Publishers Dempsey & Windle will be launching WWC member Greg Freeman’s new poetry collection ‘The Fall of Singapore’ online on Wednesday 30 March. It has been published to mark last month’s 80th anniversary of the biggest surrender in British military history.

Greg said: “My father was one of many thousands of Allied soldiers taken prisoner by the Japanese at Singapore, and as a POW forced to work on the notorious Burma-Siam ‘Death Railway’, which cost many, many lives. The collection contains a sequence of poems about that time, but there are also other war-related poems in the book which have acquired a grim new relevance in recent weeks.

‘The Carriage in the Forest’, for instance, is about the resentment and revenge of Hitler who believed Germany had been cheated of land and prestige at the end of the first world war. ‘Tallinn’ refers to the suffering of the people of Estonia at the hands of the Russians over the last century and beyond. ‘Cherry Blossom’ is partly a poem about Japan, and ends with the cataclysm of Hiroshima.”

The collection also contains a poem, ‘A Foreign Wood’, about the former burial ground for Muslim soldiers from both world wars outside Woking. It has now become an Islamic peace garden.

Greg with his father in the 1970s

You can join the launch event for ‘The Fall of Singapore’ via Eventbrite. Copies of the book can be obtained from Dempsey & Windle, by emailing Greg at gregfreem62@gmail.com, or from the Lionsheart bookshop in Woking. And you can read WWC member Carla Scarano D’Antonio’s review of The Fall of Singapore in the online arts magazine London Grip here