Series 1, Part 9 by Anne Valery

First broadcast: Thursday 17 December 1981

Blanche and Debbie are interrogated but they claim that no-one helped them to escape. They are tied to poles in the compound and many of the prisoners’ possessions are burned as punishment. The women round on Marion and Rose for betraying Blanche and Debbie. Sister Ulrica announces that from now on the Dutch will exist separately from the British and will therefore be no longer held responsible for their actions. Most of the women begin to accept Marion and Rose’s decision, but the latter finds this kindness difficult to deal with. Yamauchi refuses to see Marion. Dorothy and Sally have a run in with Sister Ulrica and some other Dutch prisoners and the nun becomes even more determined that they should remain separate from the British. Yamauchi recruits Christina to work as his secretary. Marion succeeds in securing an audience with Yamauchi and he agrees to release Debbie due to her youth. He goes on to tell her that he might spare Blanche if the women can make 500 hats for workers outside the camp in seven days time. The hat making starts slowly and there are fears that the task ahead of them is impossible. Blanche’s condition is worsening day by day and Rose is wracked with guilt. Yamauchi points out to Sister Ulrica that she and her fellow Dutch prisoners have stayed separate from the British and yet live under the same God. Ulrica cannot deny it and she and the Dutch offer their services in order to save Blanche. The women learn that they have less time to make hats than they thought and are forced to redouble their efforts. After a guard torments Blanche, Beatrice sings ‘Jerusalem’ aloud in the compound, in order to demonstrate her support. The women elect to work through the night. The next morning Yamauchi announces that the women can work in the compound that day, allowing them to continue to make hats before the deadline. When the lorry arrives the hats are counted and the total is 506. Blanche is accordingly released and taken to the sick bay.

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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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