Notes on Through the Valley of the Shadow

Early days in Scotland. Describe the Tillicoultry area – conversion – the assembly – dad’s death – war clouds on the horizon.

Royal Army Medical Corps. Scotland – England – Wales. Experiences in South Africa – India.

Singapore – Final days before capitulation. Queen of the Far East. Arrival, fighting, ambulance episode, snake incident. Water cut-off. This brought us to our knees. Slaughter of civilians – prisoner of war.

Executuion of all prisoners – confiscation of all medical supplies. Food change and shortage. Give rations here. The conditions in Changi were tolerable – overcrowding, hunger and disease were the enemy. Mosquitoes, malaria, Dengue fever, bed bugs and lice. With all of this there came a decided change in mens’ nature. During this time we found some other Christians and met with them regularly. The Japs were becoming more aggressive and abusive beatings regularly. Anglo-Indians shot – selerang incident. Over 10,000 men in a fenced in area 300x200 feet. Describe. Vitaminosis – happy feet, burning pain. Captain Sherridan.

Journey into the unknown (see no. 1). Human heads on the railing – thousands of Chinese and Malaysians massacred.

Capsule of death. 35 men in a small box car – on to Bangkok. An end to the screaming, endless road, agonizing march. Agonizing and torturous forced march for 14 nights into the hostile jungles of Thailand – mud, toes, swollen legs. Death riddled camps.

Arrival in Tonshun South. Runway of death. Every tie cost a human life. The cost (inevitable), the suffering, tropical ulcers, falling and pulling of trees to the bridges, slave work was murderous. Drained physically, mentally and emotionally.

Many who were working could hardly walk, they were skeletons – it was criminal. “I know Jesus” – the Gospel meetings. Monsoons, sleep, human tragedies, blind, deaf, loss of coordination, mental derangement, miserable, scurvy wrecks of humanity.

The Camp of Death. Cholera: an evil sickness. Cholera is an unpitying killer, in the process of killing it torments body and mind. This torment plus Japanese cruelty was in most cases beyond the limits of endurance of these living skeletons. We lived in Death Row with little hope of reprieve. 20-40 deaths a day, 17 days to live, communal graves.

O the tragedy in those moonless nights as one after another of these human wrecks painfully passed into eternity.

Dysentery. Painful, debilitating, humiliating, exhausting. Men got so exhausted and worn out by pain that they just lay down helplessly in the vicinity of the over-crowded latrines. They were too weak to move. Here were young men, the cream of British youth, who few months before were tall and straight, not their same bodies are bent and curved, covered with tropical ulcers, bandaged in a crude way scraps of old army uniforms. The greenish yellow discharge leaking out of the sides was a haven for multitudinous flies. These same flies would land on our food. The smell from the puss was almost unbearable. The Spatula – maggots, transfusions.

Despite our hard efforts, the deadly diseases of Cholera and Dysentery, kept on relentlessly draining, dragging, and squeezing the life from thin, worn, emaciated bodies.

While this dreadful suffering was going on in the isolation of the hospital compound it was as bad on the Railway. Men were tortured for the slightest infraction a man would be tied to a tree and beaten with thorn-branches, then left out in the open for hours bleeding and naked exposed to the burning heat of the tropical sun, to mosquitoes, ants, and flies. These victims shaking with fear, their backs stripped raw were carried back to the camp and after a few days forced back to work. Death stared us in the face constantly – we were doomed to die – The Chinese incident. A hedge around.

Liberation – coming from the Navy R.A.F. – raising the flag – the bugle and bagpipes.

Arrival home – home at last – mother’s prayers – the power of prayer.

Appeal to each one, saved and unsaved, to trust this wonderful Savior, and for believers to give themselves unreservedly to Christ.

“When I survey the wondrous cross,” etc.

The master was here and I refused him the key. Holamn Hunts picture, “Jesus, the Light of the World.”

The Shout – the Voice – the last trumpet. Those in Christ in the communal graves will hear and respond.


Dear Kevin:

It is a beautiful morning and I am sitting on the balcony writing this little note. Our thoughts are constantly flying over the miles to you all. We often wish we were closer to you so that we could drop in, or you could come and see us. We hope you are having a good summer. Are you going to any Christian camps? If you are, have a good time and pay attention to the scriptural lesson. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I wish I was closer to you to help you in this.

Gran and I are thrilled at your academic skills. Kevin, God has been good to you in giving you such a sharp mind. This was not accidental. God has a purpose and a plan for your precious young life. He has given you the talents and He expects you to develop these gifts and use them for His glory.

This is a subtle world in which you live. Satan often appears to a fine young man like you, as an angel of light. His motives are not good, he has only one purpose in view, to draw you away from the Lord. The world is also a vicious place. Satan, who knows his time is short, is appearing in his true character as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Many a good young man has been ruined by him. Tangle up your young life in the Word and in prayer. James, in his epistle, writes, “Submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

We so enjoyed your visit in May. Sorry I was in the Bahamas, but the few days I had with Mom and you were special. You must do it again.

Now Kevy, I must close, but always remember to, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all other things will be added unto you.” Put God first in you life. May God bless you and keep you for Himself.

Your loving and proud grandparents,

Papa & Gran

Dear Dan:

I have felt for sometime that I should write you a little note. We love to hear of how you are doing, from Mom and Dad. It seems that apart from your academic studies, you are a busy Youngman. It is good to be busy, for Satan will find work for idle hands to do. We wish we were nearer you all so that you could drop in to see us. When we were young we had this privilege. Our grandparents lived in the same little town and we visited them regularly. It was great fun to get a cookie and a drink of juice. Wish you all could do this with us.

How did you like your trip and stay in the University? It would be an interesting experience. Are you going through as a vet? It is a wonderful profession and so much can be dine to help sick animals.

Another thing, Dan, which is all-important is your spiritual life. When you were a little boy you made a profession of faith in Christ. We were all thrilled when you told us, because we feel that this is the greatest decision a person can make. The benefits of this decision are felt in time and they also last for eternity.

Dan, the time has come in your life for you to take a stand for Christ. Set aside time each day for Bible study; do this on your own. Memorize the Word, and obey the Lord’s commands as He reveals them to you. Become involved in some Christian activity. Spend time in prayer each day. For us, this is a precious time, and believe me, when I say that God answers prayer.

The next time we visit Coppell we should spend some time together. There are some important topics to discuss. Hope you have a good summer. Gran and I love you and wish only the best for you.

Your loving Papa and Gran


The next year will be a critical one for you. Your final year of High School can make or break you. You must make a special effort to learn all you can. The world you will enter in college and then the business world is fiercely competitive, only the fittest survive. Therefore, I urge you to get your priorities straight, concentrate on the absolute essentials. This will mean sacrifice, some things will have to go. Remember, you only pass this way once, snatch the opportunities with both hands. God for it, and the Lord be with you.


I have felt for sometime that I should send you a little note. We hear from Dad and Mom of how you are doing and we are happy. You seem to be getting tall, but I am doing some stretching exercises, so you will have to go some to catch up with me. We are also glad to hear that you are doing well at school. We all know that as we graduate from one grade to the next the more difficult the lessons become. But remember you only pass this way once in your life, and if you do not take a firm grip opportunity with both hands, you will live to regret it. We meet people all the time who admit, with regret, that they were foolish when they were young. They got taken up with non-essentials and lost out. Consequently, they just could not compete in the real world and had to settle for second best. So please Andrew, when school starts apply yourself to aquire all the knowledge you can, and let everything go that would hinder you in this noble task.

Then there is the spiritual side of your life. Some years ago you professed to have accepted Christ as your Savior and you followed this profession by obeying the Lord in baptism. Gran and I were thrilled at the stand you took. We believe this to be the most important decision in anyone’s life. This was a good beginning. But when a gardener plants a tree, he expects it to grow and bear fruit. Ask yourself the question, what fruit am I bearing for the Lord? In order to bear the fruit God want you to bear for Him, there are a few things you should do. (1) You should read a portion of Scripture everyday, (this apart from what you hear from Dad and Mom at the family altar). Then think about it, determine its meaning, and apply it to your life. (2) You should pray constantly, asking the Lord to help you glorify Him in your life. You should commit to Him every detail of your life. Ask His help with your lessons at school, pray to Him to keep you from all evil and deliver you from all temptations. As a young teenager you will be faced with many temptations and you need to be fortified by prayer. (3) Become involved in some activity at your church.

The next visit we have to Coppell I would like to have a long talk with you. Dear Andrew, we love you and we pray for you constantly. Gran and I want the best for you. May God bless you son, and as you advance in academic things may you mature in spiritual things also for this is well pleasing to God.

Your loving Papa and Gran.

P.S. Here are two verses I want you to memorize. They will help you over some rough spots. “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105 “Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11