Mrs Pamela Towill

Pamela Towill aged 91 in 2017 went to India with his mother and sisters to join his father who was in Kolkata. They travelled in a convoy of ships after the Blitz in order to avoid World War II. On the way they were attacked several times but her ship managed to get through. Her father met her at the docks who she did not recognise as she had not seen him before She went to a boarding school, 'very religious, very strict' ran by missionaries. They travelled by train for four days with no air conditioning, and placed a block of ice inside the carriage to keep it cool.
They first went to Dehra Doon and 3 young soldiers came and said hello to her mother. They came later to their house 'for tea'. Mrs Towill remembered 'One of them who caught my eyes was Bill', her future husband. But the girls were packed off to another school in Simla and sadly she had to say goodbye to him. 'Being a Christian I prayed that I would meet him again and I did. In kolkata'. ‘I was offered a job decoding military codes with South East Asia Command in a special building where we were not allowed to come out. It was highly secret. I decoded that the atomic bomb was going to go off in one week. Which it did and I couldn’t tell a soul. I was delighted because I thought the war would end and I could start living my life again’.
She met her husband-to-be again in Kolkata on his way to Burma (Myanmar).

To those who have already taken the time to share their stories, we express immense gratitude, both personally and on behalf of future generations. Thank you very much for preserving our heritage. All stories from 1947, from all ethnic, religious and economic groups are important to us. We document not only Partition, but pre-Partition life and culture as well as post-Partition migrations and life changes.

How to share a story

If you would like to be interviewed, or have us interview a friend or relative, sign up using the "Share" link below and we will match you with a volunteer.

To learn more about the types of questions we ask during the interview and the entire interview process, please visit these pages:
The questions
The interview process