I was just 20 years old when I was shipped out from Gourock on the Empress of Japan, believe it or not.
It was before Japan had joined the war, and the ship's name was change to the Empress of Britain soon after.
We were taken to Indian at first and then Malaya. The war hadn't reached us yet. It was like Butlins - young lads, lying in the sun with nothing to do for months, until the Pacific war began in December 1941.
I was a motorbike despatch rider with the 11th Indian Division. I was carrying a message from HQ to a gun position when two fighters swooped from behind at on a truck convoy on the road ahead.
With the bike engine roaring at 45 mph I couldn't hear them coming, otherwise I would have gone off the road into the cover of the trees.
The blast from the first bomb sent me into the air. My bike was crushed and my right leg shattered against the truck.
As I lay on the road shrapnel from a second bomb hit my left. I had been the only one hit.
The Aussie troops from the convoy took me to Jahore Hospital, but it was being evacuated. With blood pouring from my legs I was taken in. The nurse was clean and white, and I apologised for being such a mess.
She said, "don't worry" and injected me with a needle. I remember nothing else until I woke the next morning with one leg in plaster, the other in a cradle. There wasn't a soul to be seen.
I was moved to Alexandra military hospital in Singapore - that's where the nightmare began.
I was there during the British capitulation on February 15 1942. I was helpless in stretcher in the corridor when the first Japanese troops entered the hospital.
It was barbaric. They bayoneted surgeons and wounded men alike. There was no rhyme or reason to it. They took watches and rings from patients and went on their way.
A second lot of troops arrived and started killing again, they overturned beds, thinking we'd hidden valuables under mattresses. There was no way to communicate.
It went on for two nights. I would lie awake with the screaming echoing along the corridors.
A hospital is meant to be a place of sanctuary, but the red cross on the outside meant nothing to them.
It was simply the lucky of the draw that I survived. I recovered in hospital at the Changi prison camp over the next six months.
When I was fit I was taken to a labour camp at the River Kwai in Thailand. It was hell. We worked on construction of the Japan's railway towards Burma.
I was in a camp of 2000 men clearing virgin jungle. Elephants pulled down trees, while we laid sleepers and track.
I ate rice rations for three-and-a-half years. A mug of rice porridge, with a teaspoon of sugar, for energy in the morning. Plain rice with leaves for lunch, and rice with a mug of stew at night.
We all had vitamin deficiency, tropical ulcers and many died of malaria, cholera and other diseases. I had amoebic dysentery while I was burying others who died of the same thing.
If you were too ill too work you laid in a hut all day with your rations halved. You either got better or died.
We worked wearing just cloth pants and a hat. Some had the last tatters of their shirt to keep the sun off their shoulders.
On the day the last spike was hammered in the Japanese somehow produced clean uniforms to dress the workers. They were taken right after the ceremony.
I went back to Changi until Japan surrendered on August 15 1945. I survived. I was a lucky one.