In 1942 corporal John Baxter, a royal engineer, was captured by the Japanese in Indonesia. For the next three years he was held as their prisoner, during which time he was starved and beaten and contracted malaria, dysentry and diphtheria, for which he received no treatment. At one point he was given a fifty-fifty chance of surviving and moved to an isolation cell where he was kept awake at night by the sound of coffins being made for fellow prisoners who had not been so 'lucky'. He spent the last two years of the war working in the hard labour mines in Kyushu, from where he witnessed the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki 40 miles away, and felt the scorching wind from the blast. Remarkably John Baxter survived these experiences and made it back to Britain - a journey which was an adventure in itself. In February 2009 he celebrated his 90th birthday. Having written up his diaries from this time, he has now decided to tell his story. It is a story not just of survival but of ingenuity, resourcefulness and quiet heroism. Using his training as a heating engineer, he found numerous, subtle ways of helping to disrupt the Japanese war effort, for example by sabotaging mining machinery and the rifles the guards had given him to repair. He also built radios to enable the prisoners to stay in touch with events in the wider world; cooking and lighting equipment to make their lives more comfortable; and artificial limbs for amputees. The book also offers revealing insights into the complex relationships between the prisoners and their guards, insights which overturn many of the stereotypes we are often presented with. For example John managed to befriend one of the guards, Hirano, who risked his life to bring him extra food rations. Written without a hint of bitterness, this is a fascinating and moving account of how one man managed to survive some of the harshest conditions faced by prisoners in the Second World War, while doing his bit to help the war effort. Illustrated with contemporary photographs and artefacts from his time in the camps, this book will be of interest to WW2 historians and the general reader alike.