Book Preview

Lost at Sea

Found at Fukushima

(7 customer reviews)
Authors: Andy Millar

Buy E-books

On a calm, tropical afternoon in the South Atlantic Ocean in April 1942, a British tramp steamer, the SS Willesden, was shelled, torpedoed and sunk by a German raider, the KMS Thor. The Willesden was carrying 47 officers and crew, and a cargo of vital war supplies destined for Britain’s 8th Army in North Africa. Five of Willesden’s crew were killed in the attack. Among the survivors was Second Mate David Millar, who – along with his crewmen – was rescued by the Germans and interned on a succession of prison ships, before being handed over to the Japanese. Badly wounded, David spent the rest of the war as a POW in a camp at Fukushima, north of Tokyo.

Lost at Sea tells the little-known story of the 130 survivors, remarkably listed “Missing at Sea” for months and in some cases years. It is a tale of honour between enemy naval commanders; of suffering, courage and endurance, as months of imprisonment turned to years; and of the powerful relationships that form when people are forced together in life-threatening circumstances.

What people are saying

“difficult to put down!, The individual journeys, all starting so differently and finally converjing at Fukushima is so well written that everyone can enjoy this book. Factual and precise, yet very personal and intuitive. Loved every page, and was a little sad when i finished. A book I wholeheartedly recommend.”

Andy Millar

Andy Millar

Andy Millar is a retired Navy Commander, having served 26 years in the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) and 14 years in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The David Millar who features in Lostat Sea was his father. Andy was born in the UK in 1939. His family emigrated to New Zealand after World War […]

Read More

7 reviews for Lost at Sea

  1. Andy Millar has produced a superb action packed book, well researched as a splendid tribute to his Father who was a quiet steadfast inspiration to us inmatesl. This book is an anthem to the many unsung brave heroes, of the merchant navy that faced death every day they put to sea , to keep the lifelines and arteries of the Allied war effort going as well as the women and children swept up in the maelstrom of war. Well done! Anyone with a love of history will find it a real ‘voyage of discovery’! Michael Charnaud, Interred at Fukushima with his mother – he was 11years old.

  2. I have read your book ‘1157’ and I could not admire the story or your authorship more: it is an amazing story and compellingly written. How proud you and your family must be to have the story published,so important for future generations. Your Dad was a remarkable man – what a war and what resilience and strength of mind he showed in such adversity.It is always curious to me that people who have been through traumatic situations rarely talk about their experiences but often have something written down or photographs to be found after their lifetime by family members. Ideally, the trick is to write your story before you fall off the perch if possible! Also, to talk about your story to your family, but that is easier said than done. But you have done it for your Dad and that is wonderful. Captain David Hart-Dyke RN (Rtd) CO of HMS Coventry in the Falklands War and the author of ‘Four Weeks in May’, the story of the loss of HMS Coventry in 1982.

  3. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, This review is from: Lost At Sea, found at Fukushima (Kindle Edition) The author has really brought to life for us what it felt like to be a merchant seaman in World War 2, sunk twice by U-boats, almost drowned, rescued by the German armed raider that sunk his own ship, and interned in a Japanese POW camp for 2-3 years. It happened to his father, who never spoke about it throughout a long life, and his story was only unearthed after he died. Meticulous research tells us everything we could possibly want to know about the ships, the places and the people in this dramatic story.Millar’s enthusiasm for his subjects and his justified admiration for his father who survived these experiences shines through to create a rattling good read.

  4. review is from: Lost At Sea, found at Fukushima (Kindle Edition) As Andrew Millar’s Brother-in-Law, several years ago I was privileged to read his first draft of this book, then, as an interested bystander, to observe its development into an entertaining factual story. More than that, I have been astonished at the wealth of corroborating detail his research has unearthed after so long without detracting from the exciting story line. His career as a Naval Officer has given him an insight into the horror of attack and destruction at sea and I found myself emotionally involved in the experiences of the innocent mariners women and children involved.

  5. difficult to put down!, The individual journeys, all starting so differently and finally converjing at Fukushima is so well written that everyone can enjoy this book. Factual and precise, yet very personal and intuitive. Loved every page, and was a little sad when i finished. A book I wholeheartedly recommend.

  6. I live in Fukushima and lived for 30 years in the convent that was the internment camp., February 11, 2012 By Maureen Lamarche “Sakura” (Japan) – See all my reviews Yes, I lived and still live in Fukushima. Andy and I have been in touch over the past few years as he worked on producing this marvellous and pretty much unknown story. Even in Fukushima, many people did not know about the history of the convent until we had to demolish it after the earthquake last year. I was intrigued by the title as last year no one would have known where Fukushima is. We are now infamous. I am grateful to Andy for this historical masterpiece and only sorry he was not able to come to Fukushima himself to visit the convent before its demolition. Many relatives and friends as well as former POW’s have come over the past 30 years and are still always welcome. The new convent as of 10 years ago, is very near where the old one was. It is beside the Sakura no Seibo Elementary and Junior College School grounds. Thanks Andy and congratulations. Sr. Maureen Lamarche, CND Fukushima, Japan

  7. This book by Andy Millar is the most intensely satisfying book I have read in many a long year. To encapsulate it in a few words is impossible, for it brings out many emotions for equally as many reasons. Basically, I suppose, one would consider it a war book – one of probably thousands which tell various aspects of World War II. Andy Millar’s father was a seaman on a merchant ship which was attacked and sunk by a German raider. Millar then swings the story from side to side, relating the experiences of the war at sea from the viewpoints of both the German raider’s captain as well as the sailors on the British steamers sunk by the raider. Millar follows the survivors to a convent in Japan, converted to serve as a concentration camp, where they are held for several years. Sounds a simple story, doesn’t it? But it’s so much more. It tells of human endurance under harsh treatment by brutal overseers. It shows that, with firm and understanding leadership, a community under extreme provocation can hold together steadfastly. The stories of how individuals act, react, shine, falter, despair, celebrate and, finally, triumph, lifts the book above most other wartime books I have read. Millar also takes the trouble to conclude the book properly. He finds out what happened to the principal players after their release from the concentration camp and their return to civilian life. I found it fascinating that while some were able to put their experiences behind them, others were given to a restlessness that was to haunt them for the rest of their lives. A great read!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Lost at Sea $24.99
  • No products in cart.