The British Empire Library

A Spoonful of Rice with Salt

by George Patterson

Courtesy of OSPA

Review by The Hon. Veronica Masefield, wife of the late J. B. Masefield (Malayan Police 1936-1955)
George wrote this book from a diary he kept during the time he was a prisoner of war. George was a young ADO in Trengannu on the east coast of Malaya before the war. He describes his life then and the Japanese invasion. George led a number of people through the jungle and mountains to Singapore. When he reached Singapore he joined the army and was made ADC to General Percival. He carried the white flag at the surrender to the Japanese. He describes his life as a POW at Changi, Formosa, Japan and Manchuria. They had an awful time from the local guards who made them work. When the war ended, after all the senior people had left, George describes the slow way home he had by boat. After a short leave George was told he was to be the ADC to Malcolm McDonald. He describes his times working with Malcolm McDonald, his travels and the communist troubles in the Far East at that time. He left Malaya finally in 1960 on retirement from the Civil Service.
British Empire Book
George Patterson
The Pentland Press
Listen to an Audio Version of this book


Armed Forces | Art and Culture | Articles | Biographies | Colonies | Discussion | Glossary | Home | Library | Links | Map Room | Sources and Media | Science and Technology | Search | Student Zone | Timelines | TV & Film | Wargames

by Stephen Luscombe