Alma Kent

AlmaKent_thenAlma 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 AlmaKent_nowalso 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.
16 comments on “Alma Kent
  1. I met this incredible lady whilst she was at the age of 96, selling Poppies at a train station. Wanting to give her some time for the good that she was doing, I struck up a conversation and could not believe the information that followed during our ten minute chat. What an incredibly brave, strong and inspirational lady Alma is and what an honour and pleasure to meet her. You never know who you might meet when giving a stranger some respect and a few minutes and what a personal loss had I not done so. Alma, I salute you.

  2. Darren says:

    I had the honour of meeting this incredible lady earlier this week whilst travelling northbound on the Northern tube line. I had no idea who Alma was but she was very chatty and drawing people’s attention. I started chatting and could not believe she is 101 years old. Fully aware, she produced a leaflet about herself from her bag, while holding her beloved dog on her lap. By now, people were listening to our conversation eagerly, more accurately, at her talking. Still not certain I could believe what I was reading, I began to feel increasingly honoured and humbled to be in her presence and having this chat. I “googled” Alma Kent as soon as I got home to find myself totally in awe of her – what she went through is horrific at the hands of the Japanese and what a lady! She had just spent the day on the South coast visiting Hastings – by train. You just wouldn’t believe you were in the presence of someone so brave, dedicated to her profession of nursing and to her country. I’m truly honoured. thank you Alma.

  3. Paul Bridle says:

    I spent some four hours in this lady’s company a few years ago and her story about her war unravelled. She was too young to have served in WW2. She has claimed to have been in Singapore when it fell but on the BBC website page she said she was in Burma. She does not have a George Cross. There is no record of her running any marathons here or in the USA. She was not given the Free of the City of London and she has never been made a Lady or anything else by the Queen.

  4. michael says:

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but this lady is a fake i am her granddaughters ex partner i can confirm that she only has one daughter she not 101 years old she’ll be 91 in December she’s been in a few mental institutes. Do your research before you believe everything.

  5. Nathan P. Bridle says:

    I can backup the research by my father, her stories are just that. A Walter Mitty. I am naturally sorry she has had issues with her mental health, but still.

    The saddest part in some senses is not only the need to feel she lived that life, but that it is so fantastical and so wildly inaccurate and impossible.

  6. jaz says:

    I can state that she was to young being only 11 when the war started. she has only one child and that would be me. she has 9 grandchildren, all mine and 22 grandchildren, all come from my own children. she is 9o not 100 being born in 1927. it is sad that she feels the need to tell such whopping great stories and her tales have blighted me my whole life.

    • James Tait says:

      Not blighted your life that much Jaz if you managed to have nine children. Incidentally I was 9 when WW2 started and I am now 88 years old,.

      • Yasmine lewis says:

        If you knew my mother you’d would know what I meant. Me having gone on to have children has absolutely nothing to do with it. Lies and more lies and it’s all for the benefit of poor saps that think shes some great hero. Reality, she is not.

        • James Tait says:

          You sound really bitter, Yasmine. Was she that awful or troubled in her mind? I have it confirmed that all her stories were untrue but apparently she had been in mental care for a while. I lost my mother when l was 18 months and always regretted that I never got to know her, It is always sad when I hear stories of daughters falling out with their mothers, though i accept that you may have had real cause in your mother’s case.n

    • Dp says:

      I am curious Jaz, about some of the information you mention. I met this lady in Edgware very recently. She showed me a published book, with an account of some of her life ?, during the war. The date of birth was mentioned in a section of the book and I saw it as 16th June or July, 1917. Is that a false record ? Or is the lady not Alma Kent.

      • Yasmine lewis says:

        DP can you tell me the name of that book please, I’d be very interested in it to. She was born dec 1927 look ut up. I know, shes my mother! Should you want any more info please feel free to email me jazminelewis@msn.com

      • still waiting on that reply DP??????

        • Lily Sutton says:

          Hello, I met your mother about 6 years ago, stating similar facts/fake news – such as running marathons, POW. All of which I believed and felt truly humbled to have met such a woman. It was the day of Nelson Mandela’s memorial, she was carrying several bottles of alcohol, hunched over walking to the tube. I helped her carry her things. She said she had been to the memorial service and was given the bottles by people she knew there.

          It’s ever so sad to hear it’s all untrue.

          One of the printed articles she had was from the New York Times – it was something like WW2 veterans still alive and he’d name was in there. I find this odd that her name would have been in there if this is all untrue?

      • mick says:

        her birthday is the 1-12-1927

  7. Paul Bridle says:

    My wife and I spent some 4 hours in this lady’s company some years ago and her story was initially very convincing but became unravelled as time went on.
    1. She claims to be “Lady” Alma Kent. She said that the Queen was going to make her “Dame” but asked to be called “Lady” instead. This is a complete fabrication.
    2. She claimed that she has the f=Freedom of the City of London; she does not.
    3. On the following web page, she talks of being in Burma: https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/32/a4349432.shtml
    On this web page, the dates do not tie up: https://avfw.org.uk/veterans/akent/
    4. When I asked her if she remembered the sinking of the HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse she knew nothing about it. This was a major defeat for the British forces in the area she claims to have been in.
    5. She claimed to have run numerous marathons around the world: having checked participant lists in some of them she does not feature at all. see the following web page for Alma Kent in the London Marathon: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/athletics/photo_galleries/2944251.stm
    6. She claimed that she and some other nurses were put in a room (somewhere in the UK, and made to eat rice before being put in a plane flown to Singapore and dropped by parachute without any training in parachute jumping! At that time no aircraft was capable of flying to Singapore from the UK in one hop!
    7 She told us that she was the youngest of some 4-5 sister and that she grew up in Ballymena. When I asked her if it was near Dublin she said that it was close to it. In fact, it is 132 miles away.
    She also said that when she had been back to Ireland recently her sisters, all well over 100 years old, dashed up to her at the docks!
    8. She told us that she had been awarded the George Cross. if so why isn’t she listed: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_George_Cross_recipients
    Ms A Kent clearly lives in a fantasy world. While I’m happy for people to do so her behaviour has led to her being lauded as a hero, which she clearly is not. She grandstands on things other people went through and thus, I think, insults those who actually were in Singapore, Burma etc by claiming a lot of glory for herself. In fact at the military event my wife and I met her at, those present, who had served in the ilitary talked of her t=with awe, obviously unaware of the lies she told.

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