Labuan 1947: The Recollections of Robert Knowles


Labuan 1947: The Recollections of Robert Knowles RM108.00

This book is based on a manuscript presented to the Sabah Museum in 1995, almost fifty years after the events, written by the late Robert Knowles recording his recollections and experiences, after arriving with his wife and two young children, on the island of Labuan, British North Borneo, in July 1947. Knowles, who had previously served in Colonial East Africa, joined the Government Service of British North Borneo as a Customs Officer and Labuan was his first posting. The Japanese Armed Forces had occupied Labuan and all British and Dutch Borneo in early 1942 and remained there until driven back by the Allies in 1945. In 1947 Labuan, like the rest of North Borneo, was still reeling from the deprivations of the occupation and the destruction of infrastructure caused by the Allied counter offensive. Knowles gives a vivid account of the difficulties he experienced carrying out his duties while at the same time providing for the needs of his two children after his wife had to be sent to Singapore for protracted medical treatment. Knowles, a keen amateur photographer, recorded some of the existing infrastructure and the improvements that were being made, particularly the development of the military airstrip at Labuan to serve as the international airport for North Borneo, Brunei and Sarawak for the next decade. The book is illustrated with 67 photographs taken by Knowles.

Additional information

Weight 0.7 kg
Dimensions 10 × 7 × 0.6 in



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