Margaret Dryburgh



Margaret Dryburgh

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 held by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission are shown below.


Margaret 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.

Captives Hymn Score

The original score to the hymn

The Captive's Hymn

Father, in captivity
We 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.

Give us 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.

For our 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.

For our 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.

May the 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.

The following records of the death of Margaret Dryburgh are posted with the kind approval of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Margaret Dryburgh Death Record

Margaret Dryburgh Memorial



Margaret Dryburgh's final resting place.







Copyright 2001-2013 David Newton