Billy: My Life as a Teenage POW has been compiled from a
personal chronicle begun by Billy Young throughout the 1970s, supplemented by
hundreds of conversations that Lynette and Billy have shared in the course of
their close friendship spanning more than two decades. It is the only
first-hand published account by an ordinary soldier imprisoned by the Japanese
at the infamous Sandakan POW Camp, and one of only three books by a survivor at
the Kempeitai’s equally notorious Outram Road Gaol.
Billy is now the only soldier left alive from Sandakan, and the only Australian prisoner still alive from Outram Road.
Billy's close friend, historian and author Lynette Silver, provides historical
details gleaned from thirty years of researching and writing about events that Billy experienced first hand. Throughout, Billy gives his
unique narrative, immerse in vibrancy and life as he takes the reader on a very
personal journey. Through the eyes of a tearaway teenaged soldier, Billy shares
his thoughts and experiences, some of which have never before been revealed –
secrets that he has kept even from his closest family.
Billy: My Life as a Teenage POW also includes short poems written by Billy, along with his drawings and paintings depicting events that occurred during his time as a POW. These are the only visual records in existence.
This book is his memorial to all those who died in Borneo and in Outram Road Gaol.
Billy has his own website at www.billyyoung.com.au
1 In the beginning: 1925–1941
2 Fending for myself: 1934 – July 1941
3 You’ll be sorry: July – November 1941
4 War games: 8 December 1941 – 13 February 1942
5 Reluctant guests of the Emperor: 13 February – 7 July 1942
6 To Sandakan: 7 July – November 1942
7 Camp life: September 1942 – February 1943
8 On borrowed time: 19 February – early April 1943
9 Out of the frying pan … : mid-April – 23 August 1943
10 … and into the fire: 23 August 1943 – early 1944
11 Riding a receding tide: Early 1944 – early 1945
12 Out of the shadows: early 1945 – 19 August 1945
The Australian dead of Sandakan