Margaret Dryburgh was born in Sunderland in 1890 and spent
her early school years at Swalwell school during the time
that her father was a Presbyterian minister in the Village.
She subsequently went on to gain her B.A. and following a
period of teaching at Swalwell School, she became a
Presbyterian missionary working in China and Singapore.
Whilst principal of a school in Singapore during the war
years, she was captured by the Japanese and interred at the
infamous Bangka Island POW camp. She died in April 1945 at
a POW camp in Lubbuk Linggau after becoming ill on the
transfer journey from Bangka Island. She is now buried in a
Dutch war cemetery in Semarang, Central Java. (Her grave is
located in Plot V Row III No. 194). Records of her death
the Commonwealth War Graves Commission are shown below.
Dryburgh is the author of "The Captive's Hymn" which was sung daily
in the POW camp. Not only was she a missionary but a warm and
considerate person who was greatly instrumental in keeping up the
spirits of the internees with special poems and drawings on their
birthdays, and many other random acts of cheer and kindness.
original score to the hymn
The Captive's Hymn
would lift our prayer to Thee;
Keep us ever in Thy love,
Grant that daily we may prove
Those who place their trust in Thee
More than conquerors may be.
patience to endure,
Keep our hearts serene and pure;
Grant us courage, charity,
Greater faith, humility,
Readiness to won Thy will,
Be we free or captive still.
country we would pray,
In this hour be Thou her stay;
Pride and selfishness forgive,
Teach her by Thy law to live;
By Thy grace may all men see
That true greatness comes from Thee.
loved ones we would pray.
In this hour be thou her stay;
From all dangers keep them free,
Banish all anxiety;
May they trust us to Thy care,
Know that Thou our pains doth share.
day of freedom dawn,
Peace and Justice be reborn;
Grant that nations loving Thee
O'er the world may brothers be,
Cleansed by suffering, know rebirth,
See Thy Kingdom come on earth.
The day of
freedom never did dawn for Margaret Dryburgh.
records of the death of Margaret Dryburgh are posted with the kind
approval of the Commonwealth War
Margaret Dryburgh's final resting place.
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