Alma Kent was a Sergeant with the Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Corps in 1939, and later served in the 14th Army Nursing Corps in Burma. She was a Lieutenant when Singapore was overrun by the Japanese in 1942. She was a Prisoner of War at the infamous Changi Prison, where she witnessed and suffered many brutalities, including a soldier who had his legs severed from the knees down because he was too tall, the officially documented Singapore Massacre when a group of Australian soldiers, nurses and patients were forced to swim back to their sinking ship after making it ashore and were machine-gunned for target practice. Perhaps most horrifically she witnessed one of the nurses in her charge being beheaded for refusing to bow to the Japanese commandant. She told the commandant that if they remained unmolested, she and her nurses would treat not only the inmates, but
also the commandant and his troops.
When she was released from Changi, she weighed just 4 stone (56lbs) and was close to death from starvation and injuries from beatings. American surgeons rebuilt her jaw, she has a metal plate in her head and in one leg, a steel rod in her spine, metal plates in her ankles, her broken feet were repaired and she has two new kneecaps. Despite this, Alma has taken part in more than 200 marathons to raise money for various charities dear to her, completing the 2008 London marathon in 4 1/2 hours at the age of 90.
Among her decorations are the War Defence Medal, The 1930-1945 Star, and The Burma Star. In 2002 she was made a Freeman of the City of London.