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A powerful account of one of the youngest-ever prisoners of war, by award-winning author Anthony Hill.

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.
Praise for The Story of Billy Young

'Hill writes beautifully . . . and the story, brutal in parts as it is, should never be lost.' Daily Telegraph

'A fascinating and historically significant read – one that deserves widespread acclaim.' Burnie Advocate

'The Story of Billy Young will bring tears to the eyes of many readers . . . an important first-hand account of a painful chapter in Australian history.' Ballarat Courier

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780143569138

    July 23, 2014

    Penguin

    448 pages

    RRP $22.99

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  • EBook

    9781742536224

    July 25, 2012

    Penguin eBooks

    384 pages

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