Diary of Arthur Seaforth Blackburn, April 1942 - November 1944, Part 16 of 26

Conflict:
Second World War, 1939–45
Part of Quest:
Subject:
  • War Diaries
Status:
Awaiting approval
Accession number:
AWM2020.22.18
Difficulty:
4

Page 1 / 5

plyt Aug 1st Finished my tour of duty as nice- Derver todday papers are long overdue & now peristent rumers are current that we are not going to receive them con longer. This can only, we apsume, be because the news in Europe is so good gron our pint of view but what good it cando them- or what harm it can be for us to see the news. papers & learn what is happening, it, is difficult to see Rumers are also persistent today that a heat is to be turned on from tomorrow. I gove tlat is not true! Last might p main fuse in the elestrio service blew out + e whole camp was in absolute clarkness for several hours. Church service had to be put off again today as 80 Colo. (including those whose turn it was to conduct the service) had to refort at 0800 live this werning for work They only received very short notice. Another fineaple ( to eace 4 officers) is sue today + also prle in tonights soup. Today about 150 wore bookss arrived for the camp library. Feey were sent apparently by the VMCA in gapan. Wanned today that Cmorrow we will be ispected by the C.O. of Prison campe in Danvan the day after by the S.O.C. Tauvan, Heris afternoon we all bad to turn out & work at cleaning up the camp but a neavy shower of rain same & we were all sent in 8o Colonels per day are being was to werh around the camp doing oad bs, weals still very bad & no more fruit today. Todays inspection was fixed for 1530 liss & we all stood by at that time after a gractice parade at 1300 hrs. However leavy rain started at about 1515 hrs & te inspection today was put off. This evering may gen aveswaber was taken away out often amp together with a Dulph coe who had also served in SUNAFRA. Thay only recased notice when they were on evening he cale parade. They were taken strausht to their wors made to pack one suitcade under the supervision of a uipon Officer & auard all their papers were confiscated. They isleed of they were going to a bot or cold climate but the niyon afficer would not tell them. They were not allowed to speak to annone but were tha they euggage would be sant on After them This worning we were toed that overal was permanentl off the strength of this cau. gent and the C sauan inspcted us in our quarters at 0930 hrs this waying meals have reached a new low level recod - not enough vegetables in any of the meals to fill a big sined spoon. unevewful day. meals still very foor. Am getting at very sore left eye. It fells a bit like a l stee ( that is low you spell it) only very much worse Vigilant guard touight 2400-0130 lis Preparation seem to now be completed for the arrival of more officers. Enlisted mere have been waking all day willing mattresses + the end berads lave been cleaned up & rep off o pet out of bounds started a new treatment oo my set 7t today-bathing in lot condys flind Enesstal very Lore & Swollen Dull, wet day. Eues still very inglamed + painful hoppen medical Oporl mamied ty ve Derham made application for Vitamin A tablets for glasses for me to wear in lien of my present oned which are quite madequate, to both reguests be stated that it was imparble as be articles required were not available. Have alde develosed a seight cold. small amount ovailable in cnteen todlay- bo pwder pair undepont were friged At 1 you 75 son & were made out plour bags sitchet ogetler, heals stll very bad no bananas today. Also received a stoing mina whice I had ardered This morning te camp comdt. took the maning roll call paraide lieuself - the first time it has bappered. A.V malter tackled him after the pavade & conlained aboue the very por meals we have been having, as a pasust the carp comdt. when across to the fertchen + inspected the soup unfortunately it was we best soup we have had for about10 days. stal it was explained to him that it was far betwrttan usual + we are hoping ior some resuets wiihin the next dayer two This afternoon a party of 21 Peior officer & O.Rs arrived heve from Hong-Kong. Thay are at present isolated & we leave no details of them oor of any news which ty may have. 10th Have develosed a brrific atacle of sueaying it cont fed lle a cold but were like cattorn; & suage cometines 10-15 ties on succession + my nore absolutely runs at times. I have nother or the oroliuary signs of a cold so far. This afternoon the nexponese sent for me to identify the things I had handed in to them at Lavenle as the labels had come off. All they could find of mine was me tolellnize, my compass & my torch. Have erganized a dujeicate cridge match for tomorrow between teams of English, Dutch, Awewan & Dompion, I am playing with Frott. Played toe dinlicate watch thi morning. We came lhad amnicans wen, with British scond. iufortnate it had to be cut short as the niponese sent for all the Jowa party at 1030 hrs to have their second Dytleria inoculation. meals a bit bester Edy & banana issues have started again. Today we could each purchase up to 350 cinrettes & 22 cigan through the canteen. cold still wetty heavy cold very heave tody with a Ait of sonus) trouble. Am also getting a sliin initation on my face. Myblin is evidently in a very bad state as the Elisatest Sratal or alerasion -o even one of the catles wosquits mudge or ant bites which are unaosidare bere- tends to swell up + itches Crrebly, my rigar bye is also very aae & irritable to night so altogether I am peling petty cheap. cold a good deal better to by, no bangnes iisped today but one pircapple amongst five The Houghong party were released from quarantine today. One majn ten - avin waltly brother, three Brigadion + a naval Commone maved int our quarters so every cubicle is now fully occupied
1943 Aug. 14d As a result of this food has to be served in our reps &our room drew the first week of rice wsie. It is an awful nuisance as 34 bowls of rice have to be disbed out, out of a bucket & it is imposiple to do this without dropping a certain amount on the table & floor. This attracts flies & ants &petogetler it. is ging to make the room in a bell of mar. However, once I have finished this wak I want catch it again for about 8 weeks so it is not so bad then Sunday usual church services. Am beving an unconfortable time with slein broubles Every inoregits ant a midge bits now comes up immediacal into a little hard eump which lasts for days & itches like the devil. At times I can bardly frestrain myself from scratching myself to piecet 8Pd Left camp this morning to go to another P0& camp. In his place we have another office who for a time was at Karenho & whom the officers that were under him found very sust & fairt, yosterday at the canteen we could eacly buy 1 bout of fruit syrap,, bottle tomatee sauce Cule curry powder & 1 ten of pepper mandevres are going on again in the netahbourhood it pecont. Had a disturbed ngat last night (being up four tumes. uneveneful day. Very little rain. At last the authorities have issued material for filling our & they also issued mattresses to the pellows and invo that 120 more fficers Colosquad & men are being brought to this camp out no indication where they are coming from Persistent ryimero that we are about to be moved again to another camp, that is geng Dreadier, but do not think there is anything in it, fave develped a bad back albe this evening. To is an ache- not a pain like lumbay - and do not know what has caused it, cantlen bad on sale Walamts, boot polial, pens, shoelace ets today. Backache fretty bad tday Col Denliam tunts itis only muscular + not due to any laidny trouble but he is going to watch it carefully. F we lotday & the first for some time when we lve lad no rain at all. 125 more officers & mew die into this Quy soque time tonight. We are unable to gather any news as to where they came from a wee they are. Vigelant guard tonight 2230 -2400. naw party arrived about 1930 last nightt. They are all English or Dutch and are from Hdite caup & a copper mining camp in we north cytl Island man af them are in very bad sleape ideed. One man for gample premdisly weighed 1stare 19 now weigh stone Tey describe the condition in this cap accomodation foodetc as absoaited glarian - so one con imagine what itf must have ben like in their penious camps Curchased bottle tomets cause, bottle cypup, th direed fish flakes & t b coffee at the canteon this morning usual church service held at 1100 lvs 23rd 24t Very hot day. Persistent rumers that all the Generals Brigadiers brl to be moved very shortly to another camp. Unleasant incident occurred toy. JK was strecle in the face yestenday on morning tarade by a nisen N.C.O because he gave his squad stad at case before the whole of the ispecting party had pased his squad. the officer otes day had gove on out w all te He put a complaine in about it & today was taken t the O.OGroom where the N.C.O.i reiewed him & ted appened to people who him he would slaw him what complained in the hiponese army. He thereyou bnoched him down seven times, owving to water sbortages, the water has lad to be restricted + it is only turned on now at Crtain hours, mainly in the eare morning just after meals + before evening role call eentirely uneveriful day. Rackache is still) pretty bad and docent seem to be improving at all. We have veaw re awanes in squads but y fravert Ie grio & Brigs, roon is still actared the squads pretty bad but is a little botter now than it was a week ago. Have used the last of my bull Red cross sugar & only have & few Sinces in small trs noy Today & special prade of all proers was called for 1300 lrs. The Cmmandant addressed & and told us that the personnal of the comp was now firced & we wuse seale dawn to make the camp as convenient as pssible. He went on to say that be leven eash of us were confident that we were going to wen te war, gapan was equally cortain that she would wen. Japan had a hundred willion people regimented &a villion asastics behind this and even if fermanys I taly were Carten Japan was still consident of victory. However as it was way the refult must rest with God. In Japan eyeve man womens coild was worling. We Po.ns were the only people not worliig + so be had decided to establish a farm where we cauld raise livestack + grow vegetables efc We were all medically examined, today very thoroughly by our own M.as, we leking, to classing us for work on the farm. I was found to be plysically fit but owing to the very lane amount of weight I have lost (38 Cilos) I was put as class s. He entisted men started onthe farm today. They report it is a lange flat area which coolrs as is is had oure been jaddi fields. At present they are waking on drains to doy it a but + natue cave plaughing it up I were given permiision today to write a letty home same to be handed in by tomarrow gening still no letters from lme and n newstapers t this maning 251,373 saiads were sudderly andred to parade at 0820 bys. We were then marched out of cn 7 pett to ware cutting scrul for three hours _ with 3 Greaks. It was really quite pleasant but a little bit too long ne beavas f two days now. I sean to have developed a tendency for cattrrl-jax tibe pich und to beve it.
Aug 29th usual church service this manim. Have felt you borribly depessed all day oday, cannot get any interest in annthing & dee to wn cannot even sit down in comfort as have Elevelozed a ngate boil on my tail. Quite a good coup tought with a eittle oit of meat in it. Worleing party testay of 4 Squads of officerst wolded or I houve this morning & two this afternoon. I number of leteers from rolland, written in Aril, aprived today for various Dutch officers & man 89 & 16 Squads out worlding all day to doy Nigilant guard last nigat to30-5400. Hot ofperive by had dinner this evening with Brig. Selbe his bda & Bug Cerson x Taken out to wark today at 08.20 & renained out iel 1100 live with & breaks for Smakeoh. Out again at 143 ual 1720 with only one break. Hard solid work with loesete in a very bot sim. Too bot & tired to ent much by the time I got in, very imploasant tixednt occurred today out at lugh Gen Callaglan was vesten on his ralil, when saylor sang out lym Do some mole there you layy bastard. You Ho nothing out pole on your water several of hs enjessed beorn & instantly sayles turned on us & said I done want any comments from any of you, I say whoe I think It was said in the beaving of a growd of English Dutch gens & Brigs & left a very poor pugression of Ausialians I am afraid I it had been under vermal conditions I would have placed him under awrest + clanged him myself, but what san one do wre in a pO.W. camp 2 unevernful day. Had a bad night lest night. It was terribly Closeg staffy anda terific thunder sterm passed over out without Learing te an a raining. I did get to sleep until nearly one Oclack Examination by nipponose NrC.O. of all offices alleged & our Mos to be unfit for beavy wrk. N.COretains the right- & exercises it of completely overviding the opinion of a medical officer + adering awone out to work if he sees fit. As a resuld of the enanination worling ligls have been ingane & it Coks as thangh we can expect beavy of stead work in the near future. pain this afternoon for the first time for 4a5 days. It has been impleasantly bot g moszy & the rain has cooled things down considerable wate this marning from 0830 -1120 beend up greasin a very stany patce about 2 will from camp. Intra work vice this evening Sunday. Warm-muggy day. Eop. Cayt. Rich died in the camp haspital today memorial service ate for Gop. Apr. Rice. He was seened in A cemeting which has been established) about mile from camp, Heany rain in the Affernoon. asan Electric lights failed this evening and as a result we were in complae darknges until about 2100 lis Very sae avm today. Am afraid I am getting a nest of 5a 6 boils on my arm fit. And going on sick parade in mouning to see it niponose N.G.O. will excuse me from work. Had a bad attack of cattarblr or boy-fever lle tday. Could not stoy eneezing & my nose absolutely oan for about two bours. start water Sserving for a week as from tomorrow squado /, 2, & 3 were taken out to werk today from 0830- 1/45& from 1500-1000, It was a very bot obn. I had to go on sich parade because of the soils under we arm + te nixpanese N.C.O. directed that I shaaed be fut upon fred ticket ye no wak Entia wm rice was sisned this evening. A5 packets of cigarettes & a few cigars pr officer were available in the cauteen today. The cisars worked out at Foyte acoust ordered Very heany eartsquabe shock at 0300 lwve this maning yee whole building slook + ratiled were than it has done before & the slock lasted for several seconds I am on vigelant guard from 0300 - 0420 hs tongrow morning. Boils under my arm are still tretty bad although one often bolse this afternoon. Dane issee of etra nice today. We eve ead no bahanas ar other fring for over a week + no newspapers dated since 5 July obtained I thi fish flalels, I ti vegstables pich + ver sale & 1 bottle a vitamin pills amast three today Boils under my arm very bad today. On other has broksen but others are not yet readyp it is mast unconfortable. Rails a sittle Detter today. 1 Waleamo to wace availabl trough canteen. a little neat ithe soupe bnight but meals still pretty foor Dails much ingroved, squad taken out to work today from 0810 -1130 & 1300 - 1530. camp was inispected lman outside staf officer. Today has been a day of promised & fromisin everts. This worning there" was a general prade & the cmp vudt & thstaf officer whe was intratuced to us as the col. in charge of P.0.W admon in 74.WAx addressed us. The dayi condt enplained that he was annious to d all in his power to inpove our conditions. It was for this reason that the famm was been started. In the farm swed platges dcumbers calages melous etc would be grown & used ty impobe our diet. Towls & ducks a nuwber of tigs were to be procured so as to injoove our diet. The hill cutside ts camp area which we had cleared would be said out as a park for our berefit. He gylaind that we must not consider this a sign of weekness or that gapn was being beaten but if we would co -operate to the limit of our power he would do all he could to belp the Col. spoke on Similar lines Then at 1320 livs a a number of officers, 3 British, 3 americans, 3 Dutch & two Clustalian iajor yen Callaghan & Col dhyer) attended at gat H L. They were tae given a r eiscults et I treated with great courtesy he camp coudt exlained that he had got tem
£14 15 16 17 18 Ogether to have a telle over watter axpecting our welfare. In neply to various matters hised ly the officers be explined that he was doing his best timprove ourdiet & hoped for graet results from the farm. In te meantime he would procue more degstaoles to the linet ofliis powers. Merspapers bad not been cicliberatey to led out there had been a change of policy from Tolu whereby the Sent papers ristead of him beyying locally unfortunated were had bee a long hold up. One loe bad teie from Toley but were for the last prood over which be had dready bouft rsuplie e be was loking for anoled sliment very soon. truit baranas it wore not reaching us sous tere was a chatera scare & we were being iiolated in many resports but be posed this wrued and may soon nail was in thys & all be pould say wad tee he was boping for it to arrwe any play Eugar had seen bought & wele only awditing tu He was endeavour to arrange for a Avilian gu rinte clothes would be isould io us sou adloget sen Callaglan, goe a very favourable pprecion this worning Coolie bats were made piailable 35 sen each Fers afternoon half the goats ever suilted & we understand will be sile rovy tomorrow. The saup touight was better than it was seen for some tuke, aeready sowe of de pomised benoits leave erituated, tt get bet water after eugper touight stoday vorluty per worled in shifts of half wishing & half reting ey addition particulars were toleen for bim oteciop to visit us. Finished water serain today ave yed another borl, on my eep ow the sen time. Toup today lead gont wes in it& was very palatable. lane coninment of artiales same in fothe mytten tody our &do not lenow yet what they coni of mre letters arrived for Come of the puted ofice tday from Blland, deed up to 25 my squad out wrling t ay0815-1120, 1434-1715 &e steamy day. Tenea again flaring up op my feet & under my arm pits. Bittle syrup, 1 of tomoto sauce & one of pavoury eall avallable today from the cautten. Eo has nad weaie going a wonderful charge to the vice. through anter water scortage. H ls bean turned of all day, even in the sacharuse & the only means of washing ourselves & oup dialso etcllas been by grawing water out of a not too clean well. This afternoon we were all ordered to sign a paper reading as follows: we the following members of Group swear that we will obey te rules & regupation of this this camp especially with regard to peaping &f furter we avow dat we i vociptar mettyally warn each other in case any viocation of the said rules & negusation are observed newsfapers Gix 50 f arrived & were distributed to day. Was weighed to day 52 o a con of t alor
19 20 21 22 23 24 Sundy usual church service this monni I has been quite a bit Coolerbe lest dayr th sit of meet in the Deep tomght wich wad a pleasant change. Water turned of all day again encept for about ler this sorning Tater Shortage very rcute today. No water t wsh sitte owron o our rislas until about 1000 when we c oudwit one cup of was in watr rigant guard might 2100 1236 Wetershortage still pretaining no water t for wrsting enpected by a goy today the thi o s Ofthe Twan Command. Banana ag ad tarted again nowI bo iw contiue Balance of the gonts were hilled ths afternoon. 500 Kilor of sugar were brought in coy & now we are waiting for an issul of sama Equado 12,384 worlsed all paining but bey rent your otter squads ot this aenoon 2doy of sugars half a bay of soapiised to each of us iodday. This werning fatigne parties went out of an to a nearly well & braught back buckets of water for washing) disbesote about haga alicket each it worked out at squad wils out working at the parp from 1430-1715 Squareparkeed torlay from 1430 - 1885 one of ts frm my boils have cleared yp now & nlyred tinge was passed in today so I go out to wall in future. New rule rect out by the nipponere today; En futfere Eligilan grd will visit each room twick in each speried be ts an duty switch on the aig mopet every glader t dre that ha co properly coveral slaep will be imporsible t the rull is strietly carried out. Two begelys of water for person were coined toply er washing. Have been dreaming af nargie a tremendous lot lately night ofter wighe she comes into my dreansHadever te dreams are alevery pleasant neare always bringing in los rodig too 3d I seally enjoy than, water carying faligue from 0800- 1040. Hli afternoon we had a visit from ourrepe ofour potecting pwers - the Ewios Coroul of Rooe for Cretisle & Amorican & the Qwedish cmsul or ove Ofhis step- oor the Dutch. One rgreantative for each country (chosen by the gapanase) inot them & some plain spealeing toob place. The ot apurpowes were agarently very helpfy gave the inyuenion of being anxious to the The mp cnt fat his cout of vi jusafying various things & denyil same of dur ertn The chiff mati aised were work, por food, wail & last of nedical supplies

[*1943*]
[*July 31st*] Finished my tour of duty as rice - server today.
Papers are long overdue & now persistent rumors
are current that we are not going to receive
them any longer. This can only, we assume, be
because the news in Europe is so good from our
point of view but what good it can do them -
or what harm it can be for us to see the news-
papers & learn what is happening, it is difficult
to see. Rumors are also persistent today that
a "heat" is to be turned on from tomorrow. I
hope that is not true! Last night a main
fuse in the electric service blew out & the 
whole camp was in absolute darkness for
several hours.
[*Aug 1st*] Church service had to be put off again today as tb 
80 Cols. (including those whose turn it was to conduct
the service) had to report at 0800 hrs this morning
for work. They only received very short notice.
Another pineapple (1 to each 4 officers) issue today
& also pork in tonight's soup. Today about 150
more books arrived for the camp library. They
were sent apparently by the YMCA in Japan.
[*2nd*] Warned today that tomorrow we will be inspected
by the C.O. of Prison camps in Taiwan & the day after
by the G.O.C. Taiwan. This afternoon we all had
to turn out & work at cleaning up the camp
but a heavy shower of rain came & we were
all sent in. 8o colonels per day are being made
to work around the camp doing odd jobs. meals
still very bad & no more fruit today.

[*3rd*] Today's inspection was fixed for 1530 hrs & we all
stood by at that time after a practice parade at
1300 hrs. However heavy rain started at about
1515 hrs & the inspection today was put off. This
evening major Gen Overraker was taken away
out of the camp together with a Dutch Col who
had also served in SUMATRA. They only received
notice when they were on evening roll call
parade. They were taken straight to their
rooms, made to pack one suitcase under the
supervision of a Nippon officer & guard & all
their papers were confiscated. They asked if they
were going to a hot or cold climate but the nippon
officer would not tell them. They were not
allowed to speak to anyone but were told their
luggage would be sent on after them.

[*4th*] This morning we were told that Overraker was
permanently off the strength of this camp. Gen
Ando the G.O.C Taiwan inspected us in our quarters
at 0830 hrs this morning. meals today have
reached a new low level record - not enough
vegetables in any of the meals to fill a big
sized spoon.

[*5th*] Uneventful day. meals still very poor. Am getting a
very sore left eye. It feels a bit like a Sy Stye (if
that is how you spell it) only very much worse.
Vigilant guard tonight 2400-0130 hrs.

[*6th*] Preparations seem to now be completed for the arrival
of more officers. Enlisted men have been working
all day filling mattresses & the end barracks
have been cleaned up & roped off & put out
of bounds. Started a new treatment for my feet

today - bathing in hot Condy's fluid. Eye still very
sore & swollen.

[*7th*] Dull, wet day. Eyes still very inflamed & painful.
Nippon medical Corporal examined them today & Col
Derham made application for Vitamin A tablets &
for glasses for me to wear in lieu of my present
ones which are quite inadequate, To both
requests he stated that it was impossible as the
articles required were not available. Have also
developed a slight cold.

[*8th*] Small amount available in canteen today - 2
wakamotos, 1 box powder & 1 pair underpants. The latter
were priced at 1 yen 75 sen & were made out of
flour - bags stitched together. Meals still very bad.
no bananas today. Also received a shaving
mirror which I had ordered.

[*9th*] This morning the Camp Comdt. took the morning roll call
parade himself - the first time it has happened. A.V.M
Maltby tackled him after the parade & complained about
the very poor meals we have been having, as a result
the Camp Comdt. when across to the kitchen &
inspected the soup. unfortunately it was the best soup
we have had for about 10 days. Still it was
explained to him that it was far better than usual
& we are hoping for some results within the next
day or two. This afternoon a party of 21 Senior officers
& O.Rs arrived here from Hong-Kong. They are at
present isolated & we have no details of them or of
any news which they may have.
[*10th*]  Have developed a terrific attack of sneezing. It doesn't
feel like a cold but more like cattarrh. I sneeze
sometimes 10-15 times in succession & my nose
absolutely runs at times. I have neither of the
ordinary signs of a cold so far. This afternoon
the nipponese sent for me to identify the things I had
handed in to them at Karenko as the labels had
come off. All they could find of mine was my
tableknife, my compass & my torch. Have organized
a duplicate bridge match for tomorrow between
teams of English, Dutch, American & Dominions. I am
playing with Trott.

[*11th*] Played the duplicate match this morning. We came third.
Americans won, with British second. Unfortunately it
had to be cut short as the nipponese sent for all
the Java party at 1030 hrs to have their second Diptheria
inoculation. Meals a bit better today & banana
issues have started again. Today we could each
purchase up to 350 cigarettes & 22 cigars through
the canteen. Cold still pretty heavy.

[*12*] Cold very heavy today with a bit of sinus trouble. Am
also getting a skin irritation on my face. My skin
is evidently in a very bad state as the slightest scratch
or abrasion - or even one of the countless mosquito,
midge or ant bites which are unavoidable here -
tends to swell up & itches terribly. My right eye
is also very sore & irritable tonight so altogether
I am feeling pretty cheap.

[*13th*] Cold a good deal better today, no bananas issued
today but one pineapple amongst five.

[*14th*] The Hongkong party were released from quarantine
today. One Major Gen - A.V.M Maltby's  brother, three
Brigadiers & a naval Commodore moved into our
quarters so every cubicle is now fully occupied

 

[*1943*]
[*Aug. 14(contd)*]  As a result of this food has to be served in our rooms
& our room drew the first week of rice issue. It is an
awful nuisance as 34 bowls of rice have to be
dished out, out of a bucket & it is impossible to do
this without dropping a certain amount on the
table & floor. This attracts flies & ants & altogether it
is going to make the room in a hell of mess.
However, once I have finished this week I wont catch
it again for about 8 weeks so it is not so bad
then.

[*15th*] Sunday. Usual church services. Am having an
uncomfortable time with skin troubles. Every mosquito
ant or midge bite now comes up immediately into
a little hard lump which lasts for days & itches
like the devil. At times I can hardly restrain
myself from scratching myself to pieces!

[*16th*] B.P. left camp this morning to go to another P.0.W.
camp. In his place we have another office who
for a time was at Karenko & whom the officers
that were under him found very just & fair.
Yesterday at the canteen we could each buy 1 bottle
of fruit syrup, 1 bottle tomatoe sauce, 1 bottle 
curry powder & 1 tin of pepper. Manoeuvres are
going on again in the neighbourhood at present.
Had a disturbed night last night being up
four times.

[*17th*] Uneventful day. Very little rain. At last the
authorities have issued material for filling our
pillows & they also issued mattresses to the
Col's squad. Rumors that 120 more officers
& men are being brought to this camp but
no indication where they are coming from.

[*18th*] Persistent rumors that we are about to be moved
again to another camp, that is Gens & Brigadiers, but
do not think there is anything in it. Have
developed a bad back ache this evening. It is
an ache - not a pain like lumbago - and do not
know what has caused it. Canteen had on
sale Wakamoto, boot polish, pens, shoe-laces etc
today.

[*19th*] Backache pretty bad today. Col Derham thinks it is
only muscular & not due to any kidney trouble
but he is going to watch it carefully. Fine hot day
& the first for some time when we have had
no rain at all.

[*20th*] 125 more officers & men due into this camp some
time tonight. We are unable to gather any
news as to where they come from or who they
are. Vigilant guard tonight 2230 -2400.

[*21st*] New party arrived about 1930 last night. They are
all English or Dutch and are from Haito camp &
a copper-mining camp in the north of the Island.
Many of them are in very bad shape indeed. One
man for example previously weighed 16 stone 10 &
now weighs 6 stone! They describe the conditions
in this camp, accomodation, food etc as absolutely
glorious - so one can imagine what it must have
been like in their previous camps.

[*22nd*] Purchased 1 bottle tomato sauce, 1 bottle syrup, 1 tin
dried fish flakes & 1/4 lb coffee at the canteen this
morning. Usual church service held at 1100 hrs
[*23rd.*]  Very hot day. Persistent rumors that all the Generals
& Brigadiers are to be moved very shortly to another
camp.

[*24th*] Unpleasant incident occurred today. Gen K was struck
in the face yesterday on morning parade by a nippon
N.C.O because he gave his squad "stand at ease" before
the whole of the inspecting party had passed his squad.
The officer of the day had gone on but not all the others.
He put a complaint in about it & today was taken to
the O.D's room where the N.C.O. interviewed him and told
him he would show him what happened to people who
complained in the nipponese army. He thereupon knocked
him down seven times. Owing to water shortages, the
water has had to be restricted & it is only turned
on now at certain hours, mainly just in the early
morning, just after meals & before evening roll
call.

[*25th*] Entirely uneventful day. Backache is still pretty bad
and doesn't seem to be improving at all. We have
been re-arranged in squads but they haven't
altered the squads of the Gens & Brigs. Food is still
pretty bad but is a little better now than
it was a week ago. Have used the last of my
bulk Red Cross sugar & only have a few ounces
in small tins now.

[*26th*] Today a special parade of all prisoners was called for
1300 hrs. The Commandant addressed us and told
us that the personnel of the camp was now fixed
& we must settle down to make the camp as
convenient as possible. He went on to say that
he knew each of us were confident that we
were going to win the war. Japan was equally
certain that she would win. Japan had a
hundred million people regimented & a billion
Asiastics behind this and even if Germany &
Italy were beaten Japan was still confident
of victory. However as it was war, the result
must rest with God. In Japan every man
woman & child was working. We P.O.W s were
the only people not working & so he had
decided to establish a farm where we could
raise livestock & grow vegetables etc.

[*27*] We were all medically examined today very
thoroughly by our own M.Os, we believe, to classify
us for work on the farm. I was found to be
physically fit but owing to the very large amount
of weight I have lost (28 kilos) I was put as
class 3. The enlisted men started on the farm
today. They report it is a large flat area which
looks as if it had once been paddi fields. At
present they are working on drains to dry it off
a bit & natives are ploughing it up. Were
given permission today to write a letter home
same to be handed in by tomorrow evening. Still
no letters from home and no newspapers yet.

[*28th*] This morning nos 1, 2 & 3 squads were suddenly ordered to parade
at 0830 hrs. We were then marched out of camp & put to
work cutting scrub for three hours -  with 3 breaks. It
was really quite pleasant but a little bit too
long. No bananas for two days now. I seem to have
developed a tendency for catarrh - just like Dick used
to have it.

 

[*Aug 29th*]  Usual church service this morning. Have felt most 
horribly depressed all day today. Cannot get any 
interest in anything & except everything seems to go wrong. Cannot 
even sit in comfort as have developed a nasty 
boil on my "tail". Quite a good soup tonight with a 
little bit of meat in it.
[*30th*] Working party today of 4 squads of officers - worked

for 3 hours this morning & two this afternoon. A

number of letters from Holland, written in April, arrived

today for various Dutch officers & men.

[*31st*] 8, 9, & 10 Squads out working all day today. Vigilant

guard last night 20:30 - 2400. Hot oppressive day.

Had dinner in the evening with Brig. Selby (his birthday)

& Brig Pierson.

[*Sept 1st*] Taken out to work today at 08:30 & remained out until

1100 hrs with 2 breaks for Smokeoh. Out again at 1430 until

1730 with only one break. Hard solid work with

hoes etc in a very hot sun. Too hot & tired to eat

much by the time I got in. Very unpleasant incident 

occurred today out at work. Gen Callaghan was resting

on his rake when Taylor sang out to him "Do some

work there you lazy bastard. You do nothing but

pole on your mates" Several of us expressed horror

& instantly Taylor turned on us & said "I don't want 
any comments from any of you. I say what I think."

It was said in the hearing of a crowd of English &
Dutch Gens & Brigs. & left a very poor impression 
of Australians I am afraid. If it had been under
normal conditions I would have placed him

under arrest & charged him myself, but what can 

one do here in a P.O.W. Camp?
[*2nd*] Uneventful day. Had a bad night last night. It

was terribly closed stuffy and a terrific thunder
storm passed over but without clearing the air

or raining. Didn't get to sleep until nearly one

o'clock.

[*3rd*]  Examination by nipponese NC.O. of all officers alleged by

our M.O.'s to be unfit for heavy work. N.C.O. retains

the right & exercises it - of completely overriding the

opinion of a medical officer & ordering anyone 

out to work if he sees fit. As a result of the 

examination "working lists" have been prepared &

it looks as though we can expect heavy & steady

work in the near future. Rain this afternoon for

the first time for 4 or 5 days. It has been unpleasantly

hot & muggy & the rain has cooled things down

considerably.

[*4th*] Work this morning from 0830 - 1130 hoeing up grass in

a very stony patch about 1/2 mile from camp. Extra 

work rice this evening.

[*5th*] Sunday. Warm - muggy day. Grp. Capt. Rice died in

the camp hospital today.

[*6th*] Memorial service etc for Grp. Capt. Rice. He was buried in

a cemetery which has been established about 1

mile from camp. Heavy rain in the afternoon.

as a is Electric lights failed this evening and as

a result we were in complete darkness until

about 2100 hrs. 

[*7th*] Very sore arm today. Am afraid I am getting a 

nest of 5 or 6 boils in my arm-pit. Am going on

sick parade in morning to see if nipponese N.C.O.

will excuse me from work. Had a bad attack of

cattarh or hay-fever also today. Could not stop 

sneezing & my nose absolutely ran for about two hours.

Start water serving for a week as from tomorrow. 

[*8th*] Squads 1, 2 & 3 were taken out to work today from

0830 - 1145 & from 1500-1800. It was a very hot

day. I had to go on sick parade because of the 

boils under my arm & the nipponese N.C.O.

directed that I should be put upon "red ticket"

i.e., no work. Extra work rice was issued

this evening. 25 packets of cigarettes & a few 

cigars for officers were available in the canteen

today. The cigars worked out at 1/3 of the 

amount ordered.

[*9th*] Very heavy earthquake shock at 0200 hrs this morning.

The whole building shook & rattled more than it has

done before  & the shock lasted for several seconds.

I am on vigilant guard from 0300 - 0430 hrs tomorrow

morning.

[*10th*] Boils under my arm are still pretty bad although

one of them broke this afternoon. Large issue of 

extra rice today. We have had no bananas or 

other fruit for over a week & no newspapers dated

since 5th July.

[*11th*] Obtained 1 tin fish flakes, 1 tin vegetables (pickled & very

salt) & 1 bottle A vitamin pills amongst three today.

Boils under my arms very bad today. Another has

broken but others are not yet ready & it is

most uncomfortable.

[*12*] Boils a little better today. 1 Wakamoto made available

through canteen. A little meat in the soup tonight

but meals still pretty poor.

[*13.*] Boils much improved. Squad taken out to work 

today from 0810 - 1130 & 1300 - 1530. Camp was 

inspected by an outside staff officer.

[*14.*] Today has been a day of promised & promising 

events. This morning there was a general parade

& the Camp Comdt. & the Staff officer who was

introduced to us as the Col. in Charge of P.O.W. 

admin in TAIWAN addressed us. The Camp

Comdt. explained that he was anxious to do

all in his power to improve our conditions. It 

was for this reason that the farm was being

started. In the farm sweet potatoes cucumbers

cabbages, melons etc would be grown & used to

improve our diet. Fowls & ducks a number of pigs

were to be procured so as to improve our 

diet. The hill outside the camp area which we

had cleared would be laid out as a park for

our benefit. He explained that we must not

consider this a sign of weakness or that Japan

was being beaten but if we would co-operate 

to the limit of our power he would do all

he could to help. The Col. spoke on similar lines.

Then at 1330 hrs ab a number of officers, 3 

British, 3 Americans, 3 Dutch & two Australians

(Major Gen Callaghan & Col Thyer) attended at

Jap HQ. They were then given tea, fruit,

biscuits etc & treated with great courtesy. The 

Camp Comdt explained that he had got them

 

[*1943*]

[*Sept 14*] [*cont*] together to have a talk over matter affecting our

welfare. In reply to various matters raised by the 

officers he explained that he was doing his best

to improve our diet & hoped for great results from the

farm. In the meantime he would procure more

vegetables to the limit of his powers. Newspapers had

not been deliberately withheld but there had been 

a change of policy from Tokyo whereby they sent papers

instead of him buying locally. Unfortunately there

had been a long hold-up. One lot had arrived

from Tokyo but were for the last period over which

he had already bought & supplied. However he

was hoping for another shipment very soon. Fruit

bananas etc were not reaching us because there

was a cholera scare & we were being isolated in

many respects but he hoped this would end

very soon. mail was in Tokyo & all he could say

was that he was hoping for it to arrive any day.

Sugar had been bought & was only awaiting transport.

He was endeavouring to arrange for a civilian dentist

Winter clothes would be issued to us soon. Altogether

Gen Callaghan got a very favourable impression.

This morning "Coolie hats" were made available 

at 35 sen each. This afternoon half the goats were

killed + we understand will be in the soup 

tomorrow. The soup tonight was better than it

has been for some time.

[*15*] Already some of the promised benefits have eventuated. We

got hot water after supper tonight & todays working party

worked in shifts of half working & half resting. In

addition particulars were taken for an optician to

visit us. Finished water serving today. Have 

developed another boil on my left elbow this

time. Soup today had great meat in it & was 

very delectable. 

[*16.*] Large contingent of articles came in for the canteen

today but I do not know yet what they consist 

of. More letters arrived for some of the Dutch officers

today from Holland, dated up to 25 May. 

[*17*] Squad out working today 0815-1130, 1430-1715. Hot

steamy day. Tenea again flaring up on my feet

& under my arm pits.

[*18.*] 1 Bottle syrup, 1 of tomato sauce & one of savoury salt 

available today from the canteen. It has made

a wonderful change to the rice. We are going

through another water shortage. It has been

turned off all day, over in the bathhouse & the

only means of washing ourselves & our dishes

etc has been by drawing water out of a 

not too clean well. This afternoon we were

all ordered to sign a paper reading as follows:

"We the following members of Group --- swear

that we will obey the rules and regulations of this

this camp especially with regard to escaping &

further we avow that we will voluntarily &

mutually warn each other in case any

violation of the said rules & regulations are

observed." Newspapers - July 5 - 20 - arrived

& were distributed today. Was weighed today -

52 kilos - a loss of 1.1 kilos.

 

[*19.*] Sunday usual church service this morning.

It has been quite a bit cooler the last day or two.

Bit of meat in the soup tonight which made

a pleasant change. Water turned off all day

again except for about 1 hour this morning.

[*20.*] Water shortage very acute today. No water 

to wash ourselves or our dishes until

about 1600 when were each issued with

one cup of washing water. Vigilant guard

tonight 2100 - 2230.

[*21.*] Water shortage still continuing - no water today for 

washing.  Inspected by a Gen today - the Chief of Staff

of the Taiwan Command. Banana issue has

started again now & I hope it will continue.

Balance of the goats were killed this

afternoon. 500 kilos of sugar were brought in 

today & now we are waiting for an issue

of same. Squads 1, 2, 3 & 4 worked all morning 

but they sent four other squads out this 

afternoon

[*22*] 20 ozs of sugar & half a bar of soap issued to 

each of us today. This morning fatigue parties

went out of camp to a nearby well & brought

back buckets of water for washing dishes etc.

About half a bucket each it worked out at.

Squad was out working at the farm from 

1430 - 1715.

[*23*] Squad worked today from 1430 - 1835 out at 

the farm. My boils have cleared up now

& my red ticket was passed in today so I

go out to work in future. New rule put

out by the nipponese today: In future vigilant

guard will visit each room twice in each 

period he is on duty, switch on the light &

inspect every sleeper & see that he is properly

covered. Sleep will be impossible if the rule

is strictly carried out. Two big cups of

water per person were issued today for

washing. Have been dreaming of Margie

a tremendous lot lately.  Night after night

she comes into my dreams. However the

dreams are all very pleasant nearly

always bringing in Rose & Wodie too, so 

I really enjoy them.

[*24*] Water carrying fatigue from 0820 - 1040. This 

afternoon we had a visit from our representatives

of our protecting powers - the Swiss Consul of KOBE

for British & American the Swedish Consul - or one

of his staff - for the Dutch. One representative from

each country (chosen by the Japanese) met them

& some plain speaking took place. The representatives

of our powers were apparently very helpful &

gave the impression of being anxious to help.

The Camp Comdt put his point of view 

justifying various things & denying some of 

our assertions.  The Chief matters raised

were work, poor food, mail & lack of medical 

supplies.

 

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