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Data Recovery Coventry

Sainfoin’s War
By W.J. Mitchell and Colin Buckenham


Photographs of the rescue of the crew, patents and passengers on board the Hospital Ship Takliwa

The photographs on the following two pages are not to a standard that most readers would be used to. During the time period that the rescue took place it was not allowed for crew members to keep notes of any events let alone own a camera and take photographs of the same.

However shortly before the incident involving the S.S. Takliwa, one of Sainfoin's crew members confiscated a camera, complete with some un-exposed film, from a Japanese Officer, who was being held as a prisoner of war. During the rescue operation he used this equipment to capture, to the best of his ability in the circumstances, a photographic record of the events. The results were unearthed almost 50 years later in the form of several photographs the same size as 35mm negatives. Some, because of either the poor exposure of the film i.e. out of focus or over-exposed or the poor condition of the prints themselves, were not suitable to be included in this book. The others, which are included here, were reprocessed by computer to the highest quality which was achievable. They are included because they give a unique insight to the operation to save the lives of all who were aboard the S.S. Takliwa during this incredable rescue mission. You are privileged not just to see photographs of this operation, but rather to see the only photographs of this operation. If it ever becomes possible to enhance the remaining photographs beyond the 'blur' that they are at the moment, then they too will be included in this publication.

H.M.S. Sainfoin approaching S.S. Takliwa, aground and on fire off South Nicobar Island

S.S. Takliwa well aground. Already a total loss

S.S. Takliwa, aground and on fire. Note the davits where some of the lifeboats got away. They made it ashore but were smashed on the coral reef. The survivors were rescued the next day by Royal Marines from H.M.S. Sainfoin

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