A Bleeding Slaughterhouse uses graphic eyewitness accounts and interviews with Allied survivors and Japanese officers to piece together what really happened in the largest military hospital outside Britain on 14-15 February 1942.
Japanese troops stormed the hospital and left up to 300 doctors, orderlies and patients dead -- many bayonetted in their beds where they lay defenceless - just hours before Singapore surrendered. Aussie diggers such as John 'Jack' Slater from Bathurst and Lt Harry Woods from Mudgee survived to tell their tale.
Best-selling author, and now Central West resident, Stuart Lloyd dissects the actions and reactions from both sides of the story, painstakingly and forensically understanding the causes and tracking down the perpetrators, with surprising results.
The massacres were a perfect storm event, almost fated to happen.
But it's not just about a gory body count. Pre-war the hospital was embroiled in a $3 million corruption scandal. The hospital staff were a colourful and often eccentric collection of individuals enjoying colonial life in Singapore to the full. The nurses were evacuated but intercepted at sea by the Japanese. The patients and medicos then found themselves in a living nightmare, from which a handful escape with incredible tales of bravery and derring-do. And that's before they are taken as PoWs of the Japanese! Then the War Crimes trials start and more mysteries ensue. A conspiracy theory takes out a key investigator. Until finally a bombshell is dropped and the riveting Whodunnit is solved.
Relatives and family of the veterans also reflect on their life with the brother, father, grandfather who returned from the living hell of The Alexandra Hospital Massacres (and we meet some who had no idea their father was even a survivor!).
This story-driven account drips with human spirit as we get to know the key characters on both sides, and their fluctuating fortunes in the war and after.
Join us to discover this story when author Stuart Lloyd - 'the perfect storyteller' according to The Telegraph, UK - speaks at Cowra Library on Tuesday 26 July at 10m - 12 noon. Please book your place online via Eventbrite.com.au or call the Library on 6340 2180
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.