John Willis (OE 1965) is one of the schools most notable former pupils – in a long career in television he was a documentary film-maker and was Director of Programmes at Channel Four and Director of Factual and Learning at the BBC; he has latterly served as Chair of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and has taken to writing history books.
Willis’ latest book was published on 2nd August 2022 entitled Nagasaki: The Forgotten Prisoners. It tells the story of the Allied Prisoners of War who were in Nagasaki in August 1945, working as forced labourers in the city’s shipyards and foundries when the Americans dropped the world’s most powerful atomic bomb, which killed more than 70,000 Japanese.
“These men, from the Dales of Yorkshire and the dusty outback of Australia, from the fields of Holland and the remote towns of Texas, had already endured an extraordinary lottery of life and death that had changed their lives forever. After living through nearly four years of malnutrition, disease, and harsh labour, their prison home was now the target of America’s second atomic bomb.”
The book is published by Mensch Publishing and follows on from John’s previous books Churchill’s Few and Secret Letters.