Series 1, Part 4 by Anne Valery

First broadcast: Thursday 12 November 1981

February 1942. The Dutch have their first tenko and the Japanese select Sylvia to teach them how to bow. Marion welcomes Sister Ulrica to the camp. Dorothy is concerned about Violet, but Beatrice insists that she is a healthy baby. As the leaders of the British and Dutch prisoners, Marion and Ulrica are informed by Yamauchi that all prisoners without exception must work from now on and that a trader will come to the camp. The trader visits and Dorothy buys an egg for Violet. Marion and Sister Ulrica agree to cooperate just before a group of younger prisoners are suddenly taken away from the camp by the guards. Those who are left behind fear the women are being raped. The group returns hours later and describe how they have been felling trees in the jungle. The trader’s wife, Lia, arranges to meet Dorothy at night, outside the camp in order to provide her with milk for Violet. Dorothy offers her services to a Dutch woman called Mrs Van Meyer, to make money to pay for the milk, and asks Nellie to watch Violet as she makes her rendezvous with Lia for the first time. Several women begin to help Dorothy with her nocturnal smuggling. Violet develops diarrhoea. Beatrice becomes aware that something is going on and demands that Marion enforce some discipline. When she also notices the barbed wire scars on Dorothy’s back, Blanche and the other women come clean about their activities. When the Japanese discover the smuggling operations, Yamauchi withholds food rations. The women start blaming each other until Marion intervenes. Lia is tied to a post inside the compound and the women are forbidden from tending to her. Nevertheless that night Dorothy goes to Lia with water, desperate for her forgiveness. By the next morning’s tenko both Lia and Violet are dead.

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About Andy Priestner

Trainer and consultant on social media, marketing and comms, user experience and ethnography, leadership, strategic thinking, change and LEGO Serious Play
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