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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Happy 103rd Birthday to Jack Ransom - Survivor of the River Kwai

Kenneth pictured with Jack Ransom

Today, with Patricia Gibson MP, I was delighted to attend the birthday party of Jack Ransom who is 103 today.

Jack, a resident of Largs, was born in Peckham and is known locally as the "Scottish Cockney".

He served in the British Army in the Second World War and aged only 21 was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore in 1942. Jack survived the horrific conditions of the Burma Railway at the River Kwai until liberation in 1945.

Indeed, Jack may be the oldest remaining British survivor. Over 13,000 allied prisoners of war and up to 100,000 civilians died building the railway.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jack was unable to celebrate his 100th birthday as planned and, therefore was determined to celebrate this special occasion. Cumbrae Court was packed and Jack was in fine fettle, talking emotionally and very amusingly about his early life and his return to the Kwai in 2009, the place where he lost so many comrades.

Jack was very pleased to have received a letter from First Minister Humza Yousaf MSP wishing him a happy birthday.

I look forward to his 104th.


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