Australia has a long history of private sadness and quiet courage arising from her men and women being taken as prisoners of war. More than 34,000 have so far ended up in captivity; over 100 in the Boer War, more than 4,000 in WWI, just 30 during the Korean War, none in Vietnam - and the biggest of them all, WWII, when 30,560 Australian men and women were taken prisoner - more than all the Australians killed in action during the entire six years of the war. Of the total number of Australian deaths during WWII, nearly 30 per cent, one in every three, were prisoners. Many of these men and women lost years of their lives, wasting away behind the wire. They endured a world where only the basics mattered - food, discipline, some small skerrick of hope...and survival. These are their stories.
Michael Caulfield has been a composer, musician and TV and film producer and director, both in Australia and overseas. He was the executive producer of the ABC TV series Australians at War. He has published two other books with Hachette.