Medical Officers on the Infamous Burma Railway

Medical Officers on the Infamous Burma Railway

The reports presented here are quite unique, for they were written by the medical officers in the camps as the events they describe were unfolding before their eyes.

Author: John Grehan

Publisher: Frontline Books

ISBN: 9781399095655

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 830

In 1944, a compilation of medical reports from the main prisoner of war work camps along the infamous Thailand-Burma railway was submitted to General Arimura Tsunemichi, commander of the Japanese Prisoner of War Administration. The authors stated that the reports were neither complaints nor protests, but merely statements of fact. The prisoners received only one reply – that all copies of the documents must be destroyed. As one officer later recalled, ‘Of course, this was not done’ and copies of these reports survived, stored away in dusty files, for future generations to learn the truth. Work on the railway began in June 1942, the Japanese using mainly forced civilian labour as well as some 12,000 British and Commonwealth PoWs. Such is well-known. So are the stories of ill-treatment and brutality, many of which have been published. The vast majority of these accounts, however, were written after the war, colored by the sufferings the men had endured. The reports presented here are quite unique, for they were written by the medical officers in the camps as the events they describe were unfolding before their eyes. The health and well-being of the PoWs was the medical officers’ primary concern, and these reports enable us to learn exactly how the men were treated, fed and cared for in unprecedented detail. There are no exaggerated tales or false memories here, merely facts, shocking and disturbing though they may be. We learn how the medical officers organised their hospitals and dealt with the terrible diseases, beatings and malnutrition the men endured. As the compilers of the reports state, 45 per cent of the men under their care died in the course of just twelve months. But equally, we find that the prisoners did have a voice and had the facilities, and the courage, to write and submit such reports to the Japanese, perhaps contradicting some of the long-held beliefs about conditions in the camps. Through the words of the Medical Officers themselves, some of the detail of what really happened on the Death Railway, for good or ill, is revealed here.
Categories: History

Death Railway

Death Railway

For anyone seeking information on the daily life of an ordinary British soldier as a POW of the Japanese in WW2, working on the Burma-Siam railway this is the right place for you

Author: Oralee Andrino

Publisher:

ISBN: 9798511307329

Category:

Page: 226

View: 454

Allied POWs experienced inhumane treatment and endured torture by Japanese forces. Not only were the long days of the POWs filled with harsh labor and punctuated by physical abuse but also the prisoners were provided with grossly inadequate food. The daily food allotment typically included small portions of boiled rice and spoiled meat or fish; rations were routinely contaminated with rat droppings and infested with maggots. In addition, there was a lack of potable water. Consequently, the prisoners were malnourished, dehydrated, and predisposed to illness. These factors, compounded by the unsanitary conditions in the work camps and the tropical environment, meant that disease was rampant. Dysentery and diarrhea were responsible for more than one-third of all deaths on the railway. Other diseases included cholera, malaria, and tropical ulcers. For anyone seeking information on the daily life of an ordinary British soldier as a POW of the Japanese in WW2, working on the Burma-Siam railway this is the right place for you
Categories:

Life on the Death Railway

Life on the Death Railway

Perhaps the most revealing passages of his memoir recall the daily experience of captivity - the ceaseless battle to survive the backbreaking work, the cruelties of the guards and ever-present threat of disease.

Author: Tony Pollard

Publisher: Casemate Publishers

ISBN: 9781783469932

Category: History

Page: 160

View: 380

As a young man Stuart Young endured the horrors of the Japanese prisoner-of-war camps and survived. Later in life, in graphic detail, he recorded the experience the dreadful conditions, the brutal treatment, the sickness and starvation, the merciless routine of forced labour. Yet he also recorded the comradeship among the prisoners, their compassion and strength, and the pastimes and entertainments that helped them to come through an ordeal that is hard to imagine today. First he was held at the notorious Changi camp in Singapore Island, then in the camps in Thailand that accommodated POWs who were forced to work on the Death Railway. Perhaps the most revealing passages of his memoir recall the daily experience of captivity - the ceaseless battle to survive the backbreaking work, the cruelties of the guards and ever-present threat of disease. His account gives a harrowing insight into the daily reality of captivity and it shows why he was determined to document and make sense of what he and his fellow prisoners suffered.
Categories: History

One For Every Sleeper

One For Every Sleeper

First written in note form on stolen lavatory-paper, this is the harrowing eyewitness account of 400 British prisoners of war put to work on the Burma to Siam railway.

Author: Jeffery English

Publisher: Robert Hale

ISBN: 9780719827501

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 192

View: 455

First written in note form on stolen lavatory-paper, this is the harrowing eyewitness account of 400 British prisoners of war put to work on the Burma to Siam railway. Jeffery English was a major in the 'N' Corps Signals Regiment when he and his men were captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore. The author was among 3,000 men of H Force who were shipped north from Changi on 8 May 1943 to begin work on the railway. Their job was to excavate cuttings, using the most primitive of tools. The prisoners were half starved, ridden with malaria, cholera and dysentery, and frequently beaten with bamboo canes for not working hard enough: the death rate was horrendous. (Of the author's own squad of 400 only ninety-eight eventually survived.) The prisoners were treated with bestial cruelty, and reached the limits of human degradation. When the job was finally done, the men were returned to base camp. The death rate continued unabated, and putrefying bodies lay for days between the rows of bamboo beds. The prisoners were convinced that the Japanese would have killed them before surrendering if they could. Their lives were saved only by the speed of events following the dropping of the atom bomb. Every sleeper on the railway cost the life of a prisoner of war or coolie, and two out of every three men died.
Categories: Biography & Autobiography

One Fourteenth of an Elephant

One Fourteenth of an Elephant

Narrated in the present tense and written with clarity, passion and a remarkable eye for detail, Denys Peek has vividly recreated not just the hardships and horrors of the railway and the daily struggle for survival but also the comradeship ...

Author: Ian Denys Peek

Publisher: Doubleday UK

ISBN: STANFORD:36105119444672

Category: Burma-Siam Railroad

Page: 522

View: 519

In February 1942, Singapore fell to the Japanese. Denys Peek and his brother were just two of tens of thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers and citizens taken prisoner. Six months later, he and his comrades were packed into steel goods wagons and transported by rail to Siam. They were to become part of the slave labour force destined for the massive construction project that would later become infamous as the Burma Thailand Railway. He would spend the next three years in over fifteen different work and 'hospital' camps on the railway, stubbornly refusing to give in and die in a place where over 20,000 prisoners of war and uncounted slave labourers met their deaths. Narrated in the present tense and written with clarity, passion and a remarkable eye for detail, Denys Peek has vividly recreated not just the hardships and horrors of the railway and the daily struggle for survival but also the comradeship, spirit and humour of the men who worked on it.
Categories: Burma-Siam Railroad

The Life On Burma Railway

The Life On Burma Railway

For anyone seeking information on the daily life of an ordinary British soldier as a POW of the Japanese in WW2, working on the Burma-Siam railway this is the right place for you

Author: Antwan Strevel

Publisher:

ISBN: 9798511324944

Category:

Page: 226

View: 825

Allied POWs experienced inhumane treatment and endured torture by Japanese forces. Not only were the long days of the POWs filled with harsh labor and punctuated by physical abuse but also the prisoners were provided with grossly inadequate food. The daily food allotment typically included small portions of boiled rice and spoiled meat or fish; rations were routinely contaminated with rat droppings and infested with maggots. In addition, there was a lack of potable water. Consequently, the prisoners were malnourished, dehydrated, and predisposed to illness. These factors, compounded by the unsanitary conditions in the work camps and the tropical environment, meant that disease was rampant. Dysentery and diarrhea were responsible for more than one-third of all deaths on the railway. Other diseases included cholera, malaria, and tropical ulcers. For anyone seeking information on the daily life of an ordinary British soldier as a POW of the Japanese in WW2, working on the Burma-Siam railway this is the right place for you
Categories:

Death Railway Story

Death Railway Story

For anyone seeking information on the daily life of an ordinary British soldier as a POW of the Japanese in WW2, working on the Burma-Siam railway this is the right place for you

Author: Dena Seawood

Publisher:

ISBN: 9798511296364

Category:

Page: 226

View: 376

Allied POWs experienced inhumane treatment and endured torture by Japanese forces. Not only were the long days of the POWs filled with harsh labor and punctuated by physical abuse but also the prisoners were provided with grossly inadequate food. The daily food allotment typically included small portions of boiled rice and spoiled meat or fish; rations were routinely contaminated with rat droppings and infested with maggots. In addition, there was a lack of potable water. Consequently, the prisoners were malnourished, dehydrated, and predisposed to illness. These factors, compounded by the unsanitary conditions in the work camps and the tropical environment, meant that disease was rampant. Dysentery and diarrhea were responsible for more than one-third of all deaths on the railway. Other diseases included cholera, malaria, and tropical ulcers. For anyone seeking information on the daily life of an ordinary British soldier as a POW of the Japanese in WW2, working on the Burma-Siam railway this is the right place for you
Categories:

Luck Me

Luck Me

Despite having to learn to live in civilisation again, Jim and Dorothy lived a happy life for almost seventy years. This is his story.

Author: Jim Curson

Publisher: Publicious Pty Limited

ISBN: 099245820X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 112

View: 279

In 1940 Sapper James (Jim) Curson set sail with his British unit- 251 Field Company, Royal Engineers and joined the fleet to India. His ship, The Empress of Asia was bombed and sank off the coast of Singapore. Rescued, he found he'd been reported missing, and his wife told he'd been killed in action. When Singapore fell to the Japanese Jim became a prisoner of war, toiling in the jungle in the slave labour camps to build the infamous Burma Railway. The line was completed in a year, but it cost the lives of more than 22,600 POWs and 100,000 native labourers. Many of them were buried there. 70 years later, Jim is one of the few survivors who came home, and is still alive to tell his account of their life; a story that can now be told by only a few Japanese prisoners on the notorious death railway. He tells of the ability of the human spirit to overcome the most unbearably cruel conditions ... the misery, brutality, squalor, the diseases, and the starvation the prisoners suffered under the Japanese. Farm boy Jim never gave up hope that he would return to his wife, and she too held the hope he was alive. Returning to Britain he found the Japanese nation was being remade to become a Western ally and nobody wanted to know about the horror he'd been through. Despite having to learn to live in civilisation again, Jim and Dorothy lived a happy life for almost seventy years. This is his story.
Categories: Biography & Autobiography

Survivor on the River Kwai

Survivor on the River Kwai

Survivor on the River Kwai is the heartbreaking story of Reg Twigg, one of the last men standing from a forgotten war. Called up in 1940, Reg expected to be fighting Germans.

Author: Reg Twigg

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 9780241965108

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 336

View: 338

Survivor on the River Kwai is the heartbreaking story of Reg Twigg, one of the last men standing from a forgotten war. Called up in 1940, Reg expected to be fighting Germans. Instead, he found himself caught up in the worst military defeat in modern British history - the fall of Singapore to the Japanese. What followed were three years of hell, moving from one camp to another along the Kwai river, building the infamous Burma railway for the all-conquering Japanese Imperial Army. Some prisoners coped with the endless brutality of the code of Bushido by turning to God; others clung to whatever was left of the regimental structure. Reg made the deadly jungle, with its malaria, cholera, swollen rivers, lethal snakes and exhausting heat, work for him. With an ingenuity that is astonishing, he trapped and ate lizards, harvested pumpkins from the canteen rubbish heap and with his homemade razor became camp barber. That Reg survived is testimony to his own courage and determination, his will to beat the alien brutality of camp guards who had nothing but contempt for him and his fellow POWs. He was a risk taker whose survival strategies sometimes bordered on genius. Reg's story is unique. Reg Twigg was born at Wigston (Leicester) barracks on 16 December 1913. He was called up to the Leicestershire Regiment in 1940 but instead of fighting Hitler he was sent to the Far East, stationed at Singapore. When captured by the Japanese, he decided he would do everything to survive. After his repatriation from the Far East, Reg returned to Leicester. With his family he returned to Thailand in 2006, and revisited the sites of the POW camps. Reg died in 2013, at the age of ninety-nine, two weeks before the publication of this book.
Categories: Biography & Autobiography

From Shanghai to the Burma Railway

From Shanghai to the Burma Railway

Three appendices round off this superb book including the official report on the hardships and losses suffered by “F” Force. “A compelling story that deserves to be widely read.” —Firetrench

Author: Rory Laird

Publisher: Pen and Sword Military

ISBN: 9781526771124

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 220

View: 211

Richard Laird’s previously unpublished record of his wartime experience as a Japanese prisoner of war ranks among the most graphic of this shocking and deservedly popular genre. Captured after fighting in the Malayan Campaign he was incarcerated in Changi before being drafted as slave labor with ‘F’ Force on the notorious Burma Railway. He was one of only 400 out of 1600 to survive Songkurai No 2 Camp, despite disease and terrible hardship. His moving memoir begins with a rare description of ex-patriate life in 1930’s Shanghai with the Sino-Japanese war raging around the European cantonments. An additional dimension to his story is the developing relationship between the author and Bobbie Coupar Patrick to whom he became engaged shortly before the fall of Singapore. Bobbie’s letters graphically described her dramatic escape to Australia and work for Force 136. They were reunited in Colombo, Ceylon and their son has been instrumental in compiling this exceptional record. Three appendices round off this superb book including the official report on the hardships and losses suffered by ‘F’ Force.
Categories: Biography & Autobiography