PoW's Fukuoka sketchbook offers collectors unique WWII insight


The upcoming auction of a second world war sketchbook, depicting life in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, is attracting interest on both sides of the Atlantic.

The book depicts scenes of the Fukuoka War Prisoners' Camp in Java, including Japanese soldiers and local elephants, compiled by British prisoner of war John Picken.

Also featuring artwork and poetry by other prisoners, it comes to auction at Golding Young and Thos. Mawer in Lincoln, UK, on Wednesday, July 20.

The lot also features magazines and letters sent to the engineer during his incarceration.

Picken caught pneumonia during his time at Fukuoka and was hit by the guards.

The book's uniquely personal nature and fascinating subject matter are sure to appeal to historians and militaria collectors alike, looking for the next piece in their collection.

The lot includes several wartime letters

A California-based group known as the Centre for Research, Allied PoWs Under the Japanese hopes to win the book and place it on display in a museum.

John Leatt, the auctioneer and manager of Golding Young and Thos Mawer, told local newspaper the Lincolnshire Echo: "We have had a lot of interest in this book because it is such a personal reflection of that particular period of history.

"We are expecting it will go to someone who has a personal connection to it, who will keep it safe for future generations.

"It's great to know there has been so much interest from people who will genuinely appreciate and treasure the sketchbook."

A Scottish private's first world war diary, which describes the horror of Ypres, sold for £6,600 at Sotheby's in 2006.

We will bring you news of the auction next week.


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