Lasslett was posted to HMAS Perth in 1940. After several convoy duties from Fremantle to
After a number of battles
in the Mediterranean, HMAS Perth was transferred to the Indonesian islands in
1942 to take up the fight against the Japanese invasion in
Fred’s diaries vividly describe:
Encounters with the Japanese near Surabaya, Java
The Battle of Sunda Strait and sinking of HMAS Perth & USS Houston
Capture by the Japanese and imprisonment in Java
Escape and the days on the run
Re-capture and facing a firing squad
Life and entertainment in the “Bicycle Camp”
Transfer to Changi and Japan
The highs and lows of day to day life in a Japanese POW camp
Fred wrote this diary while a prisoner of war. In the form of weekly letters to ‘the elusive Nola’, his writings paint a first hand picture of three years as a prisoner of the Japanese. They tell a story of making the best of the adverse conditions, and the suffering, hope and compassion, lifted by Fred’s sense of humour. Photos, drawings, records of Japanese instructions to the Australian POWs, Australian Navy records, first hand accounts, explanatory maps and a foreword and epilogue from Fred supplement the diary.
The diaries were written by Fred Lasslett, in pencil, beginning in a small exercise book, and then continuing onto sheets of cigarette paper, which were concealed from the Japanese whilst imprisoned.
“War Diaries” has been published by Brolga Publishing. To obtain a copy, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
The cost is AU$24.95 (plus postage).