Fellow POWs became his family, and Arthur risked his life to keep a secret diary written on scraps of paper with stolen pencils recording the agony and larrikin antics of life on the railway.
After 15 months and though weak and skeletal, Arthur was selected to sail to Japan to work the coal mines. In the middle of the South China Sea the Japanese fleet came under torpedo attack from US submarines, and the vessel Arthur was aboard sunk. 1000 men were killed. Once again Arthur was lost at sea, covered in oil, and clinging to wreckage in water littered with the bodies of his fellow POW’s. After six unimaginable days and nights he was finally rescued by a US submarine – two and a half years after first setting sail.
Against all odds Arthur made it back to Australia and to Mirla who, throughout all those years he was lost at war, never gave up hope for his eventual return.
ARTHUR’S WAR is a truly amazing Australian story: a captivating saga of courage, mateship, survival – and love.