Graham in Sri Lanka, 1940s Item Reference : cny03435
Graham pictured in Sri Lanka, where he undertook training for jungle warfare in Burma. Whilst there, he was part of a unit that liberated a Japanese POW camp. The inmates were on the point of starvation, and the first thing that Graham and his comrades wanted to do was hand over their rations. But the prisoners who were given large quantities of food after such a long period of near-starvation died. It was too much for their weakened systems to cope with, and the liberators were forbidden to feed the POWs. Graham Simmons was working as a butcher when the Second World War broke out. It was a reserved occupation, and Graham wasn't obliged to join the services. He volunteered as an ARP warden, and served in that capacity during the 3 nights' blitz of Swansea in 1941, during which his best friend lost a leg due to flying roof slates. Angered by the bombing, Graham joined the Royal Marines, and ended up fighting at Tobruk in North Africa, before going on to Sri Lanka and Burma.
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