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Leonard Walter Williams

Leonard Williams was a British seaman who served aboard HMS Dragonfly in the Far East until it was sunk off the coast of Singapore on the 14/2/1942. He then became a POW in both Singapore and Sumatra between 1942 and 1945 and survived the sinking of SS Van Waerwijck on the  24/6/1944 while it was transporting prisoners to help with the construction of the Pekanbaru Death Railway.

REEL 4 covers Leonards recollection of the sinking of SS Van Waerwijck by HMS Truculant on its voyage from Medan to Singapore on the 24/6/1944. Leonard then recalls his time as a POW in Sumatra, working on the railway between Pekanbaru and Muaro. He also recalls the act of brutality by a Japanese guard towards a POW which led to the POW's leg being amputated. Leonard then goes on to talk about the rations, quality of work, the nationalities of the workers and the visit to the camps by Lady Mountbatten at the end of the war.

Leonard Walter Williams - Reel 4 - Imperial War Museum
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More information about Leonard, along with more of the recordings done with him by the Imperial War Museum can be found here.

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