Jack Wood Collection
In 2017, Back to Front were honoured to be asked to digitise an incredible series of artefacts salvaged from a WW2 Japanese POW camp.
The artefacts were secretly compiled by Sgt. Jack Milnes Wood, R.A.M.C., Nr. 7519134, during his four year internment at Changi camp, Singapore, from 1941 – 1945. Eventually, Jack brought the collection back to England, storing them discreetly in his family’s loft, keeping his experiences in the Far East a secret. After his death in 1978 the collection was stumbled upon by his children who quickly decided that they had to share their discovery with the world. The family restored the collection in chronological order and compiled them into 5 leather bound books.
The books contain almost 300 items – illustrations, manuscripts, magazines, poems, musical scores, production programmes, and diary entries. A number are decorated by renowned artists such as Ronald Searle. They tell a story of kinship, compassion and co-existence through art, theatre and literature – survival, heartbreak and the power of creativity and humanity over the adversity of war.
The Back to Front team managed the entire project – photographing the books, transcribing and editing all of the items, branding, designing and developing the online archive, and creating bespoke content for the custom website.