pages. Paperback - c.18cm by 24cm (N5570)
They were therefore both older than the average prisoner, Fallace being 39 and Knapton being 41 years old. One was a prisoner of the Japanese and the other of the Germans, both were captured fairly early in the war but remained 'in the bag' for very different periods of time.
Neither story is typical of the average prisoner, but both have different facets that are unusual and compelling. I will let the readers judge for themselves. The Archives of the Royal Marines Museum contain a number of stories of Prisoners of War, some with handwritten diaries, others just a few pages of comments, but all make a contribution to our understanding of conditions 'in the bag'.
I am indebted to John Ambler for the Jim Fallace story, which he has written around three interviews with a gentleman in his nineties coupled with historical background from other sources. The photographs in Part 1 all come from Jim Fallace's private scrapbook that I have been privileged to borrow.
When I was looking for a complementary story, I found Benjamin Knapton's diary in the Royal Marines archives, where it had been deposited in 1993 by his son, Geoffrey who, along with his sister Sylvia, has been most helpful in filling in some of the background. I have also included a short piece on DEMS by Tony Perrett for better understanding of a little known task performed by wartime Royal Marines; and my thanks to my son, Neil Oakley, for the enhancement of photographs
The condition of the book is generally very good. The cover has one or two very minor minor scuffs, and some light wear in the extreme bottom right hand corner, but the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.
Please note the booklet was produced and published privately, and so has an 'amateur' feel about - i.e all the photographs are photocopy quality. But this doesn't detract from the fascinating contents!