Catalogue description Mrs M Jennings

This record is held by Imperial War Museum Department of Documents

Details of MJ
Reference: MJ
Title: Mrs M Jennings

Ms pocket diary kept between January and December 1942 and ms diary (111p) written on pages inserted in a bible from June 1942 to April 1945 together with a ts transcript (113pp) of the two diaries, covering her internment at camps in Palembang (from March 1942) and at Muntok on Bangka Island off the coast of Sumatra (from October 1944), following her capture in February 1942 on Bangka Island, after she had been evacuated there from Malaya where she had been serving as a nurse with the Medical Auxiliary Service. The diary entries contain brief details of her activities, events in the camps, the food shortages and illnesses, including a major epidemic in 1944, all of which took a heavy toll on her health, while they also reflect her occasionally difficult relationships with the other internees, particularly after she was made a 'captain' of her block (April 1944) and her desperation to return to a normal life with her husband; together with a moving letter from one of her friends in the camp informing Mrs Jennings' husband of her death in May 1945, a booklet entitled 'Poems from a prison camp' containing poems written by her during her internment.

Date: 1942-1945
Related material:

See also her husband Captain C O Jennings' book AN OCEAN WITHOUT SHORES (Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1950) in the Department of Printed Books

Held by: Imperial War Museum Department of Documents, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Jennings, Margery, d 1945

Physical description: Original documents
Access conditions:


  • Sumatra
  • Malaya
  • War prisoners
  • Second World War, 1939-1945
Administrative / biographical background:

Margery Jennings was serving with the Medical Auxiliary service in (Malaya) in 1942 and was taken prisoner by the Japanese on Bangka Island, off Sumatra in mid-February of that year. She was interned in various camps and died in one at Loebok Lingau (Sumatra) on 12 May 1945. Her husband, Captain C O Jennings, was a prisoner of war at Palembang, following his escape from Singapore and his subsequent capture on Java (see the papers of Major G Hamilton-Cay for detailed account), but never managed to meet with his wife during their imprisonment in separate camps.

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