Diary of Arthur Seaforth Blackburn, April 1942 - November 1944, Part 22 of 26

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

Page 1 / 5

1944 gune an 12 Inoculated with + 38 today. Chief Come Coupt presented 20 kiles of pale to camp tay. 24 was very acceptable! Nigilant gear to wight 2130-2460 His morning everyone was required to sign one of the forses one of which readap voluste for work the other I do not volunteer for work, no specification was wadd as to went core of were a where. Only light officer in the camp signed the form that they as volunteer _ 4 Amenrous, 3 Australan) 81 Dutl. The Aust were taye Manwell tut Hughes Everyone else ligned that thay do note volunteer Very wet day with leavy senwery sunay usual service Tie day ery give day with to mm. This norning we found that we cauld not get at our slols & the main caup gate was shuet & noody allowed out 6 te shoe room yasam Part et. all maning the authorities were in conference at 180t eus be fall in was counded on to Ougle & we were toed to ling up as for gle-all pae inside our butg. The cu comlt is staff then camp along conducted o search of all rooms & all persopal gear etc. This easted until 1530 when we ware dumned. Datl aperands it was announed that all ruless regusations as in force at parented would in fature, be stlatly enforged. no care playing whatever word be alcowed g ve wene sundeys (this is naw; notody wored lo allowed to siter lie on beds between reverlle & bl out- siste agolighed, nobody allowed to bve anything maye Dupper or clogs all pllers in shoe room Cooled up; yaseme tark plosed to all ogicer; no ligees i rooms engere ac meal times o when too dark otherwise sete, I de not understand this in view of the promise ofthe chief commandant that there weuld be he punishment if we did not volfuiteer t wirk. The patrol sall rooms + hutt bis centrie every holr or two is also of stare again. Very wet afternon but fine maning gust day no playing of ganes out the boir on a + musie has been eted for Saturday af terroon & supponice Gliday have been reading all da & this overing have quite a baaibe Te. I dotone I will another anvercary ver bi foter hve awith its exact date: my memy laas beome so bad
1944 Jure 14 15 16 17 18 19 so for teax has been no enterside pattollen novng& buts but this I think io begaue the authorties recognize that use are genuinely trying to Denvy out the orgers oue heavy loer of t tod but in the main a fine day Daon cards &gaines has been lifter for the lospital sont 748 iesten ty & permision given for three feeling the effacts of sayee to be on beds. It ofpepted she male than any exection has f a eng time. Dull day with occusioual heavy showe of hm Esone of one packet of caudy for Po.W. cody. Farther riller promilgated today, ha mcti officers a permitted & more the tlpee Ega at any time will be regarded as a mesting no vidity between Ruts & Darrecks, te reading whilge on vigilant guard. P0.w0 drepolibited from salecting each other irrepective of voule severl officees were pat in the cls of the qun house tocy for various offences against the rufe ts sentences ranging from 5 days to 1. Ang gre gd deys for laving a pair of bootf in he reon Very leang rain nearly all dy Yee morning but dried up in thhe asternoor, cands at allowed thes astenion 5 weae everyove blayed. Last right 97idequed were roused up at midnight & wyde to dreas & gou on parde for an auergenc roll gale Sunday. some diffeculty in abtaining povission I hold Bruice this overning. I make proission was given to hold one sawice hotstants & one for RCo at a time nomingld by the nippnese authorities so that t d Attend & supervise same last night 174 squade were turned out at 0240 hrs & made to dras & go on parade for chargent roll call. a pig was billed tay but none of it was allowed in te officers soap anly in that for the enlisted meats bostital Fieday with no rain but prevegst orders promilgated today that the vighlare yard ance in every how shll go into ever repi witch on the light, an that the coouts are covered up & if not walee trem up make they cover themselves & if there is a drangey sloway stut the windows. Veyy lange Spitish youl has ben in for seveal duys bat mo eigus ay delivery yet encert to the Adminispative stay who have received theirs at $3300 lis tday we were all wohen igs made to dress & attend an emengency w call ceti
1944 June 20 21 30 26 21 37 Fine sunny day. This aftarnison be informed that inkuanze was wereas wth campo therefore the Nippnee meafede Hee required every one to attend at the hoppital will a syrip bottle of aretor. In this sout condy Fliid was misled & we than had to gave by suad we are to continue gatling h squid until further orders at 170f bes imediatel after morring roll call & et 1100 tr Fine wenh day no rain unnlabout 700 hvs. Runsered that there is a very large mail of about 3000 Britgh letter in but no general delivery of same yet. Boide of mith & one eag belpy. Wegled to by51:8 biles lors of 13 bilds Fine morning but rain came aboat 1530 ls gine day. sente uneventful. Vigifent geard 0200 t400 ( fix) Very wet asternoon. Tbe lange wale wheth is at 49 wes due to be Advisred toty Tle names of resipents was sent arit tothe with times they were to attend f sand However on getting to H8t receive save we were informed without any trlanation tht no mail was giving to addistribited today sent b to out guartes my nawe was on tee Est se at lad Idi evidently due to receive laws. Sunday usual church services in tone of the buts this morning Kmips rain all bast mgt out fine day. I5hilosp in de tonight. an me geam pradic after we got we bed last nigh the sentry made ns full our kurteg ceron ous mdow clutting out all of eight from the begilast guard geve sand all taio v atg tis moring when we were all lind u ber well-call at 0630 lro, the guard amounted that wll call would nor until 6730. His afternon Clagete were delivered to all the Americans due to receve same but none to any svitish clear boe day. This astardon letter to the Critel were delevered & I got ten from fose wthe children & Auntic may, Very good newts in that everyone to gering on well. hoave of hols marriage was a bit of a shacle Out I am glad be seengs so hppily married & that hase tee girls like his wep so much. Any raid practices again tonight which pde clep rally dasent He was ggi node to full our curtains aevoso thus. squteing fut all sir
1944 June 38 29 July 1 uninenfed dai clearr Aot Air said Al last night, all day sent cleaning to gan morning will call not uual 0739 lis. Repoe that you of Fanan is due to visi camp a bery British officers from another cam on this Esland arrived here today & confined runian of apening osecond out a geral satisfactory position. all quas ead an Mnrgeey woll call las Dar bot neget. Rall calle at 0730 hro. day Tais morning bugle for rell gall were as usual at 0620& sade had bean on air raid alarm deiving te night this ttig the Interpetar came around & cuftrmed for that during the alarm it was polubited for anyone to ge to the Bango. He poduced no aeternative sslieme for Enyore whose call was imperative. After we had stooe an parate for 20 menute a suptry came along & told us wle all was not until 0730 lis. Sentry went around tday & bole names & several oxfices whom be found asleop sittng up in their eiders & eppeained that it is an axpice to Yry t at all during the day. Fea wtl about $1620 ewe whn rery heavy rain fell. He tase wife is fester uo with nigat roce callo the last to night we have been turned gue stough were kept waiting about to be compwlione after omedrigl Order insued todday that from now pu sifste will be permit ed from 1300- 1430 Large nande of Britisg letters distributed ody bit no war for me. Fine hat morning but very lavey rain in the afternoon & evening. Ai raik alarms are becomng the regular thn now & there has been a blackout to east five of sie rigerts sunday usuel cerrices. Owing to the seacroul the cootro were not allowed t liget the fire until 0030 ars & so aveelsfast was very late. tine bot morning ant very heavy rain in the afternoon time hot day meals are getting stowly wase. American Independance day signalled as follow Emergency Roll call at 0230 hird very poor breakfast. Inmediately agtes breatefas now rule fromsegated that we must salute all Riffanese whenever & however of t wepaes then. Thus when irying to take a wast blong the camp road _ te fuly place we are permitted to walls about is a septry is ou
1964 Gully4 time b He road, by must be galyed every passed, sacite if no beaires is bei worn by bowing & Hhe new order prohibts bowing whire on the move. One must nowstop, com to attention & bow every time. Todays meals were vern bad indeed. hearly overyone has run out of suges eyreyes, bore p wre in the t far no ligus offn comin in. However we lave the assarace of the nitponese authoritte that we are moe being punished for repusing to voluntee prwgt very fine hot dly. This mornings stip prenell, made no petance of laving any seretable It was nerely bot water plaveared in with meses: soory gen cor was lehing when a sentry passed behind hi. Eecupe cox did not salute he was mad to stand to attention out in the very lot pun. This evening Gens. Key + Sitwell had their names taken for not salicting when a cent passed outsis the window of their womped which they were sitting at the time. Tine hot day. Hect Con. Emarping nl call at 0215 this morning Fine hot day general ste up to. at l cell totugh one or two offi in the Jenir squado were becton lip & in squad coe wardle was licked on the for Then duning the night we were woned out wle all at 2330 hs t agai at 415hrs. atle later the Ncp in clarge mate no five times na nos 9810 sued were turned out on both the allave occasions & also at 0215 hrs not wady are we made is turn out but we are made to avess fully as well sach time, Heat well on this morning Anfaute affirers were made to stand in the slen at attantion for alleged failyes salute including t Brigs. Hclon lierce a double ie of ouger cau in this noring. it was very wot but very acceptable. Ien this Eteson we were each presented with I tanaras, a borde of rode watat pinale between 4 a a geeent fom the ripnese any much apprecated! Fis in the coup tonight Sanday. Padre was ill so gen Bropphor loot


[*June 9*]


Inoculated with TAB today. Chief Camp Comdt
presented 20 kilos of pork to camp today. It
was very acceptable! Vigilant guard tonight

[*10*] This morning everyone was required to sign one
of two forms one of which read "I do volunteer 
for work" & the other "I do not volunteer for
work". No specification was made as to
what sort of work or where. Only eight officers
in the camp signed the form that they do
volunteer - 4 Americans, 3 Australians, & 1 Dutch.
The Austs were Taylor, Maxwell, Kent Hughes.
Everyone else signed that they do not
volunteer. Very wet day with heavy
[*11*] Sunday. Usual Services. Fine day. Very quiet
day with no work.

[*12.*] This morning we found that we could not
get at our shoes & the main camp gate
was shut & nobody allowed out to the
shoe room, Yasama Park etc. All morning
the authorities were in conference. At 1300
hrs the "fall in" was sounded on the bugle
& we were told to line up as for roll-call
parade inside our huts. The Camp Comdt
& his staff then camp along & conducted a
search of all rooms & all personal gear
etc. This lasted until 1530 when we were
dismissed. Shortly afterwards it was
announced that all rules & regulations as
in force at Karenko would in future be
strictly enforced. No card playing whatever
would be allowed & no music except on
Sundays (this is new); nobody would be allowed
to sit or lie on beds between reveille & lights
out - siesta abolished. Nobody allowed to have
anything except ^ one pair of slippers or clogs - all others in
shoe room locked up; Yasama Park closed to
all officers; no lights in rooms except at
meal times & when too dark otherwise etc. I do
not understand this in view of the promise
of the Chief Commandant that there would be
no punishment if we did not volunteer for
work. The patrol of all rooms & huts by
sentries every hour or two is also to start
again. Very wet afternoon but fine
[*13.*] Quiet day. No playing of games but the ban
on cards & music has been lifted for
Saturday afternoon & Nipponese holidays.
Have been reading all day & this
evening have quite a headache
Another anniversary away from Rose. I do hope I will
be with her for her next birthday. I have even forgotten
its exact date; my memory has become so bad. 


[*June 14*] So far there has been no extensive patrolling

of rooms & huts but this I think is because

the authorities recognize that we are

genuinely trying to carry out the orders.

Occasional heavy showers of rain today

but in the main a fine day.

[*15.*] Ban on cards & games has been lifted for
the hospital. Second TAB injection today
& permission given for those feeling the
effects of same to lie on beds. It affected
me more than any injection has for a
long time. Dull day with occasional
heavy showers of rain. Issue of one
packet of candy per P.O.W. today.
[*16.*] Further rules promulgated today. No meeting of
officers is permitted & more than three together
at any time will be regarded as a meeting.
No visiting between huts & barracks. No reading
whilst on vigilant guard. P.O.Ws are prohibited
from saluting each other irrespective of rank.
Several officers were put in the cells in the guard-
house today for various offences against the rules,
the sentences ranging from 5 days to 1. Brig Crawford
got 3 days for having a pair of boots in his room.
Very heavy rain nearly all day.
[*17.*] Wet morning but dried up in the afternoon.
Cards etc allowed this afternoon so nearly
everyone played. Last night 9 & 10 squads
were roused up at midnight & made to dress
& gon on parade for an "emergency roll call"
[*18.*] Sunday. Some difficulty in obtaining permission
to hold Services this morning. Finally permission
was given to hold one service for Protestants
& one for R.C.s at a time nominated by the
Nipponese authorities so that they could
attend & supervise same. Last night 1 & 2
squads were turned out at 0200 hrs &
made to dress & go on parade for emergency
roll call. A pig was killed today but
none of it was allowed in the officers soup,
only in that for the enlisted men & hospital.
Fine day with no rain but overcast.
[*19.*] Orders promulgated today that the vigilant guard
once in every hour shall go into every room,
Switch on the light, see that the occupants are
covered up & if not wake them up & make them
cover themselves & if there is a draught blowing
shut the windows. Very large British mail
has been in for several days but no signs
of delivery yet except to the Administrative Staff
who have received theirs. Th At 2300 hrs
today we were all woken up & made to
dress & attend an emergency roll call
(squads 1 & 2) 


[*June 20th*] Fine sunny day. This afternoon we were
informed that influenza was increasing in the
camp & therefore the Nipponese medical N.C.O
required everyone to attend at the hospital with
a syrup bottle of water. In this some Condy's
Fluid was mixed & we then had to gargle
by Squads. We have to continue gargling by
Squads until further orders at 1700 hrs,
immediately after morning roll call & at 1100 hrs.
[*21.*] Fine warm day. No rain until about
1700 hrs. Rumored that there is a very
large mail of about 3000 British letters
in but no general delivery of same
[*51.8*] yet. Bottle of milk & one egg today.
[*22.*] Weighed today - 51.8 kilos loss of .2 kilos.
Fine morning but rain came about
1530 hrs.
[*23.] Fine day. Quite uneventful. Vigilant guard
0200 - 0400 (Gen. C first)
[*24.*] Very wet afternoon. The large mail which is
at H.Q. was due to be delivered today. The
names of recipients was sent around together
with times they were to attend for same.
However on getting to H.Q. to receive same
we were informed without any explanation -
that no mail was going to be distributed
today & sent back to our quarters. My
name was on the list so at last I am
evidently due to receive letters.
[*25*] Sunday. Usual church services in one of the
huts this morning. Terrific rain all last
night but fine day. 25 kilos ^ of pork in the
soup pork tonight. Air-raid Alarm (practice)
soon after we got into bed last night
& the sentry made us pull our curtains
across our window shutting out all
glimmer of light from the vigilant guard -
and all air. Very "heady" this morning.
[*26.*] This morning when we were all lined up
for roll-call at 0620 hrs, the guard
announced that roll call would not be
until 0730. This afternoon letters etc were
delivered to all the Americans due to receive
same but none to any British.
[*27.*] Clear hot day. This afternoon letters to the British
were delivered & I got ten from Rose & the
children & Auntie May. Very good news in
that everyone is getting on well. News of Bob's
marriage was a bit of a shock but I am glad
he seems so happily married & that Rose & the
girls like his wife so much. Air raid
practices again tonight which made he
sleep rather difficult. We were again made
to pull our curtains across thus, shutting out
all air. 


[*June 28.*] Uneventful day. Clear & hot. Air raid alarm
last night. All day spent cleaning up camp.
[*29*] Morning roll call not until 0730 hrs. Report
that Gov. of Taiwan is due to visit camp
A few British officers from another camp
on this Island arrived here today &
confirmed rumors of opening of second front
& general satisfactory position. All squads
had an emergency roll call last

night. Roll call at 0730 hrs. Clear hot
[*30th*]This morning bugle for roll call went as
usual at 0620. There had been an air
raid alarm during the night. This time
the Interpreter came around & informed us
that during the alarm it was prohibited
for anyone to go to the "Benjo". He produced
no alternative scheme for anyone whose
call was imperative! After we had stood
on parade for 20 minutes a sentry came
along & told us roll call was not
until 0730 hrs. Sentry went around today
& took names & several officers whom
he found asleep. Sitting up in their chairs
& explained that it is an offence to
sleep at all during the day. Very hot
& clear until about 1630 hrs when very
heavy rain fell. The latest move is to
pester us with night roll calls. The last
two nights we have been turned out & tonight
were kept waiting about 1/4 hr somewhere after
[*July 1st*] Order issued today that from now on siesta
will be permitted from 1300 - 1430. Large number
of British letters distributed today but no more
for me. Fine hot morning but very heavy
rain in the afternoon & evening. Air raid
alarms are becoming the regular thing now &
there has been a blackout the last five or six
[*2nd*] Sunday. Usual services. Owing to the
blackout the cooks were not allowed to
light the fires until 0530 hrs & so
breakfast was very late. Fine hot
morning but very heavy rain in the
[*3*] Fine hot day. meals are getting slowly worse.
[*4.*] American Independance Day. Signalled as follows:-
Emergency Roll call at 0230 hrs. Very poor
breakfast. Immediately after breakfast new
rule promulgated that we must salute all
Nipponese whenever & however often we pass
them. Thus when trying to take a walk along
the camp road - the only place we are
permitted to walk about - if a sentry is on 


[*July 4*]

[*contd.*] the road, he must be saluted every time he is
passed. Salute if no headress is being worn
is by bowing & the new order prohibits bowing
whilst on the move. One must now stop, come
to attention & bow every time. Todays meals
were very bad indeed. Nearly everyone has
run out of sugar & syrup & there is no more
in the PX store so far & no signs of any coming
in. However we have the assurance of the
Nipponese authorities that we are not being
punished for refusing to volunteer for work.
[*5.*] Very fine hot day. This morning's soup frankly
made no pretence of having any vegetable
in it. It was merely hot water flavoured
with "mēsoo". Today Gen. Cox was bathing
when a sentry passed behind him. Because
Cox did not salute he was made to stand
to attention out in the very hot sun. This
evening Gens. Key & Sitwell had their names
taken for not saluting when a sentry passed
outside the window of their room in which
they were sitting at the time.
[*6*] Fine hot day. Heat still on. Emergency
roll call at 0215 this morning
[*7*] Fine hot day. General Stin up today. At
roll call tonight one or two officers in
the Junior Squads were beaten up & in 6
Squad Col Wardle was kicked on the foot.
Then during the night we were turned
out for roll call at 2330 hrs & again
at 0415 hrs. At the latter the NCO in
charge made up us "no" five times & made
no 2 squad "no" 6 times. 9 & 10 squads
were turned out on both the above
occasions & also at 0215 hrs. Not merely
are we made to turn out but we
are made to dress fully as well each
[*8.th*]Heat well on this morning. A number of
officers were made to stand in the
sun at attention for alleged failures
to salute including two Brigs. Vachon &
Pierce. Th A double issue of sugar came
in this morning. It was very wet but
very acceptable. Then this afternoon
we were each presented with 8
bananas, a bottle of soda water & 1
pinapple between 4 "as a present
from the Nipponese Army". Much
appreciated! Fish in the soup tonight
[*9*] Sunday. Padre was ill so Gen Brougher took 

Last edited by:
Jane BrownJane Brown
Last edited on:

Last updated: