Rare postcards sent by a Birmingham prisoner of war from a Japanese camp will go under the hammer this week.

In one of the three notes, Able Seaman JH Hughes, from Wylde Green, tells his parents he has been released by his captors in Moulmein, Burma.

His parents' delighted response is included in the collection, but arrived after their son had set sail for home.

The correspondence, which is dated between May 1943 and September 1945, is expected to fetch at least £600 at London auctioneers Spink tomorrow.

Richard Watkins, from Spink, said only about 200 postcards sent by PoWs in Burma were still in existence.

He said: "This collection tells a lovely tale. Collectors can follow the story of Able Seaman Hughes, who survived unlike many prisoners of war, through this correspondence.

"Very often a single postcard is discovered with nothing told about what happened to its sender or who they were.

"This mail is stamped by hand and shows the markings of censorship by Able Seaman Hughes' captors.

"Demand for these kinds of postcards is extremely high because the study of postal stamps is going through a renaissance at the moment."

Mr Watkins said hundreds of war memorabilia collectors, from as far afield as India, Malaysia and the United States, had shown an interest in the postcards.

Thousands of British and Allied troops died in Japanese prisoner of war camps. Able Seaman Hughes was one of only a few survivors, although it is not known what happened to him after his release.

By early 1942, the Japanese had conquered Hong Kong, Borneo, Malaya, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, Burma and the Philippines. The Japanese wanted to take India, but Allied submarines prevented them from doing so.