The author, Ernest Warwick (Ed Warton in the book), was born in Brighton in 1918 towards the end of the first World War, the 'Great War' - the so-called 'war to end all wars!' Like many others, he had a tough upbringing through the slump and poverty of the thirties. The eldest of eight children, with four brothers and three sisters, he was forced to leave school at 13 years of age: his father had been killed the day before in a road accident.
At the the outbreak of World War 2 in 1939, he was called up and, after eight weeks basic training in the Essex Regiment, he was posted to the Fourth Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment, HQ Company, Intelligence Section for the duration of World War 2. This formed part of the ill-fated 18th Infantry (Combat) Division of the British Army.
Serving as a private soldier, fighting on the streets in the brief and bloody 17 day battle for Singapore (which ended in the ignominious surrender of the Island - the 'fortress that never was'), he was wounded in action and taken Prisoner Of War on the 15th of February 1942. He spent nearly 4 years as a Japanese Prisoner of War, the majority of this on the infamous "railway of death" in Thailand. Saved from virtually certain death by the timely dropping of the Atom Bomb on Japan, which led to the almost immediate unconditional surrender of the Japanese. In August 1945 he was flown to a hospital in Rangoon, Burma weighing just over 6 stone (84lbs).
He was awarded The 1939-1945 Star, The Pacific Star (for the 17 day bloody battle of Singapore) and the 1939-1945 War Medal.
Throughout the post war years he had a variety of jobs in industry, culminating in his position as deputy head porter at the General Hospital in Rochford for eight years until his retirement in 1983. He lived with his family in the village of Ashingdon in Essex.
Ernest was haunted by his years in captivity all his life and was confined to a wheelchair as a direct result of brutal torture and ill-treatment at the hands of the Japanese in the grim jungle death camps alongside the River Kwai.
In no way did he glorify war, but felt that as a proud nation we should always remember and honour our dead, who gave so much that we might live.
Tamajao241 was Ernest's first and only book. His story was written as a tribute to his dead comrades and to expose to the world the appalling inhumanity of the Japanese and Koreans during World War 2.
Based solidly on his own experiences in captivity 'TAMAJAO 241' is a story written from the heart.