Born in 1918, Harold Atcherley served in the army throughout the war. He had the misfortune to land in Singapore with the 5th British Infantry Division in January 1942 and became a prisoner of the Japanese shortly afterwards when the surrender of the island to the Japanese.
The War diary which he kept during his three and a half years in captivity records his experiences in Changi Prisoner of War Camp and hard labour on the construction of the Burma Thailand Railway. He returned home at the end of the war in 1945 and resumed his career with the Royal Dutch Shell Group the following year.
He married Anita Leslie, with whom he had three children, and was posted to the Middle East in 1946. Some four years later he went to South America.
He returned to work in England in 1960 and retired from the oil industry in 1970. For the next thirty years he served in a voluntary capacity as chairman of a number of government advisory groups, in recognition of which he was awarded a knighthood in 1977. He was also chairman of several charitable organisations including Toynbee Hall and the Aldborough Foundation.
For the last 23 years he has lived in Suffolk with wife Sarah, finally retiring at the age of 80.