Diary of Arthur Seaforth Blackburn, April 1942 - November 1944, Part 3 of 26

Second World War, 1939–45
Part of Quest:
  • War Diaries
Awaiting approval
Accession number:

Page 1 / 5

18:6:42 19:6:62 21:642 23:642 236:42 14.6.42 25:6:42 discussed with Cl Dea to the question of Cauteen & L t feet an Auguiian officer on same piull with Nxolion, but in long report on piition to rea will a request that if gap will not wae soe ie alla to obtain same alerlelves. Zodey gap auclorize isuet out to all of uf a trn of Declaration on oath for signature for heave queetion to obly te oters of the nitton risperie a my view is that we should knese to sign spine bult the fen situle &41 maltl csiter of oeter to segy with the malification of sagect to four oath If allgisse of bein ard we swel ocs it furthe Cugras Expicalte are corbey we sll not fivee uneversful day, Rumers that a lange to tloni are to be a pron this caup tobe sam not wale evellent coce ing given b ca ponse t part shotet da of the year Goodeae of Deour Collh It we cay be adsured of cuplies be efree build sievss labe leread. amp connandent informed we that wery way 2oday mest sign form referred to in notes of 19/6/02 fu ole) ly on that day a coremon le take place of his 410 when all officers will parade & an oatle will nasall o administer ro at the time as I wished to corfer with the seri api confound aco col are as ad yo i prevent a united mont. Stet Had evual tousvene will amt e sar. I do n gre wet reservatins upon from os oall deided upon & cas officer as I considt it doe a eruple. I have decided upon injorming the gaps that I will sen 2obten is Sgnattues &a sorm which agrees. Appe to the face a allegiange to His marety eeking ate ap dudriti insaed us tol tt the ffour ce will be a monthly ssue an to seale of ay his praent 5 officers who have been away to intorngtin wenel Eday. Tacy have not been ill breated sa tulare, stray runow in camp that 508 & officer alowe rank of le ve) are to ten away to pasan, aill Eneawur gee confination. Orderine by ead obe erege whr actuel ning that ne must e e litsas prefe interfiew ta we w to susalai this waatl to t aanyouth do aet by an becaue te King sa0 in act of all ir cerawdayd to usu Ed & the gall of allgiatee te renade sum He tat a seniu view of the euaal to rign but stated s the watter would be rejorred to Japapr authoritte Strong minoels in camp that 50 officers and to be afsey to Japan includin myieqg seale. cannot yet get conftruatton of this Pomission give this maning weft Searle &d togs out sbopping ningso onbars down to brigh to frote an d oen there tee o tt can raler oven ile officer wile have seen under gubarrogation returned to cane today my nefort considable ill Geatments cruelt. Repaled to Intelligges of wes heo on conductly interogetions laft tade for edediatn st ac conte this in caplr st aout rede pouild move of officers was inquisely petfred. Dp ind ane untlt of new in iy to mbe lday for dgcie H constaned tat searing of man when warcling was not good to also safete wo0 ipesorl night be considered is thes wat was rectified. ody lan dlitten under Peggs
26642 27643 28642 20.64 1:7:4 142 Rojorel for building a bake boung &on & beliing our own & is taking thop hate Capplied ay mee for lun cl I lead to b at a ce tgud Camp cm sant onquired menimish requirements of flour to keep men in pread. fit estapted at0 bago the times a week co apopited capn messing officer in liee of Cmande howe, Harce mey returned from Iaporere Hospital where they and acar remaved for treatwent to repre that condittngare for beed in hot nuch treatnent & food on incutable t ou condicion ten Dent out for vory have yor goe feon dare. Camp Commndant is stil very disiatisfied with lad sallitig in cemp. Has cosued preali orders & alll sentile stap the face of any man seen not caluting Hhas further that all orers Atontion Dalat ad J tat we wall all camn Jawr a o thas comands Sunday, usual church prades. Very slot of meets a ps sette tode and fer man grone Canten & cosued as an astre the raten & Rv aterson & were ed readi a rn e undeignd hs slemn n hovl te abolut obedta to all artes or 92 we weebu iptos av hy am vied rat oven can must eiga tis form. of vurse I will tell rnd commandent that ceulors sene/is maote sised to be oall of alagance t te king te rio same Youn of Oath rquiret by gays feet before nen ty tae inay naw rejuied to officers, both Austrati & Elgn in pereus form unless quatified by oacof uopesicers con cready ower indean m be same caarll. Hded Cash Oned found will a lest of names of AAAE, Parth & testen officerswle are believed to be cltr in detiver requted th they to this camp. received word tortay that Critich P.O.Wo hap also refured to sin the form of oath required & & Jeapae daye aintonste received & books prsaied to me sanded in a letter to camp Conendant signed e Georle nea)& myslls Sleting that no office & ra in thes camn will sign the Written Oall & giving reason for the refurall. This astenoon ) office 12C0 (all indie) wee arht p ct star from one ofle other comp & placed in so Confirement. doe sole teem is eat they sall other tudeen prese refused to sign the phitten oath Endian officer &coswere removed theforn out we dannot find out to where the, were taken, 0 20 received trauslation of my lear of Fquire t e nnle oat, a maning. Amossa an very priged: Author b asance & of pours potators (f greading making) rangin andedaver to us. I anded a duficte to tho junia officer anoded sendca condn was e to eas as t why wetten oatl from was p simal Enell fet befoe i added subject to my Honer & Dut as officer I told ligen that I was sure the men woul th I am to let her know tonrrow. In the eterp order was insuel reposing very street perrilee aon all roconcerty no ui n wei nobody t mor from one hut to anothes, & angane in another but eights our at 1pmste all afternoon a bystrope has been goin sin officers & at least 40 wen have been Dect fo ne aperent reaso
4:7:62 5742 67:42 7742 rodg has bee a very difficil truig day at o9o be atinded bene cas connended to bepi tthe office & men would sign form submitted by te Yesterday. I was injormed that it was not pecoplatle t gajance acclirite & that nothing aut the prean oel would be accerted. I was fuller ifamed by argrant get an Ha the is it was not signed funilinpl on the whole camp (ncluding wildtawal wdic supplies + citting down of ratois would of stadis intreased I tried p12 les to not a provised to te oath asegted, At 1200 l all teet Coudrs was sent fo were ordered to oner their ie to sire. t Dime tie notices were stuck up by the fas all over& c that if the oath were not signed by the many their would not be guarauted; I had a confonnce with to filmore (N.3D) the Accisant, Adjutant obe ipouped me that the cnnicans wre melin sign/30 guationed many of my own offi tine tae to men would stean but other thought, that weat orlle new were going to sign. w taope ane tosee ecome t a decision aast mante a untel front ate aircl, I feet e th ver eastled to a lead on at 1420 ard was an was i 5 sol sall & Beon to Jap HA whon I was a meconger who informed we thee very officer was required tunedietely at HL. I lad a po repided wlll, Cal. Barle whe injormed me that the Amoricaus all deded to eign, cast thing i aned me thet n my men were goig to don I as I cadet a cpute that tere sbould be inar wity, Irelustant dead the the onder must be doyed & suttiated this t le oppepers an Anxie at Jep Hl idd &salegall fat d we marched divrys lasted up in the Gape row inbequally Carnt thee be other officers was warced ver one of camp. Toe fo then id sy t wen 29010 theer Signatures, Tually at 1930 lin apl & Dine ants office Hut sugdes and s talen away at 1845lro)I wre inpaned tle no Isigned &us adert cregs aboitt t ieci I saw no advanta byrjusi a arey intinated offies tha t sign, I a signed the documene. (Dpeaty hewoson thidreant exmospage a litele asie in coup tay Hension relaxed a litte, I was guatioud for 2400 telligence section mainly about the fighting at ansoned Duitngon t sall rivelses not got restard to us. No conrce to cauntse tt dcuwatters will gi and er & men were thumged of Capal tooke for Crase by Hircipline insluding a losps sgnlas be was on vigh duty was sleet inthe day of was found on bid be ty a visiten santh elight rigus of restration of pureleges, Ht. I etll rfuses ovari liati i Am blained son the whole troable no the ligning of the oath 5 lined i all Hat commander today & instrued the interalie) that ary man who knows of any apcted landing by be Autins on this Iland wait at ond to him. We were warned that an office from Jan 1I will hspeet the Qup Comorrow be futthe nobody to to hief & El during the dey. His wring too officers were sanly becton for not alutting smortly Eubligh or actr and Large part of Officer from He insfected Cunk to men eddt p nawtent apearee very sleased. late in afteroon speial come of biscuts was sent out to anpore to parts his appeciation also an iosue of agapttes, Intelliee cection have stirted intorro have by atly tenealed with officers, Defere m were beatin ap torays one intole to be
9742 10743 11742 47:42 1742 17:742 knovenofil day, ho resteration of privellges) but on cntrary intimation that prient rilles must be antaied. I am still unable to see Capp Conn I apply every day but my aplication is always refuiee It is very digfiet to fill in the time at pent as te is alsoldtely oringt do oxceread fll day 2 officer & a ny re betr y co - for Creastas of diicyline, by an inpeting pequet. Ore man was leled in ats rstrus fill a file oute. Aplied by letter today for prnession to berg saleg eagar to manguate the Ockery application sted Tluster day today, Cont wo cannot be freed ntil ec frs o returns to dut. Permission given today to officers to lave their Cou & astend dily parades of their men, A regulity whre seeword ito ame sthe oaktng white i Laue Bluls tore to have fint triad ealng withint as aas cle of days by ourelves agrose is avallable. Ip sent e down a few prel fuls today lought a vitry & we along jest at 1000 & told us officers could keep their towe liets on until 2300 . An sleeping mush better t last you neyto Informed tooldy that Cortain privelege would be restred youi tb to us as from service ngas to bay tro' Endim Ctrastor, night to resum ito on we as from lase san ataned menge I am usion E falle a that I am rejusedt conteraces its. Torty Greal Ocking too peace in baken overs which we have bult Bread was ensellent as long as supplies of flour etcnteni me tead por tan per say & the will we can is a long way towards easing ration position. Very destoveniful day. He lade of would gearfixe is very trying roseued a Egaretle cosue) of 14 a for man. Batades of nou mitter enpyviston of thei officers recommended today. raan no t fall siving will be e to te ou ong Ell of Gread Jes an wye mny flour als Ht.3 bes iterhed to duty out loko par from well, last two & tlree o be been much more peapee. First bacal of phishs tily te ont up t dat sy tas camn will be inspocted t ly een & my general. No dtails out you. Hc. I still will not ce me. To say be bad soneth commen t neres sant for Davis & toed him to pll me te details of the menage Berying comspiced today turough is Iusid Contratoro will impove a sictes osued a pile, a how-pawr some bananes from a Jepstode Virce of insfection parse off ratisparte I lear toran that I am to be aghlitted to faturs forperaies a as as office turcher for gay con gmenting some dysiasties now visits o marde have beed stoped. Itll no pervinion t repuine eductionl clanes wrete tetee d ing. I was inpsnt a conferences resumed this weal formerly. Whole atmosther very friends & pecrant. All our priveleges restored dgele nee to bold eduntional clarses& right to bely in the t sprecaste drete dange i our psition under whice we would ae trpited wt as presoners of war in the field but as portion of ae civie amiistation of the, Iland and aall dissionetion bere need as such con but must wait the event. As an trungoliate reslct of our better relations, be orticio was sout for. unfortunately to number of men
187:42 19742 20742 31:7:42 2742 33:7:62 24:7:42 25:7:62 26:7:42 applyii for Iloses & whom t N.as repat weed am aread considembl over 100, I hay not enough fiinds to pry for this & yott am refat to deprive tt now agee rbility to veak. any to exteavour to prsuaded of ticn to euply Conderedie on my cartifiate that aye will be met ly ae anermont agte the vart. An g painfully then myself & nust heave loop a coufte Of stone in weisit st& bes prcild a sitar cep t conpetition between Hat a Wlle call, te tn hopitl seati for so at ai eartl enough whn wenty tang trong Peturn called for of men will aperince care of & aut vere regp wrolved sudey. coure mrial reuned very laye atrdane early Comminion aa & in by gap 18 that they are theing to make amugonent to ty wesue bread ration wi we balse by ae larg fow wood plates of, netinct ain bging las he an for day rte beating up to bay tro epr vi being pid parties of seuther tomout pikes Heard today but st& is to leave ise a few day lane ine of MVrlloyalo negi reli tra mae a darter pe making neat piesy s wil b to Oate to suppirent for ane p r muedwesday vary leavy rain jut at Nile fine rain for about a week noVisses by gep is a very good & tast ration. i mce ancate Interied ofte trii t mke anay or sunly o plas es an creai aver 300 men lave apeied ca passitly fixause the Had loy interiew with of fician is eetade required by apersie rction io the Youe 800 are equired He medual day bave Lay at than as follow ungas 5080,4 sed tread ete but not conaitel lengar 200 250. Here is not difficient money to py p th 5010 & I Oe andlgo to prsuade the optician to a suply to resse o my written undertaking that Ocol not wwild py and at var &c is to ccide 2 let me know in 405 days, H cupleiocos suiet day Gitra breadration is creating a diffcult protler to the perone of the aread infthe Auto is bringing a plague of bater mix almosthere of canp much more greendly laftely no days is prsion beatters ilp t statt uo a a boning to ernanent (Apstal & Anry so we are trying to orpanige& asupt o gloves: Gardens throughout caup fer thee very good. At ronights roll call pargoe, two tl marnle respanadle for officers farden Cambell wee called but & Lt. won ougntulited by ye fast night & lig tarpulin ((2x13) eupliealy dep satting sut vegetable et wes stolen. Righ send thoughout camp led to find same Equug cat ep stumadiatl red for seds ats sreeving is acco very anius a te camp. Lt. & bes requeslge a borin toananent tomorrow to whice he desire to beri newder of lis friends, Notice is very sfore sast & are trying & arrange someth sorin to out hild today & biits 12of augne conednt be matched by Averiaus 1 5 lost angdbt bost an4 Ast 391 bt was a draw. St K brought a party of Jasause pspices wh were vey intersted. They gave a lang w of cigartter as piges. Usual suy sevied th wrring mn gire Res tall

[*18.6.42*]  Discussed with Col. Searle the question of Canteen & decided
to put an American Officer on same jointly with
Nicholson. Put in long report on position re Tea with
a request that if Japs will not issue we be allowed
to obtain some ourselves.
[*19.6.42.*]  Today Jap authorities issued out to all of us a form of
"Declaration on oath" for signature promising "without
question to obey the orders of the Nippon Imperial Army"
My view is that we should refuse to sign same but
the Gen Sitwell & AVM Maltby consider it better to
sign with the qualification of "subject to our oath of
allegiance" etc.  Matter is being considered by us &
we will discuss it further tomorrow.  Difficulties
over canteen are still not finalised.
[*20.6.42.*] Uneventful day.  Rumors that a large no. of Senior Officers
are to be removed from this camp.  Hope I am not included.
Excellent concert in evening given by Camp concert party.
[*21.6.42.*]  Shortest day of the year.  Good issue of flour today.
If we can be assured of supplies we will build
ovens & bake bread.
[*22.6.42.*] Today Camp Commandant informed me that every man
must sign form referred to in notes of 19/6/42 (in ink) by 25th
& on that day a ceremony will take place at his H.Q
when all officers will parade & an oath will be
administered to them as representing all others.  I said nothing
at the time as I wished to confer with the Senior Officers
compound & also Col. Searle as we should if possible
prevent a united front. Start Had several conferences
with AVM Maltby, Col Searle etc.  I do not agree with
reservations upon form of oath decided upon by Senior
Officers as I consider it does not go far enough.  I have
decided upon informing the Japs that I will sign & obtain
men's signatures to a form which agrees "subject to the oath
of allegiance to His Majesty The King" etc.
Jap authorities informed us today that the flour issue
will be a monthly issue on the scale of  our  this present
5 officers who have been away for interrogation returned
today.  They have not been ill-treated particularly.
[*23.6.42.*]  Strong rumours in camp that 50 or so Senior Officers (all
above rank of Lt Col.) are to be taken away to Japan.  Will
endeavour get confirmation. Order issued by Guard Comdr.
this evening that no must smoke except when actually
inside their huts.  Asked for special interview with
Lt Susuki this morning & informed him that we were
unable to take any oath as ordered by him because
everyman had sworn an oath of allegiance to the King of
England & consequently anything we now signed must be
subject to the Oath of Allegiance we have already sworn.
He took a serious view of the refusal to sign but stated
that the matter would be referred to Japanese authorities.
[*24.6.42.*] Strong rumours in camp that 50 officers are to be taken
to Japan including myself & Searle.  Cannot yet get
confirmation of this.  Permission given this morning for
Searle & I to go out shopping later in the week.  This
morning Lt. K took Davis down to Priok to inspect an
old oven there & see if it can be made into a baker's
oven.  All officers who have been under interrogation
returned to camp today.  They report considerable
ill-treatment & cruelty.  Reported to Intelligence officer
who has been conducting interrogations left today for
some destination for steamer.
[*25.6.42*] At conference this morning Camp Commandant informed me that
proposed move of officers was indefinitely postponed.  Discussed
with Camp Commandant possibility of men marching to Waterloo
Plain each day for drill & exercise.  He complained that
bearing of men when marching was not good & also saluting
was bad & proposal might be considered if these matters
were rectified.  Broody hen commenced sitting today
under 8 eggs.


[*26.6.42.*] Proposal for building a bake-house & oven & baking our own
bread is taking shape.  Materials for oven were supplied
today except for lime which I had to buy at cost of
6 guldon.  Camp Commandant enquired our minimum
requirements of flour to keep men in bread.  We estimated
at 30 bags three times a week.  Capt Head appointed camp
Messing officer in lieu of Commander Lowe.  Three men
returned from Japanese Hospital where they had been
removed for treatment & report that conditions are very
bad i.e, not much treatment & food so unsuitable to our
conditions.  Men sent out for Xray have not yet been
[*27.6.42.*]  Camp Commandant is still very dissatisfied with lack of
saluting in camp.  Has issued fresh orders to sentries to
slap the face of any man seen not saluting.  Has further
ordered that all orders "Attention" "Salute" ^ to be given in
Japanese & that we shall all learn Japanese words
for these commands.
[*28.6.42.*]  Sunday. Usual church parades.  Very short of meat &
vegetables today and so I ordered an purchased one egg
per man from canteen & issued as an extra to the ration.
Late this afternoon forms were issued reading as follows
:- "Written oath.  The undersigned has solemnly sworn
henceforth the absolute obedience to all orders of DAI
NIPPON GVN (the Nippon Army?)".   We were informed
that every man must sign this form. Of course I will
tell Camp Commandant that unless same is made
subject to the oath of allegiance to the King we cannot
sign same
[*29.6.42.*]  Form of Oath required by Japs put before men by their
officers, both Australian & American.  Every man refused to
sign in present form unless qualified by oath of allegiance
already sworn.  Understand officers in Senior Officers com-
pound will take same stand.  Handed Camp Commandant
a list of names of RAAF, Perth & Houston officers who are
believed to be elsewhere in Batavia & requested that they be sent
to this camp.
[*30.6.42.*]  Received word today that British P.O.Ws have also
refused to sign the form of oath required by the Japanese.
Received 5 books purchased for me by Jap authorities.
[*1.7.42.*]  Handed in a letter to Camp Commandant signed by
Col Searle (USA) & myself stating that no officer or man
in this camp will sign the "Written Oath" & giving
reasons for the refusal.  This afternoon 1 officer &
12 N.C.Os (all Indians) were brought into camp
from one of the other camps & placed in Solitary
Confinement.  The sole reason is that they & all
other Indian prisoners refused to sign the written
[*2.7.42.*]  Indian officer & NCOs were removed this morning
but we cannot find out to where they were taken.
Camp Commandant received translation of my letter of
refusal to sign Written Oath this morning.  Atmosphere
at once became very "frigid". Another big load of
flour & potatoes (for breading making) came in today &
was handed over to us.  I handed over duplicate papers
to two junior officers.
[*3.7.42.*]  Attended before Camp Commandant & was questioned for
1¼ hrs as to why Written Oath form was not being
signed.  Finally he put before me a form with the words
added "Subject to my Honor & Duty as Officers & soldiers" &
I told him that I was sure the men would sign that.
I am to let him know tomorrow.  In the afternoon an
order was issued imposing very strict punishment on us
all - no concerts, no singing, no music, no canteen,
nobody to move from one hut to another, nobody to speak
to anyone in another hut, lights out at 10pm etc. 
All afternoon a big "strafe" has been going on & five or
six officers & at least 40 men have been beaten up
for no apparent reason.


[*4.7.42.*]  Today was a very difficult and trying day. At 0915 hrs
I attended before Camp Commandant to inform him that the
officers & men would sign the form submitted by him
yesterday. I was informed that it was not acceptable to
the Japanese Authorities & that nothing but the Written Oath
would be accepted.  I was further informed by a represent.
of Japanese H.Q that if it was not signed punishments
on the whole camp (including withdrawal of medical
supplies & cutting down of rations) would be steadily
increased.  I tried to 1¼ hrs to get a proviso to the oath
accepted.  At 1200 hrs all Hut Comdrs. were sent for &
were ordered to order their men to sign.  At the same
time notices were stuck up by the Japs all over the camp
that if the oath were not signed by the men their lives
would not be guaranteed.  I had a conference with
Lt Filmore (U.S.A) the Assistant Adjutant & he informed
me that the Americans were inclined to sign.  I then
questioned many of my own officers.  Some thought the
men would stick out.  Others thought that most of the
were going to sign. Whatev I therefore arranged
to see Col. Searle & come to a decision, so as to maintain
a united front.  After lunch, I felt that the men were
entitled to a lead from me.  At 1430 hrs I was on my
way up to see Col. Searle & to go on to Jap. H.Q when I met
a messenger who informed me that every officer was
required immediately at H.Q.  I had a few minutes with
Col. Searle who informed me that the Americans had
all decided to sign.  Capt. Henry informed me that most
of my men were going to sign.  As I considered it essential
that there should be unanimity, I reluctantly decided that
the order must be obeyed & intimated this to the officers.
On arrival at Jap H.Q.  my I, Col Searle & all Hut Comdrs
were marched away & locked up in the Guard House.  I
subsequently learnt that the other officers were marched
right out of camp.  The Japs then lined up the men & obtained
their signatures.  Finally at 1930 hrs Col Searle & I were
taken to Camp Commandant's office (Hut Comdrs had been
taken away at 1845 hrs) & were informed that everyone
(except about 4) had signed & we were then ordered to
sign.  In the circs.  I saw no advantage by refusing &
as I had already intimated to officers that they must
sign, I di signed the document. (Separate memo on
this drawn up)
[*5.7.42.*]  Atmosphere a little easier in camp today.  Tension
relaxed a little.  I was questioned for 2 hrs by
Intelligence section mainly about the fighting at
Buitenzorg.  Remaining officers & men signed form of Written Oath.
[*6.7.42.*]  Priveleges not yet restored to us.  No conference today &
I cannot see Lt. S. to discuss matters with him.  A number
of officers & men were thumped & slapped today for breaches
of discipline including a hospital orderly who as he was
on night duty was sleeping during the day & was found
asleep by a reside on his bed by a visiting sentry.
[*7.7.42.*]  Slight signs of restoration of priveleges.  Lt. S still refuses
to see me.  From various indications it is obvious that I
am blamed for the whole trouble re the signing of the oath.
Lt. S. lined up all Hut Commanders today & informed them
(inter alia) that any man who knows of the any expected
landing by the Americans on this Island must at once report
to him.  We were warned that an officer from Jap H.Q will
inspect the Camp tomorrow.  In future nobody is to lie down
or sleep during the day.  This morning two officers were
severely beaten for not saluting smartly enough or at the right
[*8.7.42*]  Large party of officers from H.Q. inspected camp today, men
behaved splendidly & discipline etc was excellent.  Camp
Commandant appeared very pleased.  Late in afternoon a
special issue of biscuits was sent out to everyone to
mark his appreciation, also an issue of cigarettes. XXX
Intelligence section have started interrogating men, &
have apparently finished with officers. Several men
were beaten up today & one made to kneel.


[*9.7.42.*]  Uneventful day. No restoration of priveleges but on
contrary intimation that present rules must be
maintained.  I am still unable to see Camp Commandant.
I apply every day but my application is always refused.
It is very difficult to fill in this time at present as there
is absolutely nothing to do except read all day.
[*10.7.42*]  2 officers & a number of men who were beaten up today,
for breaches of discipline, by an inspecting picquet.  One
man was kicked in the privates & struck with a rifle
butt.  Applied by letter today for permission to buy
salt & sugar to inaugurate the bakery.  Application
[*11.7.42.*]  Quieter day today. Conferences cannot be resumed
until Lt. S. recovers from his sickness & returns to duty.
Permission given today to officers to leave their compound
& attend daily parades of their men.  A quantity more
flour & firewood came in today for the bakery which we
have built.  Hope to have first trial baking within a
couple of days.  Yeast has to be made by ourselves as none
is available.  Japs sent the d me down a few fresh
fish today.  Tonight a sentry came along just at 2200
hrs (Lights out) & told us officers could keep their
lights on until 2300 hrs.  Am sleeping much better the
last few nights.
[*12.7.42.*]  Informed today that certain priveleges would be restored
to us from 15/7/42 viz - right to hold church services,
right to buy thro Indian contractor, right to resume
purchases from Rathcamps, officers lights on until
midnight.  I am apparently still "in the gun" as I am
informed that I am refused permission to attend future
conferences etc.  Today trial baking took place in
baker's ovens which we have built.  Bread was
excellent.  As long as supplies of flour etc continue
we can issue ¼lb bread per man per day & this will
go a long way towards easing ration position.
[*13.7.42.*]  Very uneventful day.  The lack of mental exercise
is very trying.  Received a cigarette issue of 14 cigs
per man.  Parades of men under supervision of their
officers recommended today.
[*14.7.42.*]  Bakery now going in full swing.  Will be able to turn out
¼lb of bread per man per day so long as we are supplied
with necessary flour etc.  Lt. S. has returned to duty but
looks far from well.  Last two or three days have
been much more peaceful.  First hatch of chicks today.
Three out up to date.
[*15.7.42.*] Informed today that camp will be inspected today tomorrow by
a Major General.  No details out yet. Lt. S. still will
not see me.  Today he had something to communicate
to me & so sent for Davis & told him to tell me
the details of the message.  Buying commenced again
today through the Indian Contractor so messing
will improve a little.  Received a pineapple, a
paw-paw & some bananas from a Jap today.
[*16.7.42.*]  Visit of inspection passed off satisfactorily.  I learn
today that I am to be 'admitted' to future conferences at
Jap Commandant's office.  Purchases for men's mess is
presenting some difficulties now visits to market
have been stopped.  Still no permission to resume
educational classes, concerts, lectures etc.
[*17.7.42.*]  Conferences resumed this morning.  I was present as
usual formerly.  Whole atmosphere very friendly
& pleasant.  All our priveleges restored except right
to hold educational classes & right to buy in the
market.  Lt. S. forecasted drastic change in our
position under which we would be treated not
"as prisoners of war in the field" but as portion of
"the civil administration of the Island" and
used as such.  Can foresee difficulties here
but must wait the event.  As an immediate
result of our better relations, the optician was
sent for.  Unfortunately the number of men

[*contd*]  applying for glasses & whom the M.O.s report need
them for reading is considered over 100.  I have
not enough funds to pay for this & yet am reluctant
to deprive the men of the ability to read.  Am
going to endeavour to persuade optician to supply
on credit on my certificate that a/c will be
met by the government after the war.  Am getting
painfully thin myself & must have lost a couple
of stone in weight.
[*18.7.42.*]  Lt. K was presented a silver cup for competition between Huts
at Volley Ball.  Patient in hospital beaten up for not standing up
at attention smartly enough when a sentry came through.
Return called for of men with experience as surveyors.  Bad
case of thieving from American canteen stores unearthed.  One
Aust. Naval Petty Officer involved.
[*19.7.42*]  Sunday. Church Services resumed.  Very large attendance
at early communion & again at morning service.  Informed
by Jap H.Q that they are trying to make arrangements to
largely increase bread ration which we bake by increased
flour, wood potatoes etc, estimate aim being 1 loaf per
man per day.  Further beatings up today two separate visits
being paid by parties of sentries throughout lines.
[*20.7.42.*]  Heard today that Lt. K. is to leave us in a few days.
Large issue of M & V ration & also meat & rice ration in
tins was made a day or two ago.  Tried an experiment
of making meat mea pies. Very successful. Will try
to bake the lot sufficient for one per man on
Wednesday.  Very heavy rain just at dusk.  First
rain for about a week.
[*21.7.42.*]  M & V issue by Japs is a very good & tasty ration.  Very
much appreciated.  Interviewed optician & tried to
make arrangements for supply of glasses on credit as
over 300 men have applied for same & cannot
possibly finance this.
[*22.7.42.*]  Had long interview with optician re spectacles
required by officers & men.  Position is that over 300
are required.  The medical staff have classified
these as follows:- urgent 50-60, needed for reading
etc but not absolutely urgent 240-250.  There is not
sufficient money to pay for the 50-60 so I have endeavoured
to persuade the optician to supply the glasses on
my written undertaking that Aust. Govt will pay
for same after the war.  He is to consider same &
let me know in 4 or 5 days.  He supplied a microscope
[*23.7.42.*]  Quiet day. Extra bread ration is creating a difficult
problem as the presence of the bread in the huts
is bringing a plague of rats & mice.
[*24.7.42.*]  Atmosphere of camp much more friendly lately.  No
beatings up for some days.  Lt. K. is anxious
to start us on a boxing tournament (Austral v Americ)
so we are trying to organize same.  Shortage of
boxing gloves.  Gardens throughout camp are becoming
very good.  At tonight's roll call parade, two
officers mainly responsible for officer's garden
(Lt. Tranter & Capt. Campbell) were called out &
congratulated by Japs.
[*25.7.42.*]  Last night a big tarpulin (12 X 12) supplied by Japs for
sorting out vegetables etc was stolen.   Rigid search
throughout camp failed to find same. Evidently cut
up immediately & used for beds etc.  Thieving is becoming
very serious in the camp.  Lt. K. has requested a boxing
tournament tomorrow to which he desires to bring a
number of his friends.  Notice is very short but
we are trying to arrange something.
[*26.7.42.*]  Boxing tournament held today.  8 bouts - 2 of our men
couldn't be matched by Americans & so boxed an exhibition
bout. Americans won 4, Aust. 3 & 1 bout was a
draw.  Lt. K brought a party of Japanese officers who
were very interested.  They gave a large quantity
of cigarettes as prizes.  Usual Sunday services
in morning.  Permission given for R.C.s to attend 


Last edited by:
Ray WilsonRay Wilson
Last edited on:

Last updated: