Billy Young was a boy of fifteen when he joined the AIF in 1941. He was an orphan – hungry, broke, with nowhere to sleep – and the army offered him a feed, a blanket and five shillings a day.
Then the army sent him to Malaya where he became a POW when Singapore fell to the Japanese. 'Billy the Kid' spent his remaining teenage years in Japanese prisons: he escaped from the notorious Sandakan and spent time in solitary in the barbaric Outram.
Billy survived by a combination of luck, larrikin humour and cunning, learned as a market boy growing up in Sydney during the Depression. He has lasted into old age by virtue of his extraordinary spirit.
A powerful account of one of the youngest-ever prisoners of war, by award-winning author Anthony Hill.