Dr Orde Poynton (1906–2001) is known at the University of Melbourne as one of the Baillieu Library’s most generous donors. Though he is best remembered now through the collec- tions of prints, rare books and paintings, the Poynton collec- tions includes one small reminder of earlier years. He was a pathologist at the Institute for Medical Research, Kuala Lumpur and with the British Army at the fall of Singapore. There followed three and a half years as a POW. He arrived in Perth courtesy of the Red Cross in poor health from years of incarceration, with a tiny pocket diary.
Head and shoulders portrait of Poynton by Ivor Hele, c 1950.
Collins Century Diary for 1942 kept by Poynton in Changi prisoner of war camp, 1942–1943, containing brief but very frank comments about the behaviour of the Allies as well as his captors. It is opened at entries for late February–early March 1942.