Diary of Arthur Seaforth Blackburn, April 1942 - November 1944, Part 24 of 26

Second World War, 1939–45
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1946 Aug 10 12 13 15 Whole camp engaged on internal policing, evidentl in proparation prau respection oot ceose day. I have been appointed asistant Accountant to Brig Frott No wont lave to go out to work anymore, gell a tittle doubt at sirst as to whether this would be interpote as wlayterning t work but feel that it worn that it peeely & solely for the Herofit to ly to Eehing pay the presoner as it solate afet tnsbgsting officer, believed to be vl i n da of O:w amay awvie tra & we rhave ld a very quiet day ascerdingly. Te rrepared for Enfection at 1430 bat &it was subseavently annouired that he would enpect us tomorrow as we was eagaged on other caup admon today. Vong lee & close night last night & booday today Iuxection torlay by stap officers. Every lley appeared to pais of satisfactority, upon concluson of the nspect it was ncedthat would be cut down from aprose 424 grame person to apres. 290 gravs fr person. He aut day a lile rain late in the trn w m coole right Sunday usual services, cosl damp pay Very large amount of equisment ote mayed the n aoining us together with few troop 2o loks like prearations for a big training ramp today Squad leades were sent for pri tal nic ration head been reduced t 390 guoo be persn that no more newspapers would be irued. Then the renerty was passed by the Interpote Iois to end you hove staped corrleig the farm as now you cannot got avething to supplement your nation last night a leg sterm - te ex ofe tplionI ane told-struck us. The wind & knd was terrifis. This morning when we goo up a lderale fortion of the prs around t lad bear blown down, also the camne ofou ds litchen ro of early in the storn the electric light faild & we had a nigh of absolute potcl darlenen During theda the storne gradually subsided until about, go urs te sen seove for a litle while. still no ligets on so Rll call tonight was at 1920 nwe lad to set in ampess until 2130 as we were not allowed to go to bed until at bour, The details of future rich came are as follows:- Entisted iney 6809rais Administrative steff 570, all other offices &go Today suds were toen out to logleths morning + 3 this Afternoon, digging with plentife et cleaving s the creek This mornings tour ware 0850 -1130 but rul as abou 1000 Ars Stoped the afternon wil Roll call 1o all Squado at 0200 lers. Cof Searle wlued standing in cine for this roll call was Strude vislontly in hi face four cimes by te
1944 215 17 18 19 20 24 nepre &c0 ne reaon wpo give parl i cmpletely by the Lark as to weat be pad done Our squad worked to ay from 0804-1100 frs on dyte inclarial wor, rive bt ponning but sheawery afternoon. Roll call at 8415 tero equad out at ialelt movring &one morning but main in the lyton i This morning the old sow drosfed dead. She we opened up & a portemperter porte morten conducted by our Dro who reparted that she was quite seally to a Accrdinge abe was lasted ore to the Wlsitclen for the whole comp & we had nove meat in conigats soup than we have had for many wonths past. no wak int the aftenson actlangte it was a five day Heree equids out at work thes orrnig oue no wrte again in the agtenoon, ne sxeftee have ome in for about 6 weeks & evenyone is getem leribly sae. A very large nemler t the offficer are entired one of cigaretles. Fine ay but heavy rain in the evening, sre bayines each inet tod. All call a 0520 usual fine warm day followed by poct evene frour equad today Airragd alany even sundyy lisual soces Fine all d fu vey heave rain fate in the agteron & eifuing. Her the last week to evenings have been ponfll cool, to ls been beautiful sleeping weather. Foday cigaretles + cigars + 1 the coffee pasle were avallable from fr. Roll call this morning at O46lr Whole cup including exlisted nawe re thrred out ths time usual fine dy until te ater wlien rain cye no wole r aly sauads tod Weighed to day 50 Actod eraall; a pro of 76 lil nally sealiig tax to a los right through the ap 9710 squits averery ober/2 alles b Roll call at 0015lews, Only one Equad out at with inday unal late afternoon when rain but noe as heavy as usual. Call at 2400 lro Hot day Rsuvax a ps war letter dated 13/144 from log Bragle t Aptelie ddegation telling the all the Bnilly were well toll call last mne at 2330. Rocuped 4 yove letters todan, I from loregone front hol Baing mly was all dated to 63 no rain wacy have a bad auach of Cils have been coughing cusidancly letell & toda ae Pigden desided to have my sapti tasted. I am seve I am all regat bt stle atest wort go any lann & tree squads were working his werning & thre teray cutting back toe jungle on a bilepowe distane awa Two roll calls last nigdt, one at O0t and te othr at 0445. warm day but vey coe night. This malses sin role calls at nac in fixedays
1944 Aug 26 Aug27 34 262 29 30 31 last night we actually bad an undeterbed sleap the first for six nights, Waren day aud only very light min in the offening usual charch vice ll l p at 0010 very bor day with no rainfunal late in the oterson wear there wage ve Goat sloue am leaving a temble tere will wils. Have three lige ones which will bot wal to a bead of advance capicent to be lanced cannot eet dawn uubant considerable pain no work ooday. Regulattous as to going outfide causte proper to Admitiestnetie quarters have again seon tgateredup for som ie pase a special pass bap blan required for aninistrative of fieery but to be trative officers with passes we even te adme not allowed to payg to go to b office Hoe day but fairly heard shewer of rain atsi t atuen no inrktoday. Fine bot norning oue verd bee and stem wil heave rou or100 1000 Bods very painful- Hensed oday Fine lot day no work. Coil on bask very painful rophed up again this Roll call last nigat at 3345 No wirle Adgy Hits morning the new regulations which lve been remaned were issued. They are taling through pwidwsao oarie O hublication of laggle Laggle (vn nggigine stoped. 13 Angison or iron bar must be given up to hiffonere authoritee at once ( Vesiting between Carracks mud pare (5 Ellen collecting mail own pr to fi mase must be taken A Private interviow with apeing are ilited goimmea at ural same One is reminded prcibly of the statan sore wis Ges Give cear Dospay nava very distuced n last night. on act reis sta abo case sal gb dining this time therre was a trendous lot of vow of guards runing abouepaa oue this shorning we were lined pp fer morning wel call at ie usure tie aster waiting a quarter of an hour a saitty ca along & said woll call would not be unl 0700. wates carrying started todry4 havin begion t. Hedvy Aunderstend in evening aism alare last wre
944 2t3 extr set7 ege9 se 13 Holl call as from lase nigne to at g00 hre lights out at 2100 lr. Edil on the bach still very painful ususl cluncle service. Roll call plast nigat at 0445 lwvs. Doils sticl very painful. Heavy thundentam this afternoon Warm brigae da but a ranister in dhe late aftenon. The nights so far lave bean very much cooter then tey wre this time last year. Roll call last night at 0145. Beautiful day with bright sun but a cool breen. The eare evening was beautifully cool bige are has without the masial rain storm. been no working squads out aege for watering carnying for two days_ for some cime & we are beginning to wonder if wigh bas pared. Yesterday they withdrew all badges from administrative stay t have only returned a gew gtbem, We are still aparenty on administrative stay out have no bapiges now to autherice us tvoit from but hat rine day with no rain Roll call last mese at s lrs1 Fine day will no riin. Big gang of cotlis are morking on te creele which wlis past caup deepening is or storgatening it out. Rol call ast will aon0 Fi day nights lave been boigull fore t last fau nights Vigilant guard Caut ngac o3 0130 Air raid alarm at 0110 Roils ale gaduall clearing up are nor nearly so pinful now Tuiet day no rain no we call cast negate This morning everyone was turned ode for eneral pliting of the waole Area, neally for an inspection which is due in abbut 10 days time Havg rain in afternoon. No roll all last nigat. Sunday usual srvices. Fairly bedrg slppe oy raln late in the apternoon. No wle chee last night. Loday we got a bould of mitte each conjecting i. sgaad & half wp through wsequad Roll all last night at 0220 lers. Hot do. all squad tened oue for general policins all dy. Lew torrange prcelelihim e Alistriclian are now the only peo lecp a gropwho lave end no pvcels iglecteve delivered & us ace case last niglt at 2230 lvo. Ti ni 89,710 squads were turned out at 0760& i ane of cann eaningip grass ete untel to45 or lro Vary booday. lese of us were again
1944 36 t14 Seb Sgt 16 Sgoi7 19 Rollcall last night at 0215 ler boun 90 officers e turned our cas then exalusting 17oagiad at 0745 lers for outoede elaning up, gs cutte et untl 10Slers. His sring was ourded undt after ravele a welled ha straight on parade & wask etc asterwards Very lot day follol last nigat at 0 245. squrd out at worlstorly, Elng lost Tay maring heu slarp was a prot feetig wellg bad to go to the orriss just as the pugle for goll call parare counded. As a rult be aved on roll call paradea yo wintes late oue bre wll call bd started on conclusion be was made to stand out aove on the sarade ground as attention for tlir for as a punishdou for being eate on pande, Britiel mail delivered eany-overyone in clo sud got come pucest me Ie is remarlidsle now nrerl deifordawe hie makes oveto be s only one e pectin. i ra alavm was sounded at about 2200lp east rigat, sligae change of routive storted) iw lt evening wle call is to be buide lial purt rote ng re call last night exty leats out an airts alam wa con Duning t night it was a fairly distirted + rowd right. we thispy was not unal 0700 lr overy to day peri one boll morning & afternin. Four t Cinividdie & Howe4 as cumpers &rasel m bn the Dntry for ne wverleing heard ae dtenup sliccad by to intoprete, po utry conseed all received iewl recentated treatment & taver being so in the lard tlat be had to be carried uft A on a stretcher no wee gall let nighe after ligats out. Yerse t is morning when the ueppuese autdorifie Cearpt tat Irser was in bspital, they crotered fis houele disclange from haspital. He was unablet walk & & carried to bs querten a a stretder aad & a AAM to with caup cudt bue reca no satisfaction matters like there will not be somt bry meet las made me a nost comfortable pail chair to sit in with a maveable back eo that I fau b a is entrencly confortale. AM l awte werwtha a abou matters & this bape iu a bit war was isedi sear ie0 to Nrepitel. All squads out at work this wvernig Vay lossus Sunday usual services no night roll one after ligts pat turned suddand, very cl slepe with a fest rige ligee sand & on all sughe. Roll call last night at O44glen. Deaitifue Clt say even lody nintern poltcing. Twe bawends for head issued todday no wll call last right. Riponere lave astae the distridution of will. Owing to the pentifil supply (two ws have evete distribution sa ead started again. nowever wen te nefpancee beard oft they adtered the at suppaying te hospital rees Nipauese, 30 botile for day slall be issued to ble sulisedmend quads, noue tees offiver geverally &woe




[*Aug 10*] Whole camp engaged on internal policing today

evidently in preparation for an inspection. Hot

close day. I have been appointed assistant

Accountant to Brig. Trott & so wont have to go

out to work anymore. Felt a little doubt at

first as to whether this would be interpreted 

as "volunteering for work" but feel that it is

work that is purely & solely for the benefit of

the prisoners as it relates solely to keeping pay

afcs etc

[*11*]  Inspecting officer - believed to be Col in charge

of P.O.W admin - arrived today & we have

had a very quiet day accordingly. We

prepared for inspection at 1430 but it was

subsequently announced that he would

inspect us tomorrow as he was engaged

on other camp admin today. Very hot

& close night last night & hot day today.

[*12.*] Inspection today by staff officers.  Everything appeared

to pass of satisfactorily. Upon conclusion of the

inspection. it was announced that the rice ration

would be cut down from approx 420 grams per

person to approx. 390 grams. per person. Hot sultry

day. A little rain late in the afternoon followed

by a much cooler night.

[*13.*]  Sunday. Usual services. Cool damp day

Very large amount of equipment etc moved into

the camp adjoining us together with a few

troops. It looks like preparations for a

big training camp.

[*14.*]  Today Squad Leaders were sent for & informed that rice

ration had been reduced to 390 gms. per person &

no more newspapers would be issued. Then the

remark was passed by the Interpreter "It is too bad

you have stopped working the farm as now you

cannot get anything to supplement your ration". 

Last night a big storm - the edge of a typhoon I 

am told - struck us. The wind & rain was

terrific. This morning when we got up a 

considerable portion of the fence around the camp 

had been blown down, also the chimneys

off on the kitchen roof. Early in the storm the

electric light failed & we had a night of

absolute pitch darkness. During the day the

storm gradually subsided until about 

1800 hrs the sun shone for a little while. Still

no lights on so Roll call tonight was at

1930 & then we had to sit in darkness until

2130 as we were not allowed to go to bed

until that hour.  The details of future rice

issue are as follows:- Enlisted men 680 grams.

Administrative staff 570, all other officers 390.

Today 3 squads were taken out to work this

morning & 3 this afternoon, digging with “Chunkles”

etc clearing up the creek. This morning's hours 

were 0830 - 1130 but rain at about 1600 hrs

stopped the afternoon work.

[*15.*]  Roll call for all squads at 0200 hrs. Col Searle

whilst standing in line for this roll call was

struck violently in the the face four times by the 



[*Aug 15*]  

[*contd*] Nipponese NCO no reason was given & Searle is 

completely in the dark as to what he had done. 

Our squad worked today from 0800 -1100 hrs 

on anti-malarial work. Fine hot morning 

but showery afternoon.

[*16.*] Roll call at 0415 hrs. Squad out at work this 

morning. Fine morning but rain in the afternoon 

so no work.

[*17.*] This morning the old sow dropped dead. She was

opened up & a portem morten post mortem conducted

by our Drs who reported that she was quite 

healthy to eat. Accordingly she was handed over

to the kitchen for the whole camp & we had

more meat in tonights soup than we have had

 for many months past. No work in the afternoon

although it was a fine day.

[*18.*] Three squads out at work this morning but no

work again in the afternoon. No PX stores have

come in for about 6 weeks & everyone is getting

terribly short. A very large number of the officers

are entirely out of cigarettes. Fine day but

heavy rain in the evening.  Three bananas each

[*7*]issued today. Roll call at 0530.

[*19.*] Usual fine warm day followed by wet evening.

No work for our squad today. Air raid alarm

in evening

[*20.*] Sunday. Usual services. Fine all day but very

heavy rain late in the afternoon & evening. For

the last week the evenings have been wonderfully

cool. It has been beautiful sleeping weather.

Today cigarettes & cigars & 1 tin coffee each were

available from PX.

[*50.0*] [*21.*] Roll call this morning at 0415 hrs. Whole camp

including enlisted men were turned out this time.

Usual fine day until late afternoon when heavy 

rain came. No work for any squads today.

Weighed today  - 50 kilos exactly; a loss of .6 kilos.

Generally speaking there is a loss right through

the camp - 9 & 10 Squads avering over 2 kilos loss.

[*22.*] Roll call at 0015 hrs. Only one squad out at work.

Fine day until late afternoon when rain came

but not as heavy as usual.

[*23.*] Roll at 2400 hrs. Hot day. Received a 25 word

letter dated 13/1/44 from Rose through the Apostolic

delegation telling me all the family were well.

[*24.*] Roll call last night at 2330. Received 4 more

letters today, 3 from Rose & one from Bob.

All dated 1943. Feeling much more cheerful.

No rain today. Have a bad attack of boils.

Have been coughing considerably lately & today

Col. Pigden decided to have my “sputum”

tested. I am sure I am all right but still 

a test won't do any harm. Three squads 

were working this morning & three yesterday

cutting back the jungle on a hill some

distance away.

[*25.*] Two roll calls last night, one at 0015 and the 

other at 0445. Warm day but nice cool

night. This makes six roll calls at night in 
five days.



[*Aug 26.*] Last night we actually had an undisturbed

sleep - the first for six nights. Warm day

 but only very light rain in the evening.

[*Aug 27.*] Usual church services. Roll call last night

at 0010. Very hot day with no rain until

late in the afternoon when there was a very

light shower. Am having a terrible time with 

boils. Have three huge ones which will

not work to a head or advance sufficiently

to be lanced.  Cannot sit down without 

considerable pain.

[*28.*] No work today. Regulations as to going outside camp

proper to administrative quarters have again been 

tightened up. For some time past a special pass has 

been required for administrative officers but today 

even the administrative officers with passes were

not allowed to pass the gate to go to the office.

Hot day but fairly heavy shower of rain late in 

the afternoon.

[*29.*] No work today.   Fine hot morning but very heavy 

thunderstorm with heavy rain from 1500-1800.

Boils very painful - lanced today.

[*30.*] Fine hot day. No work. Boil on back very 

painful and opened up again this morning. 

[*31.*] Roll call last night at 2345.  No work today. This 

morning the new regulations which have been 

mentioned were issued.  They are 

 (1) No talking through op windows - open or


(2) Publication of Raggle-Taggle (camp magazine) is 


(3) Any iron or iron bar must be given up 

to Nipponese authorities at once. 

(4) Visiting between Barracks must cease

(5) When collecting mail  own pen to sign receipt

must be taken  

(6) Private interviews with chaplains are

prohibited except immediately after Church 


One is reminded forcibly of the statement "There will

be no punishments!"  Fine clear hot day.  No rain

Fish in the soup tonight

[*Sept 1*] Very disturbed night last night.  An air-raid alarm

started about 2330 hrs & lasted until after 0100 hrs

& during this time there was a tremendous 

lot of row of guards running about & shouting

out. This morning we were lined up for 

morning roll call at the usual time.  After 

waiting a quarter of an hour a sentry came 

along & said roll call would not be 

until 0730.

[*Sept 2*] Water carrying started today - 4 squads having 

been on it.  Heavy thunderstorm in evening.  Air raid 

alarm last night



[*Sept 2*] [*contd*] Roll call as from last is at 2000 hrs & 

lights out at 2100 hrs.  Boil on the back still 

very painful

[*Sept 3.*] Usual church services. Roll call last 

night at 0445 hrs. Boils still very painful.

Heavy thunderstorm this afternoon.

[*4.*] Warm bright day but a rainstorm in the

late afternoon. The nights so far have been 

very much cooler than they were this 

time last year. 

[*Sept 5.*] Roll call last night at 0145.  Beautiful day

with bright sun but a cool breeze. The 

early evening was beautifully cool but 

without the usual rain storm.  There has 

been no working squads out - except for 

watering carrying for two days - for some time

& we are beginning to wonder if work has 

ceased.  Yesterday they withdrew all badges from 

administrative staff & have only returned a 

few of them.  We are still apparently on

administrative staff but have no badges now

to authorise us to visit from hut to hut.

[*Sept 6.*]  Fine day with no rain. Roll call last night at 2315  2315 

hrs. No

[*Sept 7.*]  Fine day with no rain.  Big gang of coolies are 

working on the creek which runs past the camp.

deepening it or straightening it out.  Roll call

last night at 0130

[*Sept 8.*] Fine day.  Nights have been beautifully cool the

last few nights. Vigilant guard last night 2330 - 

0130.  Air raid alarm at 0110.  Boils are gradually 

clearing up & are not nearly as painful now. 

[*Sept 8.*] Quiet day. No rain. No roll call last night.  

[*Sept 9.*] This morning everyone was turned out for 

general policing of the whole area, ready for 

an inspection which is due in about 10 

days time.  Heavy rain in the afternoon. No

roll call last night. 

[*Sept 10*] Sunday.  Usual Services. Fairly heavy shower

of rain late in the afternoon. No roll call 

last night. Today we got a bottle of milk 

each, completing No 1 squad & half-way through 

no 2 squad. 

[*11.*] Roll call last night at 0230 hrs.  Hot day. all squad

turned out for "general policing" all day. Ken Torrance 

got a parcel from Canada delivered to him today. 

We Australians are now the only people in camp - as 

a group - who have had no parcels whatever 

delivered to us. 

[*12.*] Roll call last night at 2230 hrs.  This morning 

8,9, & 10 squads were turned out at 0730 & marched

out of camp cleaning up grass etc until 1045 

hrs. Very hot day.  Rest of us were again on 

general policing



[*Sept 13*] Roll call last night at 0215 hrs hours.  90 officers -

including 1 & 2 squads were turned out this morning 

at 0745 hrs for outside cleaning up, grass cutting 

etc until 1100 hrs.  This morning roll call was 

sounded immediately after reveille & we had to 

get straight on parade & wash etc afterwards.

Very hot day. 

[*Sept 14.*]  Roll call last night at 0245.  Squad out at work today. 

Very hot. This morning Gen Sharp was a not feeling 

well & had to go to the[[ "boys"?]] just as the bugle for 

roll call parade sounded.  As a result he arrived 

on roll call parade a few minutes late, but before

roll call had started.  On the conclusion he 

was made to stand out alone on the parade

ground at attention for 1/2 hr. for as a punishment

for being late on parade.  British mail delivered 

today - everyone in the Squad got some except me.

It is remarkable how utterly despondent it makes 

one to be the only one not to get letters.  Air raid 

alarm was sounded at about 2200 hrs last

night. Slight change of routine started in that 

evening roll call is to be inside until further 


[*Sept 15*] No roll call last night after lights out.  An air raid

alarm was sounded during the night & it was a 

fairly disturbed & rowdy night.  Reveille this  AM

was not until 0700 hrs. Very hot day.  Working parties 

out both morning & afternoon. Four officers, are Majs

Dinwiddie & Howe & Capts. Cumper & Fraser were reported

by the sentry for not working hard enough. They were 

beaten up successively by the interpreter, the medical corp

& the sentry concerned, all received injuries which 

necessitated treatment & Fraser being so severely injured 

in the head that he had to be carried into hospital 

on a stretcher.

[*Sept 16*] No roll call last night after lights out. First thing 

this morning, when the nipponese authorities learnt 

that Fraser was in hospital, they ordered his immediate 

discharge from hospital. He was unable to walk &

had to be carried to his quarters on a stretcher. 

A.V.M. lodged a complaint with Camp Comdt. but rec

no satisfaction. Matters like these will not be forgotten

Brig Wallis has made me a most comfortable easy chair 

to sit in with a moveable back so that I can lean 

back. It is extremely comfortable. A.V.M. had an
interview with Camp Comdt. about matters & things have  

been cleared up a bit. Fraser was immediately re-admitted 

to Hospital. All squads out at work this morning. Very hot sun.

[*Sept 17*] Sunday. Usual services. No night roll call after lights out.  

Last night turned suddenly very cool. Slept with a 

light blanket on all night.

[*18.*] Roll call last night at 0445 hrs. Beautiful cool 

day. Everybody working on internal policing. 

Two bananas per head issued today.

[*19.*] No roll call last night. Nipponese have altered 

the distribution of milk. Owing to the plentiful 

supply (two cows have calved) the distribution to 

squads had started again. However when the 

nipponese heard of it they ordered that after 

supplying the hospital & the nipponese 30 bottles 

per day shall be issued to the enlisted men's 

squads, none to the officers generally & the



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