Private Papers of Mrs M F Colley

Catalogue number
  • Documents.4508
Subject period
  • File: Weight 1.2 kg
  • Box: Weight 5.5 kg
private papers

History note

Catalogue date 1998-12

History note

Cataloguer RWAS

Content description

Two original ms diaries, together with a slightly edited ts transcription (70pp) of the entries up to October 1942 and an ms transcription of the subsequent entries, covering her internment in Sumatra, February 1942 - September 1945, after the MATA HARI, in which she had been evacuated from Singapore on 12 February, was captured by the Japanese and describing in detail their living conditions, rations and treatment by the Japanese, the worsening health and eventual deaths of many of the women internees, and their relations with one another in camps at Muntok on Bangka Island, February - March 1942; Palembang, March 1942 - October 1944; Muntok again, October 1944 - April 1945; and at Loebok Lingau, April - September 1945. The diaries, which are well-written and provide a keen insight into the strains and uncertainties of internee life with its almost total lack of contact with the outside world, are accompanied by booklets and lists of recipes written down in the camps, copies of birthday verses written for fellow internees by Margaret Dryburgh, music and notes for country dancing and other subjects taught in the camps by Mrs Colley, who was a schoolmistress, and a copy of the Palembang 'Camp Chronicle' for September 1942.

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