Lt Dann Photo From His National Identity Card (Circa 1946)

Lt Dann photo circa 1946

Photo of Lt Dann from his National Identity Card (1946)

This photo was kindly scanned by Lt Dann’s grand daughter, Sabrina, and a copy sent to the Bettany family for inclusion on this site.

Alec Maurice Dann, known as Lt Dann, features in much of Des Bettany’s artwork.

 Lt Dann was born in South London on 10th June 1913, and served with the 118th Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery, enlisting in the army at the start of the war.

Lt Dann died in 1993 just before his 80th birthday.  Like most ex POWs, Lt Dann didn’t divulge much of his war experience to his family, although his family understand that he acted as one of the ‘camp policemen’ at Changi, and that would fit with some of Des Bettany’s cartoons of him.

 He was in Changi POW camp from the fall of Singapore until May 1943, when he left to take a working party for the railway to the Siam Road POW Camp.  He returned to Changi a 6 months  later when he was sent back in charge of men suffering with dysentery.

One of the few stories he did share with his family was that at the end of the war when the allied troops dropped bags of sugar and food, Lt Dann was one of the men who found it and rationed it out, because some men who had found the bags had eaten so much that it killed them- it was such a shock to their bodies after so little food for so long.

Who knows what connection Des Bettany had with Lt Dann, as he features in a number of his artwork? Perhaps he was one of the officers attached to Des Bettany’s artillery battery; or maybe Des Bettany, as a 22 year old appreciated Lt Dann’s securing role as ‘camp policeman’, but this is pure speculation.”

Source: The Bettany Family wish to thank Sabrina Smith (nee Dann),  Lt Dann’s grand daughter for supplying the above information.