Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Agnes Keith married a member of the British Foreign Service, Harry Keith, in the early '30's. She moved with him to Borneo. They had a son in 1940 just as the war started. They were scheduled for leave in Britain and Harry was ordered back to Borneo. Agnes went with him. When Japan entered the war, Borneo was occupied by the Japanese, civilians were interned. The Keith family spent the next three and a half years in what amounted to prison camps. The family survived, barely. She chronicled the story Three Came home. This is the intro to her book.

"I have written this book for three reasons"

For horror of war, I want others to shudder with at it.

For affection for my husband. When war nearly killed me, knowledge of our love kept me alive.

And for a reminder to my son, I fought one war for him in prison camp. He survives because of me. He belongs now to peace. I remind him that is better to give more and to have less - and to keep the peace - than to fight.

The Japanese in this book are as war made them, not as God did, and the same is true of the rest of us. We are not pleasant people here, for the story of war is always the story of hate; it makes no difference with whom one fights. The hate destroys you spiritualy as the fighting destroys you bodily.

If there are tearrs shed here, they are for the death of good feeing If there is horror, it for those who speak indifferently of 'the next war.' If there is hate, it is for hateful qualities, nor nations. If there is love, it is because this alone kept me alive and sane."

Agnes Newton Keith

Her words still ring true today as the war drums begin to beat again.

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