Jack of Hearts: QX11594
by Jackie Huggins and Ngaire Jarro
Published by Magabala Books
RRP $27.99 in paperback
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Sisters Jackie Huggins and Ngaire Jarro have teamed up to write the story of their father, indigenous man Jack Huggins, who served in the Australian army in World War II, becoming a prisoner of war of the Japanese with the fall of Singapore.
He spent much of the war working on the notorious Burma-Thailand railway, a place his daughters were later to visit in memory of their father.
Born an only child in North Queensland, Jack Huggins had an idyllic childhood in Ayr, where his family somehow escaped the harsh Queensland government treatment of First Nations’ peoples. His father was in the army in World War I and Jack followed in his footsteps into World War II.
What follows is the story of man whose life was tragically cut short by the after effects of the treatment he received as a prisoner of war. He was only 38 when he died, leaving a void in the life of his family that was difficult to fill.
His daughters have produced an affectionate portrait of their father, whose presence in their lives they continue to feel long after his death.