Outram Road Prison – Singapore ***
There were three men from 2/4th who spent time at this prison run by Kempetai. It was where escaped POWs were sent and political prisoners from Singapore. They each served their sentence in solitary confinement. Most locals were sentenced to death.
WX6069 Dean, Penrod Vance
WX12835 McGregor, John Alexander
WX227 Stevens, Alfred
The three above men survived their horrendous experience at Outram gaol. John McGregor tragically became blind soon after returning home and learnt braille. John wrote a book about his experience ‘Blood on the Rising Sun’.
Dean also wrote a book about his war experience. Tim Bowden author of ‘Stubborn Buggers’ who interviewed several survivors including Chris Neilson *another Australian survivor) wrote in his book he believed Dean’s memory was somewhat clouded, for instance, Dean never learned Morse Code. It was McGregor who did. Neilson and others confirmed this. There were several major differences which Bowden wrote as being incorrect. He had tried to met with Dean and wanted very much to interview him but Dean replied he was unable to as his time was fully committed to his own book.
We believe McGregor published his book about 1980. In his Foreword McGregor wrote 34 years after the prisoners were freed from Outram Road Gaol and the war ended, he met up with two former prisoners whilst in Sydney in 1978 – Stanley Davis and Chris Neilson. They were the only two former living prisoners McGregor had been able to locate.
“Neither of them had changed in all these years. Their indomitable fighting spirit is still with them. I feel honoured indeed to be given the opportunity of recording these two names in my book.”
McGregor died prior to Dean publishing his book called ‘Singapore Samurai’.