Diary of Arthur Seaforth Blackburn, April 1942 - November 1944, Part 23 of 26

Second World War, 1939–45
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1944 12 11 14 the service, Zine lot day. I few incidents re not selecting poperly This morning singing unning tunespt was stoped by the guard. gen. gones was wasing con clothes + gently singing whilst be dif 20 agin came along + loed him any singing policatling it was prolibited a few sudila itclents orcured elsentere cips a on isa tody di tt mrning a aterwart but rain in Denning t dr upleaca ient, yben we lines my at roll call the overig it was raining Agter we had stood for a fee mnte in the rain it was announced that there would be no roll call. Then at 0030 te whole camp was voused up made to get up dress for roll call Hew well on & various paoe in trouble all over the camp. Fine has day 240030 2 sauad in our bust was turned out to wel pa els in the ourse wolse up &or eglad at 0145 the whole thet was again turned out for roll call. A simler torolade was adopted in the other buts, stl very wl rain. 84 led Cros parcels were made ave lave for distribution to day which wrthed out at parcel between C. Tley were from Cauada I contained the usual rice articles. Fiie morning but very heavy rain about 1800 ars inoculited agt rgeetry today trouble occu red tody in the Contel polo sad They were ordered to thrn out for aptie-malarial wgh (careeway gran ote o our the (to paracle in bootd or thoss. One & were to member of the equed lut a bat le & soded nt pet on his stes Hs netsonere pco e-thy medical &C0 innrodatel Strue hm in the face. I am not clear what bast, then but it appears that the P0 & spolle to the Co in Dutch & the rco allexes that be aofted a treatening attitude HP0 w was atonce struck & bicked & Enoched about & then removed to be guard wise &t had been suvsequently transpired that he sentarced to 10 doy in the cells orcent gun are very troudlesdme, Tey nesist upon a salate at every possible opportunt & most oe fail to acknowledge thp salut any way. Tonight at wel epee the shy to the west was lit up with what very te glow off be loolied libe fire. It styed a eright red inoldtion on the Londs all night _ it was stiee there at 0500 in the morning _ & I think it ijust have bee a very big fives Vey hes thunderstone in the btarbon with trad thunder + ligating leavy rai
1944 July 15 15 17 19 30 21 12 dineventful day, no rain. Ameriaps are getting letters) lunted to 25 wors, up to Jely 1944. Have a forsered finer &t is very painful. sul charc services. Close stear day but no rin. Tody an officer was to ken to the guard house for taking to an office in another best through the goindan under the ne visiting wull Tinger still crecenively) pny oday nos 192 Equeds turned out to we catle back grases scrub this afternon. I fadt m sie lanced tis norven to corld yor turn outyhad a rale callat p345 t Not cuetry day. Finger much better, we are amusingorses at pent with word sum pizzles. Another newguars on today Keculorsf another good& incliding resnt Austration letters Hot dry dy will a very close night to pla Roll all at 0030 lers Hot morring but lieavy rain in the pterra ClBenjer in camp are averslowing & very little get seenes to be mad to got then our squed was terne out & wols this morning Rll al at 2330 a We have lad te usual Hot canny mrning oxprience vvy mail A Pritel rail, reefeding a e of Antalian Ctn has been in fo some time but not delivered to be authoutted have been too busy to sort it st yoterday come american letter came in Fil authorstisfound time however to deal with this at oere ho myea eeves were delivered at leaving teo Britie ne indeliered Wagbed lodg50:6 a los of 12 licles with this maning 0000-1100 cutting beck graad etc with chunbles. Very bot inflod i the sum. After luncl we bad just started a gave of Aredge when woll call was soundd we were all lined upvrisids our buts + a rigid search was then carried out of all our pssessions, my lighter &d map of fave was taken from we, but to wap was returned later may was delivered today cinsluding a nember of Austaliin lotten Pap to 6 s ofrel 1944 the Oatet Aust being March 1944 impotinately none for me. After the nefection tody a number opke of yce were requied to band aver tas ane to te neforce autoite Sunday usual senie. Hot sutry
1944 July 23 14 26 day. We were sach issued w a been today igilant guard ton new onder ontory tht no light are be ce on oul s oce Ligng ou& nobody is to get ye bed unl that hous. s elas the fetter Cac of sencerity in the orders iisued by the comp authorities ic malaria & thes allead dve to malaran by 2030 hrt whole place is alive will mosquitse & to is te custom for nearly everylede to gev under the mostante not of evening wle call now tbey co however we must stay was be better with mosenitse until 2130. 30 much for te aleged deir to poex us from meldre erfudy se pkin the soup toget Dicks 26th Distadin. I think it is the attet of all there years for young wer lt Dich and thund of other w is mat complete tragedy of this war, b if 4 all over within 10 months, i wis dean not Dich will be 27 gyre n begin & pish up the deed of be lie again resume his preparation for his deired path in lige, &o is not quite a bed p o because he has completed his impasd course & is asteall walling or lys prosge abe army but it is all dead lost fas as le t gaining a voluatle training in luman character + bfa feel however at time in an abolite from rage over these wasted years of Oil. su all te brilliant pomise watel be slewed, it is a wce bt se year gt ast should be sargu besou mians annot find any other polution to our disferences& earels then war sid Domes & a few sied tonight a drawe his seald in srep onr sqied was turned out to wat ti atron outi ga but aou you cit sentet rain dany& were brouht in wet drough lest nigective were tred on f roll call as 0100 en close warm day but a heave fundnton came up about 1700 & at 1900 ball ligets in the camp fused. We sat in Dartener waiting for the roll call bugle
1944 35 July 28 any to sound but nothing happened until 3120 when the lights out bugle went ad we all went to sed in the dark. We were not turned out all night so had o we aall for 24 bours The Caply of pucct fael is getting very bad Individed lot water bas to be storyd above a week ago & it to now geting deppoult oven to get enougle to do the ordiary Coleng. However te Erp authorities will give he ponice of when any nve will be brought in Ht morning, & in the afternon in he tol out to orn. We laad only been oft above he however whon heavy rain pll & we all get wet to the Ilainss The Blages are in an rinbelevive state. They hapt all been overflowing - botle liqued rplid for well over a fortnight but in spite of frequent requets the nifprese authrities will we walee any eport to get thes cleares the stendh in the rerip is Emible & be wlete condition is shocking becond words. 20 is quite necredible that bey cn call sll tenselve avilyed whilet they submit to these constitions. ale requets by i to have thm cleared are greated with Repsive langeter. only a hincle is seving is from a bad epidence. I am fetting another, tozl under my Sunday Nisual servere 1a le in te soup tonight cas day no rain ft all. Roll call at 0015 last night. Another day with no rain. All equads have been wrlsing all morning all agternoo clean up the cap palling lp grast wih par san etc fclearing out drains Ge Cleaghans birthday toddy Naking all werning cleaning up aroun the cimp Terribly lot. he rain all day but a very ligat shower in the early cnterdy ineverful days. Very littlerin Roll call on 3/8/44 at 2345 Have deretoyed a very heavy colp. guard on tortay last night at 205 that guard wont through one orlle buts sound two Amerioen Cls who had goe outs theirbeds as to get under their mozenuts nets as the inosqteswee auar bad. te wee votle sent to celle in the guard legseon ta four day. &te other for tws! more ant walarial treatment Here is an sall no firewood if the pac at perent the ltchen step are t lape eush f ging to cook the hecls b t bospital andt at erougl bot wate its or dyary nle Dse out peteen wye, bake aer habe al e oue a day ar
11944 0207 Very heary rain late in te a tarook which well gtlgon hle con urdaysual church vices ay r in the late afternoon & evening Rolt call at en ese te aweries we went in the sells os getting under the mergt nete was reterred toty. He reprts the acthougle be is over 50 yearsor ageo course in ae sane ingayse indite aste res of, ad i te whole ane between semtle lie out is, 003to ree when pitel eating a real & and get this feople try to ceaim that they are civelied wish this mrning from 800 to 1104 Vay bot o Sisc Squeds were curued out, tay the Atquon be renaining your equod wor land but on 1300 15t00g allowed to have a best on their beds aster tat, holl cale last night at, 2300 prs. One but ws turne, out twree ast 2300 lins 7 again at Oscolers two fhuts when turned one at 0509 less were leapt on parade for yoar hlf an hoar sove being dismssed Vegilant guard 2130 -2400 len nerks this morning 0000 -1100 very lett no rain today but a very beany conttquale sholld at 2035 lers the Ajuarican Col wtho was sent to ds cells for 4 days came out today. He reports that for the whole time be has ten made to stand encept between lights put & reveille & for weals- not even allowed lean against the wall in his sll which had the risual opou bone ey de flo of it He is an avsolute wreak. Duvling the last week or so every pssitle little amxyance that con be thaught up is tracticed upon us, sartries are constrently patrolling te huts E9 at $2315 last right ap G0 with boots up an stemped through the whole length your but wating evengong up con intellest illustration of bopet provided by the rerent arrangement ve payt for our food it he amounts dedfected a fined amount per officer - 35 gen ie per month tn the case of a Brigs. This same amount is siell desrcted prot te pn of eagh of uo althugh we are now getten he bandnas & far ls rice than five were a year ago, Squad went out to wale tody 0000 1100. I ele in to selp Brig. Fott (Assoute) will soe aso which th authoitic required finaling le morning. In the afternoon overyone was turned out p general policing from 1430-1500 as an niopection is due in a few days. Hot clear day unal about 1720 when rain ptarted out was nor very much


[*July 9*]

[*Contd.*] the service. Fine hot day. A few incidents re

not saluting properly

[*10*] This morning singing, humming tunes etc was

stopped by the guard. Gen. Jones was washing some

clothes & gently singing whilst he did so. a guard

came along & told him any singing whistling etc 

was prohibited. a few similar incidents occurred

elsewhere. cigs & cigars on issue today. Fine hot

morning & afternoon but rain in the evening.

[*11*] Fine hot day. Various unpleasant incidents. When

we lined up at roll call this evening it was

raining. After we had stood for a few minutes

in the rain it was announced that there would

be no roll call. Then at 0030 the whole

camp was roused up & made to get up &

dress for roll call.

[*12*] Heat well on & various people in trouble all

over the camp. Fine hot day. At 0030 no 2

squad in our hut but was turned out for roll call

& of course woke up everyone else in the

squad & at 0145 the whole hut was again

turned out for roll call. A similar procedure

was adopted in the other huts. Still very little


[*13.*] 84 Red Cross parcels were made available for

distribution today which worked out at 1

parcel between 6. They were from Canada

& contained the usual nice articles. Fine

morning but very heavy rain about 1600 hrs.

Inoculated agst dysentry today.

[*14.*] Trouble occurred today in the Dutch Col's squad.

They were ordered to turn out for anti-malarial 

work (clearing away grass etc around the camp)

& were told to parade in boots or shoes. One

member of the squad had a bad foot & so did

not put on his shoes. The Nipponese N.C.O in

charge - the medical N.C.O - immediately struck

him in the face. I am not clear what happened

then but it appears that the P.O.W. spoke to

the NCO in Dutch & the N.CO alleges that he

adopted a threatening attitude. The P.O.W was

at once struck & kicked & knocked about

& then removed to the guard house. It

subsequently transpired that he had been

sentenced to 10 days in the cells. Present guard

are very troublesome. They insist upon a

salute at every possible opportunity & most

of them fail to acknowledge the salute

in any way. Tonight at roll call the

sky to the west was lit up with what

looked like a very the glow of a very big

fire. It stayed a bright red reflection

on the clouds all night - it was still there 

at 0500 in the morning - & I think it must

have been a very big fire. Very heavy

thunderstorm in the afternoon with tremendous

thunder & lightning & heavy rain.





[*July 15.*] Uneventful day no rain. Americans are

getting letters, limited to 25 words, up to

Feby 1944. Have a poisoned finger & it

is very painful.

[*16*] Usual church services. Close steamy day

but no rain. Today an officer was

taken to the guard house for talking

to an officer in another hut through

the window under the "no visiting"

rule. Finger still excessively painful

[*17.*] Hot day. Nos 1 & 2 squads turned out to work cutting

back grass & scrub this afternoon. I had my

finger lanced this morning so could not

turn out. We had a roll call at 2345 tonight

[*18.*] Hot sultry day. Finger much better. We

are amusing ourselves at present with

"word sum" puzzles. Another new guard

on today. Rumors of another good mail

including recent Australian letters.

[*19*] Hot dry day with a very close night to follow

Roll call at 0030 hrs.

[*20*] Hot morning but heavy rain in the afternoon.

all "Banjos" in camp are overflowing & very

little effort seems to be made to get them

cleared. Our squad was turned out to work

this morning. Roll call at 2330 hrs.

[*21.*] Hot sunny morning. We have had the usual

experience over mail. A British mail, including a

lot of Australian letters, has been in for some

time but not delivered as the authorities have

been too busy to sort it etc. Yesterday some

American letters came in. The authorities found

time however to deal with this at once & the

letters were delivered at 1130 hrs today, still 

leaving the British mail undelivered.

[*50.6*] [*22*] Weighed today - 50.6 a loss of 1.2 kilos. Work

this morning 0800 - 1100 cutting back grass

etc with 'chumbles'. Very hot indeed in

the sun. After lunch we had just

started a game of bridge when "roll

call "was sounded. We were all

lined up inside our huts & a rigid

search was then carried out of all

our possessions. My lighter & a map

of Java was taken from me, but

the map was returned later. British

mail was delivered today (including a 

number of Australian letters) up to 6th April

1944 - the latest Aust. being March 1944.

unfortunately none for me. After the

inspection today a number of the officers

were required to hand over their diaries

to the nipponese authorities.

[*23*] Sunday. Usual services. Hot sultry





[*July 23rd*] day. We were each issued with a bun

[*contd.*] today. Vigilant guard tonight 0200 - 0400

[*24*] New order out today that no lights are

allowed to be turned out until 2130 hrs -

"lights out" & nobody is to get into bed

until that hour. This shows the utter lack

of sincerity in the orders issued by the camp

authorities re malaria & their alleged

desire to check malaria. By 2030 hrs the

whole place is alive with mosquitoes & it

is the custom for nearly everybody to get

under their mosquito nets the moment 

they come off evening roll call. Now

however we must stay up & be bitten

with mosquitoes until 2130. So much

for the alleged desire to protect us

from malaria!

[*25*] Uneventful day. Hot & close. Pork in the

soup tonight

[*26.*] Dick's 26th birthday. I think it is the utter waste

of all these years for young men like Dick -

and thousands of others - which is the most

complete tragedy of this war. Even if it is

all over within 12 months, it will mean

that Dick will be 27 before he can begin

to pick up the threads of his life again &

resume his preparation for his desired

path in life. It is not quite so bad for Bob

because he has completed his university

course & is actually working at his life profession

in the army but it is all dead loss to Dick

except in so far as he is gaining a valuable

training in human character & affairs. I

feel however at times in an absolute frenzy of

rage over these wasted years of Dick's.

With all the brilliant promise which he

showed, it is damnable that five years

at least should be sacrificed because we

humans cannot find any other solution

to our differences & quarrels than war.

Sid Downer & a few friends came in tonight

& drank to his health in "syrup".

Our squad was turned out to work this

afternoon cutting grass but about four

o'clock it started to rain heavily & we

were brought in wet through.

Last night we were turned out for roll

call at 0300 hrs.

[*27*] Close warm day but a heavy thunderstorm

came up about 1700 & at 1900 hrs all

lights in the camp fused. We sat in

darkness waiting for the roll call bugle





[*July 27*] to sound but nothing happened until 2130

[*(contd.)*] when the lights out bugle went so we

all went to bed in the dark. We were

 not turned out all night so had no roll 

call for 24 hours. The supply of firewood &

fuel is getting very bad. Individual hot

water had to be stopped about a week ago

& it is now getting difficult even to get

enough to do ordinary cooking. However

the camp authorities will give no promise

of when any more will be brought in.

[*July 28.*] Hot morning & in the afternoon we were taken

out to work. We had only been out about

1/2 hr. however when heavy rain fell & we

all got wet to the skins. The "Banjos" are

in an unbelievable state. They have all

been overflowing - both liquid & solid -

for well over a fortnight but in spite of

frequent requests the nipponese authorities

will not make any effort to get them cleared

The stench in the camp is terrible & the whole

condition is shocking beyond words. It is

quite incredible that they can call themsell

themselves "civilized"whilst they submit to

these conditions. All requests by us to have

them cleared are greeted with derisive

laughter. only a miracle is saving us

from a bad epidemic. I am getting

another boil under my arm-pit.

[*29.*] Uneventful day

[*30*] Sunday. Usual services. a little pork in the

soup tonight. Clear day no rain at all.

[*301*] Roll call at 0015 last night. Another day

with no rain. All squads have been

working all morning & all afternoon cleaning

up the camp - pulling up grass with our hands

etc & clearing out drains. Gen. Callaghan's

birthday today.

[*Aug 31 1st*] Working all morning cleaning up around the

camp. Terribly hot. No rain all day but a 

very light shower in the early evening.

[*Aug 2*] {Entirely uneventful days. Very little rain

[* "3*] { Roll call on 3/8/44 at 2345.

[* "4.*] Have developed a very heavy cold. New

guard on today. Last night at 2115 the guard

went through one of the huts & found two

American Cols. who had got onto their beds so

as to get under their mosquito nets as the

mosquitoes were particularly bad. They were

both sent to cells in the guard house - one

for four days & the other for two! More

anti-malarial treatment!

[*5*] There is no mo still no firewood in the place

& at present the kitchen staff are just keeping

enough fire going to cook the meals. Even the

hospital cannot get enough hot water for

its ordinary meds & out-patients who have

orders for hot-water have no chance at

all except once a day - if they are lucky.





[*Aug 5*] Very heavy rain late in the afternoon which

[*contd.*] continued until well afes after lights out. Roll

call at 13 0030.

[*Aug 6*] Sunday. Usual church services. Heavy rain in

the late afternoon & evening. Roll call at

[*0200*] 2300. One of the Americans who were put

in the cells for getting under their mosquito

net was released today. He reports that

although he is over 50 years of age & of

course in the same low physical condition

as the rest of us, he was made to stand

up the whole time between Reveille & lights

out ie, 0600 - 2130 except when actually

eating a meal - and yet these people

try to claim that they are civilized!

[*7.*] Work this morning from 0800 to 1100.  Very hot.

In a Six Squads were turned out in the afternoon

the remaining four Squads were turned out

from 1300 - 1500 & then allowed to have a 

rest on their beds after that. Roll call last

night at 2300 hrs. one but was turned out twice

at 2300 hrs & again at 0500 hrs. Two huts when

turned out at 0500 hrs were kept on parade for

approx half an hour before being dismissed.

Vigilant guard 2130 - 2400hrs.

[*8*] Work this morning 0800 - 1100. Very hot. No rain

today but a very heavy earthquake shook

at 0 2035 hrs. The American Col who was

sent to the cells for 4 days came out today.

He reports that for the whole time he has been

made to stand except between lights out &

reveille & for meals - not even allowed to

lean against the wall in his cell which

had the usual open "banjo" in the floor of it.

He is an absolute wreck. During the last

week or so every possible little annoyance

that can be thought up is practised upon

us. Sentries are constantly patrolling the

huts E.g at 22 2315 last night an NCO

with boots up on stamped through the 

whole length of our hut waking everyone

up. An excellent illustration of honesty is -

provided by the present arrangement re payt

for our food etc. The amount deducted is

a fined amount for officer - 35 yen in the

per month in the case of offiser Brigs. This

same amount is still deducted from the pay

of each of us although we are now getting

no bananas & far less rice than we were

a year ago

[*9.*] Squad went out to work today 0800 - 1100. I stayed

in to help Brig. Trott (Accountant) with some [[?afes?]]

which the authorities required finishing this

morning. In the afternoon everyone was turned

out for general policing from 1430 - 1630 as

an inspection is due in a few days. Hot clear

day until about 1730 when rain started

but was not very much.














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