(100cm x 120cm)
Bob Morrell (with psychiatrist, Imogen Sturgeon-Clegg)
Royal Air Force, WWII
Bob enlisted in the The Royal Air Force in September 1938 to be trained as a fighter mechanic. Having successfully passed his exams he was posted to No.1 (fighter) squadron at RAF Tangmere. After the evacuation of Dunkirk, Bob’s squadron was sent to RAF Northolt in northwest London, where he worked around the clock to keep his fighter pilots in the skies. He was later posted to the Far East, eventually reaching his destination in 1942. Bob was captured by the Japanese in March 1941, and alongside hundreds of others was made a prisoner in Java in a city called Tasikmalaya.
“Here began a journey I would never want to repeat. 2000 of us men were sent to an island called Haroekoe to make an airstrip. 600 men were buried there and as the allies advanced across the Pacific I was aboard the Maros Maru with 610 men, of whom 320 died of thirst, starvation and diseases. Suffice to say I survived but the memories remain for ever in the brain. In the years following the war they didn’t know how to help us. I was 80 years old when I discovered Combat Stress. Thank God it was Imogen who took me under her care and hence I am the person I am today.”