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Diary and papers, 1903-1946 [manuscript]
Bib ID 2869908
Format ManuscriptManuscript
Author
Burt, Gordon, 1899-1945
 
Access Conditions Available for reference. Not for loan. 
Description 1903-1946 
10 cm. (6 folders). 
Summary

Manuscript diary, giving a contemporary descriptive account of Gordon Burt's experiences from December 1941 to September 1944 (in pencil on 32 pages and 5 fragments of paper). Burt describes the fall of Singapore in February 1942, his escape and subsequent capture by the Japanese and his internment in South Sumatra at Palembang Military Barracks Prison; Palembang Military POW Camp, Palembang Native Criminal Jail and Muntok POW Camp on Banka Island. Burt records, "As each page was written it was sewn into my trousers as we never knew from day to day when the 'Kampey' would make one of their surprise visits and ruthlessly search for firearms, maps, papers, or any incriminating documents". The collection also includes letters (including those mentioned in the diary which he received in the POW camp), photographs, newspaper clippings and Burt's Order of the British Empire medal.

Biography/History

Burt was born in Dunedin, New Zealand and completed an engineering apprenticeship in the family firm of A & T Burt. In 1925 he joined the British Arctic Expedition as Chief Engineer. Soon after, he went to Singapore with Asiatic Petroleum Company, then later the Shell Company. In 1938 he married Maud Rohrbach. He joined the Singapore Volunteer Armoured Car Company and was awarded the O.B.E. in January 1942. After the fall of Singapore, he was captured by the Japanese near Palembang, Sumatra, and was a POW in Palembang and then at Muntok on Banka Island. He died in that camp on 28 January 1945.

Notes

Manuscript reference no.: NLA MS 9038.

Subjects Burt, Gordon, 1899-1945 -- Diaries.  |  Prisoners of war -- New Zealand -- Diaries.  |  World War, 1939-1945 -- Prisoners and prisons, Japanese.  |  Prisoners of war -- Indonesia -- Diaries.  |  World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Singapore.  |  Singapore -- History -- Siege, 1942.
Occupation Prisoners of war

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    Members of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Maori communities are advised that this catalogue contains names and images of deceased people. All users of the catalogue should also be aware that certain words, terms or descriptions may be culturally sensitive and may be considered inappropriate today, but may have reflected the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written.