10/09/2018 by 

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This model of a 15th Century Dutch Admiralty Yacht was made by Ivor Hugh Roberts when he was only 17 years old. It was donated to the museum by Ivor’s father in the 1960s.

Ivor was born in Hornsey in 1914, the only child of Hugh and Florence Roberts. From around 1925 the family were living in Lion Lane, Billericay, and in that year Ivor was awarded a Great Burstead Foundation Grant which allowed him to attend a grammar school.

Ivor started his military service in 1941 in the 18th Division of the Royal Corps of Signals and this service took him to the South-East Asian theatre of war.

Soon after his arrival Ivor was captured by the Japanese forces. He was sent to Kami-Songkurai Camp, one of the more remote Prisoner of War Camps, on the border between Thailand and Burma (now Myanmar.) The prisoner’s task was to build the infamous Thailand-Burma Railway, nicknamed the Death Railway.

Ivor Roberts died on the 20th August 1943 of Diphtheria, he was one of approximately 102,000 who died in the 17 months it took to build the railway. Ivor is buried in the Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery in Myanmar.

If you have any information about Ivor Roberts please contact the museum