POW Menu drawn by GM North (ON 1918-24)


Dublin Core


POW Menu drawn by GM North (ON 1918-24)


G.M. North. 2nd World War


Geoffrey Machin North entered the school in 1918 and joined the school OTC in 1922. Good at drawing while at school he left to work for Boden &Co., Lace and Net Manufacturers, raising from clerk to Assistant Manager by the outbreak of World War Two. He was a regular member of the Forest Amateurs Cricket Club and played for the Notts 1st XV Rugby team. In 1939 he enlisted in the Army joining the Royal Artillery as a Gunner. He was posted to the Far East in 1941 but was captured by the Japanese in Java. Landing up at a POW Camp in Borneo, Geoff met Arnold Marchmont (Previously Maschmeyer) a Captain in the R.A.O.C. who had left the High School 8 years before he had joined it. Geoffrey North became the Camp’s Head Gardener supplementing the meagre rations with fresh vegetables. On 3rd May , 5 years after the War had commenced and on Marchmont’s 5oth birthday, Geoff designed a dinner menu for possibly the most poignant ON’s Reunion Dinner.
Marchmont died the following May three months before Japanese surrender, but North survived the war and went on to set up two frozen food companies helping to launch the frozen food industry in post-war Britain.

Testamonial of Lt.Col T C Whimster.
Commanding Officer. British Army.
Kuching POW Camp Borneo. September 1945.

“The physical and mental condition of the officers and men under Japanese administration deteriorated to an almost incredible extent, many deaths occurring. This state was entirely and only due to starvation. It was in these circumstances that Mr North undertook to produce as much food as possible from the area available in the camp.
It should not be hard to imagine the tact necessary and the careful organising required to ensure constant supplies of food aided only by persons incapable of only but the lightest and shortest periods of labour. It was vital to produce food and the difficulty was to obtain this food by hard manual labour under tropical conditions of heat and poor and unsuitable ground, whilst suffering from lack of the food essential to give the necessary energy required.
It is due to Mr North’s efforts, perseverance and leadership that the lives of officers and men, including my own, under my command have been saved, for without his unfailing good nature, cheerfulness under difficulties, adaptability and planning capabilities, we should undoubtedly (have) starved, as was the case in some other camps.
I would thank Mr North for all his work and recommend (him) in the highest possible way as an organizer and as a loyal, hard fighter of difficulties, however great.”




The Menu and related documents are held byThe Imperial War Museum. All rights held by them and Sir Peter North, son of GM North. Reproduced for the exhibition with their permission.