Letters to Eileen (Feb. 1941 – Jan. 1942)

Once Frank Murray had re-established contact with Eileen O'Kane after she replied to the Christmas card he sent in December 1940, they regularly sent each other long letters recounting their daily lives and expressing their mutual love. 

This transcript of Frank's letters to Eileen covers the remainder of his time in Rawalpindi, his visits to Hyderabad and Madras, his time in Malaya and his arrival in Singapore.

During his time in Malaya with the 27th Field Ambulance, Frank was first stationed in Ipoh, then Kroh (near the border with Thailand) and finally in Kuantan, on the east coast near an RAF station. He describes all of his activities with the Field Ambulance and his respect for his men. When the Japanese landed at Kota Bharu on Malaya's north-eastern coast on 8th December 1941, Frank treated one of the first casualties of the Pacific War. As the Japanese invasion progressed, Frank was transferred to a Motor Ambulance Convoy and arrived in Singapore on 18th January 1942. The last letter that managed to reach Eileen before the surrender of Singapore described his activities up to 30th January 1942. The British surrendered Singapore to the Japanese on 15th February 1942.

 

Frank destroyed all the letters he had received from Eileen rather than have them read by the Japanese. However, eleven of Eileen's letters to Frank, sent between October 1941 and February 1942 were never delivered and were returned to Eileen. Frank continued to write to Eileen every day during his time as a Prisoner of War. These letters were written in the form of a diary detailing his three-and-a-half years in captivity; he sent all 228 pages of them to Eileen as soon as he was released.

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