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A Gold Medal Book Collection. Every Volume has won at least one Gold Medal from 2002 - 2011 .
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:: Volume 1 - Singapore & Malaysia
Gold Medals APS & ABPS 2002
:: Volume 2 - Dutch East Indies
Gold Medals Singapore & ABPS 2004
:: Volume 3 - Burma, Thailand & Indonesia
Gold Medal Canada 2005 and Gold Medal New Zealand 2007
:: Volume 4 - Hong Kong & China
Large Gold Medal ABPS 2008 & HKSC Webb Cup 2008
:: Volume 5 - The Philippines & Taiwan
Gold Medal Chicagopex 2010
:: Volume 6 - Japan, Korea & Manchuria
Gold Medal Chicagopex 2011 FPHS HCMAL 2013
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Volume 1 – Singapore & Malaysia

Author and postal historian David Tett has completed a series of books on the mails to and from the Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees of the Japanese in East Asia (Far East) in The Second World War


A Gold Medal Book Collection. Every Volume has won at least one Gold Medal from 2002 - 2011, the 6 Volumes have 10 Gold & other awards

The Crawford Medal, instituted in 1920, is awarded by the Royal Philatelic Society London for the most valuable and original contribution to the study and knowledge of philately published in book form during the relevant period.

It has been awarded for 2012 to David Tett for his books “A Postal History of the Prisoners of War and Civilian Internees in East Asia During the Second World War Volumes 1 – 6.

Volume 6 Winner of the 2013 Harry Cope Memorial Award for Literature by the Forces Postal History Society

 

Between 250,000 and 300,000 people were imprisoned by the Japanese in the second world war. They were captured principally in Singapore, in Java and Sumatra and in the Philippines although POWs and internees were taken in all the territories overrun by the Japanese onslaught.

POWs and internees were held in camps throughout Singapore (Changi), Malaya, Thailand, Burma, Taiwan, Indo China, Dutch East Indies (Java, Sumatra, Celebes, Timor, Ambon etc. ) Borneo, Korea, Manchuria, Hong Kong, Philippines, New Guinea, China and Japan.

Prisoners were often transferred from one prison to another and from one territory to another, usually to cater for the labour requirement of their captors. Many POWs were sent to Thailand and Burma to build the infamous railway. Others went to the Moluccan Islands to build airfields; to Sumatra to build another railway; to Japan to work in the mines, factories and shipyards. Most of these prisoners were allowed to receive mail and send cards, (and in some cases letters,) albeit in very limited quantities.

Many hundreds of books have been written about the lives of these prisoners. Many films, fictional and documentary have been made. But until now no medium has existed devoted to the study and research into the postal history of the captives. This website seeks to address that gap. It is designed to be a meeting place for persons interested in the study and research regarding the postal history of the prisoners. The starting point is the book published in 2002 entitled:


A POSTAL HISTORY OF THE PRISONERS OF WAR AND CIVILIAN INTERNEES IN EAST ASIA DURING WORLD WAR TWO – VOLUME 1 SINGAPORE & MALAYA 1942-1945 – THE CHANGI CONNECTION By David Tett

This book is a treasure trove of information regarding not only Malaya and Singapore, but also the rules and regulations and conditions in wartime Australia and Britain for communicating with the prisoners in East Asia. The first volume, covering Singapore and Malaya was published in February 2002.


 

 


 

 

 

 

A POSTAL HISTORY OF THE PRISONERS OF WAR AND CIVILIAN INTERNEES IN EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR - VOLUME 2 DUTCH EAST INDIES 1942-1946 - PARADISE LOST by David Tett

Published in December 2003. It deals with the Dutch East Indies. In 1942, The East Indies – Java, Sumatra, Celebes and thousands of islands big and small – had been under Dutch rule for 340 years. The country was stable and peaceful, for most a paradise. In March 1942, that was all about to change. With the fall of Singapore and many other neighbouring territories, the Japanese invaded the country and within two weeks acquired the vast resources of the former colony. Life thereafter was never the same again. Servicemen of Dutch, British, Australian and American forces became prisoners of war. All Dutch and other aliens were interned. Many thousands of Eurasians suffered the same fate. Upwards of 200,000 civilians lost their freedom. Their paradise was to be lost for three and a half years, in fact as it turned out, forever. Volume 2 tells their story through the medium of the postal history. The book contains 470 pages with more than 500 illustrations.



 

 

A POSTAL HISTORY OF THE PRISONERS OF WAR AND CIVILIAN INTERNEES IN EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR - VOLUME 3 BURMA THAILAND AND INDOCHINA 1942-1946 – THE RAILWAY, THE RIVER and THE BRIDGE by David Tett

Published in 2005, Volume 3 encompasses the story of the mails to and from Burma, Thailand and Indochina. The principal concentration of mail was to and from the Burma-Thailand railway, but mail from the Bangkok Internment camp, the mails from the civilian labourers, and the work of the Dutch Post Office in Bangkok are also extensively covered. Postal items to and from British, Dutch, Australian and American prisoners are illustrated. The hardback book, published by D F Tett' contains more than 400 illustrations, mostly in colour, and 380 pages.



 

 

 

A POSTAL HISTORY OF THE PRISONERS OF WAR AND CIVILIAN INTERNEES IN EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR - VOLUME 4 HONG KONG AND CHINA 1941-1945 by David Tett


Published in 2007, Volume 4 covers the story of the mails to and from Canadian, British and Indian servicemen captured in Hong Kong, the US Marines and others imprisoned in China, and civilians of many nationalities interned in Hong Kong and China. The principal concentration of Hong Kong mail was to and from the two major POW camps, Shamshuipo, and Argyle Street, and the civilian camp at Stanley. Many examples are shown with various censors and directional markings to and from these and other camps, as well as a considerable variety of inter-camp mail. In China a relatively small number of POWs were held initially in Woosung and then Kiangwan near Shanghai. Mail from and to these camps is illustrated. The civilians were held in a number of Civilian Assembly Centres in Shanghai, Yangchow and North China and mail from and to these camps is illustrated. 

The hardback book, published by D F Tett, contains more than 400 illustrations, mostly in colour, on 457 pages

 

 


 

A POSTAL HISTORY OF THE PRISONERS OF WAR AND CIVILIAN INTERNEES IN EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR - VOLUME 5 THE PHILIPPINES AND TAIWAN 1942-1945 by David Tett 

Published in 2009, Volume 5, subtitled “No Uncle Sam”, covers the story of the mails to and from Americans servicemen captured in the Philippines and British and Australian servicemen and senior officers of many nationalities transported to Taiwan. It also covers the postal history of the more than 4,000 civilians held in the Philippines. Mostly American they included over 1,000 British and many other nationalities. Many examples of mail are shown with various censors and directional markings to and from the camps. As with other centres where POWs were taken prisoner, many were transferred overseas and the book documents these transfers. Uniquely philatelic activity continued in the civilian camps in the Philippines and a chapter is devoted to this subject. There is also a chapter on the postal history of the Guerrillas in the Philippines. In Taiwan the principal camps were in Kinkaseki, Taichu, Heito, Shirakawa, Taihoku and Karenko and mail to and from these camps is described and illustrated.

The hardback book, published by D F Tett, contains more than 400 illustrations, mostly in colour, on 391 pages

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A POSTAL HISTORY OF THE PRISONERS OF WAR AND CIVILIAN INTERNEES IN EAST ASIA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR - VOLUME 6 JAPAN, KOREA AND MANCHURIA 1942-1945 by David Tett 

The sixth and final volume in the series encompasses the history of the mails to and from prisoners in Japan, Korea, Manchuria and Borneo. It is subtitled “Hellships to Slavery” as few prisoners were captured in these countries but POWs were transported there from Hong Kong, Singapore, the DEI, the Philippines, as well as other points of capture. More than a hundred camps existed in Japan divided into groups and the book includes examples of the mail to and from the various groups of camps – Fukuoka, Hakodate, Osaka, Tokyo and Zentsuji. In Korea the principle camps were in Keijo and Jinsen and mail of these camps is profusely illustrated. Senior officers and other POWs were also held in a number of camps in Manchuria, the largest being at Hoten, Mukden. Mail to and from these POWs is covered in this volume. The POWs in Borneo, British, Australian and Indian were held in a number of camps but mail is only known from and to Kuching and Sandakan. Examples are illustrated.

The hardback book, published by D F Tett, contains more than 500 illustrations, mostly in colour, on 427 pages.


Included in Volumes 2-6 are update chapters detailing new information arising since the original books were published. With the final book completed and published, any new information coming to the authors notice will be published under the “new information” page on this site and also in articles in appropriate specialist society journals.

See the new information page

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