Jackie Passman

Jackie Passman

Under The Heel Of Hirohito

My father was one of the many prisoners captured by the Japanese when Singapore fell in 1942. At great personal risk, he kept a detailed diary which I saw for the first time a few years before he died. This illustrated talk is based on his objective, distressing but occasionally humorous diary entries. They record the deprivations of Changi POW camp, the horrific death march up country to the Thai-Burma border and the unbelievable hardships for the prisoners who built the Thai-Burma railway. Despite it all, Jewish life flourished.

Before he died my father was interviewed by Yorkshire Television, and his diary has been incorporated into Martin Sugarman’s definitive collection of accounts of the experiences of WW2 Jewish POWs in the Far East. The diary and accompanying memorabilia are now held at the Imperial War Museum in London.


Much of Jackie’s work has been spent with children, including helping at Dr Barnardo’s home, Hebrew & Jewish studies teacher at Deborah Taylor nursery school, working in mainstream and special needs education, and acting as Independent Person for children in care in adjudication of complaints. While in mainstream, she specialised in teaching creative writing and was a member of a local authority panel encouraging writing in schools.

She spent 10 years teaching deaf children and developed a dedicated English curriculum for deaf children.  She also liaised with external examination boards with regard to special arrangements for deaf candidates and contributed to an advisory booklet on this subject. Her experience with the deaf enabled her to be an Expert Witness for a medico‑legal organisation with regard to deaf issues.

Outside education Jackie has varied experience including working as personal assistant to the director of a merchant bank, and managing a charity bookshop. She does regular synagogue and school visits. Her passion is foreign travel and learning about different cultures and traditions. Recently she has done extensive research on the life of POWs in the Far East and gives talks based on her father’s wartime diary.

Admission: Free

This event has been generously sponsored by Phillipa & Brian Bloom.