Private Papers of D N Livingstone

Catalogue number
  • Documents.12269
Subject period
  • whole: 1 Conservation Volume
private papers

History note

Catalogue date 2002-03

History note

Cataloguer RWAS

Content description

Ms diary (38 folios, 11 also with entries on the reverse) for 14 February 1942 - 7 September 1943 and a hand-made recipe book including ms diary entries (8pp plus 1 loose folio) for 19 September 1944 - 28 August 1945, with ts transcript (15pp), describing how, as an officer in the Federated Malay States Police, he was advised to leave Singapore just before its capitulation, his passage on the motor launch MARIE ROSE until she was intercepted by Japanese warships off the east coast of Sumatra on 17 February 1942 and his subsequent experiences as a civilian internee in Sumatra, initially in temporary accommodation in Muntok (February - March 1942) and Pladjoe (March - April 1942) and then in camps in Palembang (April 1942 - March 1945) and Belalau near Loebek Linggau (March - August 1945), with interesting references to conditions, daily routine and his duties in the camps, the increasing paucity of their rations, the leadership of the internee community, his poor health and the illnesses and deaths of fellow internees, and his lack of contact with and anxiety about his family; together with five ms letters and a postcard to his family, the first letter (1p), dated January 1942, from Kuala Lumpur, Malaya referring to the threat from Japanese air raids, the postcard, dated March 1943, from the men's internment camp in Palembang and the other four letters (15pp in total plus one 2pp transcript), dated September - October 1945, from the Alexandra Hospital in Singapore and the troopship ANTENOR describing his escape from Singapore in February 1942, the 'undiluted hell' of internment, its effects on his health and his efforts to contact his family in South Africa following his liberation; a ts pass (1p) issued to him by the British Embassy in Cairo in October 1945 during his journey to South Africa; ts notes (2pp) on conditions in Kuala Lumpur following the end of the Japanese occupation; ts claims for compensation for the loss of his car and other possessions during the war submitted by Livingstone; his FMS police card (1935) kept throughout his internment; other ms notes made during and just after his internment; and a South African newspaper cutting (1951) and laser copy photograph relating to the extraordinary homecoming of his family's Siamese cat in Alor Star, Malaya after four years of war.

Associated subjects