Russell Braddon

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Russell Braddon
Russell Braddon I.jpg
Russell Reading Braddon

(1921-01-25)25 January 1921
Died20 March 1995(1995-03-20) (aged 74)

Russell Reading Braddon (25 January 1921 – 20 March 1995) was an Australian writer of novels, biographies and TV scripts. His chronicle of his four years as a prisoner of war, The Naked Island, sold more than a million copies.

Braddon was born in Sydney, the son of a barrister. He served in the Malayan campaign during World War II. He was held as a prisoner of war by the Japanese in Pudu and Changi prisons and on the Thailand-Burma Railway between 1942 and 1945.[1][2] During this time he met Ronald Searle, whose Changi sketches illustrate The Naked Island.[3]

After the war, he went on to study law at University of Sydney. Nevertheless, he failed to obtain a law degree (he maintained that he had lost interest in the subject) and he abandoned undergraduate life in 1948.[4]

In 1949, Braddon moved to England after suffering a mental breakdown and followed by a suicide attempt. Doctors attributed this breakdown to his POW experiences, and urged him to take a year to recuperate. He described his writing career as "beginning by chance". The Naked Island, published in 1952, was one of the first accounts of a Japanese prisoner of war's experience.

Braddon went on to produce a wide range of works, including novels, biographies, histories, TV scripts and newspaper articles. In addition, he was a frequent broadcaster on British radio and television.[5] He died in 1995 at his home in Urunga, New South Wales, having returned to Australia two years before.[6]

Proud Australian Boy: A Biography of Russell Braddon by Nigel Starck was published in Australia in 2011.



  • Those in Peril (1954)
  • Out of the Storm (1956)
  • Gabriel Comes to 24 (1958)
  • The Proud American Boy (1960)
  • The Year of the Angry Rabbit (1964)
  • Committal Chamber (1966)
  • The Inseparables (1968)
  • When the Enemy Is Tired (1968)
  • Will You Walk a Little Faster? (1969)
  • Prelude and Fugue for Lovers (1971)
  • Progress of Private Lilyworth (1971)
  • End Play (1972)
  • The Thirteenth Trick (1973)
  • The Finalists (1977)
  • The Predator (1980)
  • Funnelweb (1990)


  • The Piddingtons (1950)
  • The Naked Island (1952)
  • Cheshire V.C: A Study of War and Peace (1954)
  • Woman in Arms: The Story of Nancy Wake (1956)
  • Nancy Wake: The Story of a Very Brave Woman (1956)
  • End of a Hate (1958)
  • Joan Sutherland (1962)
  • Roy Thomson of Fleet Street (Collins, 1965)
  • The Siege (1969)
  • Suez: The Splitting of a Nation (1973)
  • Hundred Days of Darien (1974)
  • All the Queen's Men (1977)
  • Japan Against the World (1983)
  • The Other Hundred Years War (1983)
  • Australia Fair? (1984)
  • Thomas Baines and the North Australian Expedition (1987)
  • Prisoners of War with Hugh Clarke and Colin Burgess (1988)



  1. ^ "Prophet of Doom – but a smiling one" by Julie Kusko, The Australian Women's Weekly, 7 July 1971, p7
  2. ^ "Fearless Man of Fighting Words", The Canberra Times, 28 March 1995, p9
  3. ^ "The Belles of St. Trinian's: Little Monsters All", The Sun-Herald, 14 February 1954, p22
  4. ^ "OBITUARIES Russell Braddon". The Independent. 29 March 1995.
  5. ^ IMDB – Russell Braddon (1921–1995)
  6. ^ "Russell Braddon, 74, Australian Author". The New York Times. 8 April 1995.

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