English Pointer Judy was the mascot on board HMS Grasshopper during the escape from Singapore when the Japanese invaded in 1942. When the ship was attacked and sunk by enemy planes, she and her fellow crew members swam to safety on a nearby island.
After two days without food or water, the crew were becoming desperate when Judy began digging in the sand and unearthed a fresh water spring. But this was only the beginning of her remarkable story.
Most prisoners were subjected to repeated beatings - including Judy who was attacked with rifle butts whenever she tried to defend her shipmates. While incarcerated in the Medan camp, Leading Aircraftman Frank Williams shared his rations with Judy and the pair became inseparable.
In June 1944 the POWs, and Judy who’d been smuggled on board in a sack, were transferred to Singapore aboard the SS Van Warwyck. When the ship was sunk in an air strike, only 200 hundred out of an estimated 700 prisoners survived, including Judy who saved the lives of those who couldn’t swim by pushing driftwood towards them. Rescued by a nearby Japanese tanker, the Japanese soldiers intended to kill Judy as soon as they reached land.