Title: Java Rabble – A Story of a Ship, Slavery and Survival
Author: Skeels, Fred OAM
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 2008
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 128 pages
Comments: Fred was on HMAS Perth when it was sunk in the Battle of Sunda Straits in March, 1942.
This is the story of a young sailor, joining in 1941 at 18. A year later he and his mates were in the great battles of the Java Sea and Sunda Straits in which the Perth and its allies were sunk.
This is his story of the battles, survival and capture. Held in the Japanese death camps until the war’s end, he was shipped as a slave labourer from Java to Malaya, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and finally Japan.
In 2002 Fred was awarded the Order of Australia for his services to returned prisoners of war in the HMAS Perth Survivor’s Association, the Prisoner of War Association in WA, and in Legacy.
This is a valuable memoir for all interested in Australia’s war at sea and in the experiences of the POW.