The Conjuror on the Kwai is the incredibly moving story of Gus Anckorn, a British soldier who was captured by the Japanese and held for over three and a half years. Before the war, Gus was a magician and throughout the war, entertained both fellow soldiers and Japanese guards with his tricks. Gus has a brilliant sense of humour and a 'tell it as it is' attitude which got him into a number of scrapes with both the Japanese and his own side. He has a remarkable humility to his character and is extremely endearing, both in the book and face to face guaranteeing massive media attention. Gus experienced terrible ordeals that no one should have to face. He should have been killed on four or five occasions, but remarkably survived due to quick thinking and good luck. Gus also reveals the heartache of leaving his fiancee behind and not knowing if he would ever see her again. This is an incredibly moving book and will surely be considered as one of the classic Far East POW stories. Gus is still alive and active today, very publicity focused and well connected. He still holds the unique claim of being the youngest ever member of the Magic Circle and is now currently their oldest ever member.He is also a member of the Masons.
Gus has appeared on BBC TV when they arranged for him to meet a Japanese POW camp guard on the bridge at Kwai.
Peter Fyans met Gus Anckorn at a charity concert and overheard him telling his wartime stories. He introduced himself and the pair have been close friends ever since. Gus' story has been told by Peter but in his own words. Peter lives in Surrey.