Diary of Arthur Seaforth Blackburn, April 1942 - November 1944, Part 10 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

until I stood only in shire, underpants speaces. Hliter this was going an I heard anoder cpnation from be direction of the gare 7 everal of guard Setwell woh rescled out & gretured with may received too same treatment as I had had I was then sized by the wrist ad along a pence a small doorway about 842 in a very throng werden grille This who opened & I was pusted cusid a f menutes eater situdl came jast the door in the grep of seatrie & from the sourdy it mnocudeng that he was being patr iito a simley cell, she & by 128 cell I wail I found myse macsured 6 feet It bad a wooden floorg wall sar fet were ofds feoor gace wes obcupnd by a touerete Art with lating which consisted of a concrde wesbet a hole in the contre, otherwise the e on t we bare wite no ceat or bed or anyttig was a rotice in Japancse & English settly out ye nent main cneo whigh rules of l were toat talking singing whistling clauping ds pe Absolutely praidden lying down on the plaar fge when rennutted to sleen was persuon othe Calrne must be kept seeen. shore was a swall corci winder hish up in the wall & an ta Opposite to be pront Tining into the ale. The walls were entered of solid wood exsept an from whish consisted of wooden gritle w above & wish space between 9-10 sch dyrights Low day in ane corner was a small eeare peopale an armed Dntry was pasted Ammediatel outide & blll with an eletrio h about overy 510 ninte & shane this through the polole to be cofeI ws doing& bep is on me until I turned my fage aine it filt by gr. do him g allawed t w It was bitters, cold + the cold which p eat caugt before reaching maje was very overe ogain me almost unceasing wughing. Abd an bour later, a centry appeared atthe xxplit o care in my trousers. I found thae every vection on from le seen roughly laved of te that I bad to etupwerver sto u 2 noe do up the sly I aad and no seep at all the night before & not much (because of ny d to) te nighe before that & nothing to ext suied midday. I asked for a drink of vate out did not receve avy- in fact I received yo water until next morning I was ordered & sit own on the ploor of forite to the reephole, I was slea the I ept roping asla setting up but each time was awakened by a woar from the Bentry. This went an for same houp until & have droped asleel sitting up & ofe allaired to sleaon becue the nn th icking up to beay a Ougle roundedwc later was sounded every worning at pbe ex agon an bour eter a Nipon officer) & the Interpeter came to my all & aned me way refused to sign. I said I head u reused had our aad endeavoured to nake a grotel anut doing s. I was then adedI would nouther relth would doundermise & duree I assed the officer for food of arinly b ledI was otry aore withut food drenk or sla. He ten went away. Hossever as he went be evidents relented for a pew minittes later a centry came along will an enamel mug of cold water which be landed
in to me through be pephole. At about 1100 hos the 40 oe returned & old me that I negot stay the until next day. all brouge this day I was cternative wae to stand upor set down t sentries for varying periods out at mupday a cerin i along with a ball of cooleed rete if his land which he saoged in to me through a sat unpalatabl as it was I had no difine t ctug I found bee toe excrie wres, only seoded out ro th outside of the bad ages sell, once a day a the maning & by nigltall that night t suell prom oe atred was b rling very cupenant at verioa times during te rayg after bark Denowoured sleep, but was immediatly reased as te Dut to make we sate up and usually made & stard as terld a to welk (& in any ovent I had to hold m trousers up as eoon as I steod up) it was dissicule to gm by walking about i my cough was befin alarm the I could only get a fa Enputes reite at a tring from it. By the time it was getting dan ontude hs feeling desporate sleepy aee cit down parof lling asleep ser so continued making the alternativl ait down retand i about 2100 lo the sy6 of the guard appered at te saidin da I lave no recollection of doing so rthath I meat have drossed alpde recoig te r. I could bear all day thet Sitwell was going through the same enformence in his all. I sad aal all ng until aroued by the ugle call in thnn soon after the same negan officer appayed & sande me my clothes its & indicated th I would be releaed in any hour a two. Idressed & mith to aboute 2½ Ars. During this time anoth ball rice & ning or water was landed in to re. at let at about 1160 hs the officer came sec sat hspeting my call lead me out into the psiage fae I found sittell waiting. I was allowed to feet as my daes& we were conducted to the mand room. Hr we had to wait write the prmo teo prought for ns to sign. The same officer who had struck we is there & prezed a agaratle uou we iith friedliat faction. & supfere secause of my patigu & kinger I nearly painted before I was helf ay trough it reriest we were waiting for the forme oparon belongings were returned to us but ute my metse which we were told were orde a agarettes a request or whitle was greeted and with a gren. We were then taken gits a room engrase which e eet he t boune the raildeed had artited. We was repere unjao it all for inspection. A fow saps -inading my delegated power as cmdr of 41 in 0s were tale from me, and my ciferdte) ligat which had seen put out of dotionby te guard walst I was in the Cells, was at supt taken out qu returned. I supean fund that a cae of ap has aso fer talln the glas of my watel broken. We were tn teke yau gea ji sloor ofa long wooden brlsi al our guesters whis consiste ofa bong to reom in woiale (with sitwell &d) were) idere os offices amona, Dutch & Criticle The froom wa just long enough to take 14 beds ber side almas toushing, with tables & fornes down the cutre.
at the sides of the room were ladeers each officer lavys two lochers with slide doors & t opel eacher e teavee ironwill strew materenes & a straw pillow & four Clanketo eeay wee issued to us I was naly pietly as I had n a uetatel ed my dotther aff fer about a wlek, so a shave + a cold back standing naked in the wind & ladling water over mysey from a big Iaad lnch at 1000 ar concrete tub. ai bowloos hin t vegstible soup + rice, sa which were isoned individiall to uo pilrigts Afternoon Darrane my bedlolt At 17896 He again had vegotable doup & rice tat wogbre stood to our deds for roll all & ten went srage uoon I contacted may son to bed Duning to ast Calligan, Col kint Hulfa, Citten, Darlam Payer, he Onig Taylor & other Aust offiders. In the are about 400, Eglish, Anewno, Datel & Autali All ntencus ill is army officers tire Colo & uprds a a mal here also be gavs of Kong Justice of 2 N59 cenuore upon whom I calld said my respects at ts carciet vonite woment The routie of the aamy is reveitle at pbeo prade for robl-call at 0700, Breakfaet 0730, wirt parade an fine days 0900 -1130, midday meal of 1200 aro work nargde at 1220-1000. Evening meal pt 1730 Evening woll all in quater at 2000, ligets out at 2100. smoking to permitted only in quarter & oete o somig evening rall calls sue is anly one Aitalen about s00 ws away. Hhe meals are uniform, toewe Couprnicog are broune up to ourronp by ayo us in turn, sonned out & sate in our froms. ther to not mough to eac & lo and has to be divided with Dcrupuloi care. Ore leaves oper the extrines are dounptain Faling burgay t in a sl aneig in rear. After over gllg until reveille every percen golng to te Ca t e s to registyy his name with ateattig quard provided by ourselves A Jap centry i o b at be latring door to wlon we have to bow or ealiets when going in out. Outside t extrive is a large cncrete tul or Deries of tubo for wasing clothes or Oathing alongside the la is a batteroom & doice a week bot bactes pre allaed eash roon being allotted to mins. The dissyline o ere faa slapping being the the guards io very imont for a eusteated breaah be ane alpooe prtie renses. Ouying from outade to vy daiy ac cartin articles o eigars strctly wniled n e is a ve Lu Hortage of Dap. Eruit, ago as paise pe procured at any wise. 182 feet the Tebould car nelter pratiining (aut into be cells. maltly epolie to all Critie offeer savd do all snile t a states bt we in any event sould not sign untet stugh hat aier to do would reslt in a awas called out I supetedt I woped said to malty wage do you pout the ollow& 30 Brittale officers to do sevt my oon ofenion to that we to be cousdeed to sould sten atauc we are going sign 9d cnsider it more disuisied to sigh now than t feet up a uroteas potest but I will stand by your decision s certainly will not let you don erglief I must leave it to twe on trotedt It was because of this, tat I took the aetin did I leaint cubely tieoe (eneoe sittoell) signed wadoee deudler.
2 unevere day we are a crentined in our orn oneweek m ration (offel a from local killd t r sap) which lead been going on from doufa wante ceased t day very cold bleak wreither, my cough to no bel& beg me awalee balf as reget. Hee tede to day, lat lepuse is d aways is the usual circular oath of lst wite weitse is ledelld out s poured ave onese not sat are t on ly squade 1o 20 miss prequadyen tharfay Trdays newspafors printed in Englishs pablished in Iavon ever issued today Rusuans one well acrancing Rostow be surrounded 6 ny selting wth novin tont as in a Sunday Cunale Cnaici we sed abd warastiie ridted Accended morning roll call ontoio with offer at oyere were me bed out t gane at 0930 fo n about 1000 away to work Heavy begne arrive, who stored. ugar mondle su mnew syste of enito operation at once. No money Hltever will be landed to lls, but our say will be plased to our oapita ags it we will be allowed to buy wlat arpile & geps appois- wainly cigerette et. thy suppe a ft gargole which we are permitted to purclase. It includes ho su eq savanag 134 died today wte in harden in agtemoon. Calle, steale wea ther contaning. We yere al Photequhet today with a big Daserd sleaping our Eo no beby around or wls m nunbe is Anniversary of founding of Iep dynety muste parade han Jap dec ration wa a Amorice was read 1 pig & 18 cltters were andt o the saed T goods ara rei inadequate, I am perpolually lungry, wen inmediete, agter me eo Lavanight suveral today. Iap apfeyr to hwe reland Premation rule & allowed baty to be aonre mert grestle, wendpy offal eto) from lore bdle Onigal urouneed that this will a tenie cour daus, lir with young & other slaped t Return feet in te Lingagore o gaue money in get prsesion very bad eoad acle all day doveloping to littua fam me sed acpirin from art 1200 t B necospages 25 garg of yo s one ew of as great at s any Iplipai by Britial tery aaggee toset us ote doæ iiti ay defane y np waic I had hept to cocald anstraiin granes in fava was sied also a personal account of my negut since leaving palestine – also a torch, a france stare atahes torc batt pirof pli y sants Duri work pariod today squad leader were alled is for conference with dap office. Took opportunity to paint out that food was quite inedequate. Sinyo I fa m calladn spent all day cutting my wattrers down to fit my beastead & rest sne, weed oureus flio to tpch my pillows & give batance to minerous ther officers for same purpose. erengane bad their fenperpints talen tody lver plages finger was done as well as wase with gon , ss s wri i wetle mng in our psion was handed in tod& a placed to our credit & said on 6 502 Assied y str of plos uonw wte no 370p m name in Jaxanese. Tou must be worn at all ptines on (the neget bread
242 24 25 260 Egaretle made wailate age acl crdil, tel yow & mist an Corrowed ciferete, I deared oo 79 ag cold ocustory day, no walt wadeed all te afrt, Loll broughe in my meary baggg. Iomed with a prented pot card & and to our hames atcended churce corvice conducted to tercin for cauly sha occursed last night. very loud rumblings Ohilding ellook soverely Hot hat t bat water was acmst ced a get plot of gound for priist garden but sofar wihlder simes. o here regso, t raster aried hor ounr I was purded & slaped by eivestock farm. itrl for no apaint reason. Having nearalgea I las Jep a woollen wrosser around ny lead, a at caeint be room Dimedield reneved my cmpere stal beps Oouee. the sentry, walled etrayal ny to me reple in Desaneiey den ruck me in the face ter woul a flung not breeteing them). Hetten struith me again for ing Morte in be afteror fom 30/0 to gire drice in in Anther e of salt in the evening, trsal with swet rotatoe in it as ovening meal. Wet day, no worte in ovening aste we call entyee e around a guits a lor g of sprg bikal i bne in my car antra o as On on with sd that nobody may asses actoi t any button of his goat undone; also tato caren siter lee on our bear between reveills a as tere are not cats mough next unde p suc te bold us all casman toushing t oter, et is ingto be very uncomportade. oming. No sgke agternoon Oull cold day Ho in small nerh all day. Good rich coup at nipe qentity of fiole in it tertfine we hase had any wer y since we arrived here. He undere ofte gnerals in his room with a bution inmedictely came in a act of the Cutten of lander fo to still coadys cold Wirle in merning suade a start as aed vea aoin ore aredg geter in afternoon ta intarne our respective countrits were being very cruell, irated. thery invited to write their ngatis goots, tey cerging that internes be better trated & it wpo binted whas our Weatment would greatly inprove if ye would do so Wbody opered bod so & Cupaue ore up af Ouse no wol in aterroon. Reforted by feel dup will continue for 3 more days trade a pair ofd for a cke of wasking soap, Dap sbater ate Thorth ase conferece as aliove, gap officer reterned from Dunp HA9 wait to Gegant a Hole to guard Lipimediat ileer of affain we bt streta praee ber u for various reaions. I was twer regidl namine sertrie to see if I had any butor undove ba after ovening meal I saw four man severaly slaped antries for various redsons. seat o well on many officers severtly sinacked anoched about last nigat instiding 43 M.DA) Tais moning Gon Hall Britche) was very ached aboute and ar witlesed a lootes as though it to not out straight when be stand to attention forthis he was arnt at His dy is very enflained & going black Dten (vrite) ago hit widh a tixle sulti nicted recaped many others totalling potel 50 60 have seen staped purched wrt this morning Fine went day at about 1400 hrs I was standing in my rook & t sentries came along Kisoske wer called &8 ston Cattention & as they came to door & bowell in manner ordered one triwas

until I stood only in shirt,underpants & socks. Whilst
this was going an I heard another commotion from
the direction of the square & several of the guard
rushed out & returned with Major-Gen Sitwell who
received the same treatment as I had had. I was
then seized by the wrists & led along a passage to a
small doorway about 3' x 2' in a very strong wooden
grille. This was opened & I was pushed inside. A
few minutes later Sitwell came past the door in
the grip of sentries & from the sounds it was evident
that he was being put into a similar cell. The
cell I which I found myself measured 12 feet by
6 feet. It had a wooden floor & walls. Three feet
square of the floor space was occupied by a concrete

latrine which consisted of a concrete slab with

a hole in the centre. otherwise the cell was absolutely

bare with no seat or bed or anything. On the wall

was a notice in Japanese & English setting out the

rules of imprisonment, the main ones of which

were that talking, singing, whistling dancing etc were

Absolutely forbidden, lying down on the floor except

when permitted to sleep was forbidden & the latrine

must be kept clean. There was a small screened

window high up in the wall & an electric light

opposite to the front shining into the cell. The

walls were entirely of solid wood except the front

which consisted of a wooden grille with about

1 ½ inch space between 9-10 inch uprights. Low down

in one corner was a small square peephole. An

armed sentry was posted immediately outside the cell

with an electric torch & about every 5-10 minutes

he shone this through the peephole to see what I was

doing & kept it on me until I turned my face 

towards him & allowed him to shine it into my eyes.

It was bitterly cold & the cold which I had

caught before reaching maji was very severe causing

me almost unceasing coughing. About an hour

later, a sentry appeared at the peephole & threw in

my trousers. I found that every button on them

had been roughly hacked off so that I had to

hold them up whenever I stood up & could 

not do up the fly. I had had no sleep at all

the night before & not much (because of my cold

etc) the night before that & nothing to eat since

midday. I asked for a drink of water but did

not receive any - in fact I received no water

until next morning. I was ordered to sit

down on the floor opposite to the peephole. I was

so sleepy that I kept dropping asleep sitting up

but each time was awakened by a roar from

the sentry. This went on for some hours until I 

must have dropped asleep sitting up & been allowed  to

sleep on because the next thing I remember is

waking up to hear a bugle sounded - which I learnt

later was sounded every morning at 0630 hrs.

About an hour later a Nippon Officer & the

Interpreter came to my cell & asked me why I

had refused to sign. I said I had not refused

but had endeavoured to make a protest against

doing so. I was then asked if I would now sign

& I replied that I would so so under protest &

duress. I asked the officer for food & drink. He

replied that I was to stay there without food,

drink or sleep.  He then went away.  However before

he went he evidently relented for a few

minutes later a sentry came along with an 

enamel mug of cold water which he handed

 

in to me though the peephole. At about 1100 hrs the

same officer returned & told me that I must stay there

until next day. All through this day I was

alternatively made to stand up or sit down by the

sentries for varying periods but at midday a

sentry came along with a "ball"of cooked rice in his

hand which he passed in to me through the peephole.

Unpalatable as it was I had no difficulty in eating it!

I found that the latrine was only cleaned out, from

the outside of the back of the cell, once a day early in

the morning & by nightfall that night the smell from

my latrine was becoming very unpleasant. At various

times during the day & after dark I endeavoured to

sleep but was immediately roared at by the sentry

to make me wake up - and usually made to stand

up. It was bitterly cold & as there was very little room

to walk (& in any event I had to hold my trousers

up as soon as I stood up) it was difficult to get warm

by walking about. By evening my cough was beginning 

to alarm me & I could only get a few minutes respite

at a time from it. By the time it was getting dark

outside I was feeling desperately sleepy & daren't sit 
down for fear of falling asleep. However the sentries

continued making me alternatively sit down & stand up

about 2100 hrs the Sgt of the guard appeared at the

peephole & said "Sleep" indicated that I could lie down

I have no recollection of doing so & think I must

have dropped asleep before reaching the floor. I could

hear all day that Sitwell was going through the

same experiences in his cell. I slept solidly all night

until aroused by the bugle call in the morning.

Soon after, the same Nippon officer appeared & handed 
me my clothes etc and indicated that I would be
released in any hour or two. I dressed and waited for

about 2½ hours. During this time another ball of 

rice & mug of water was handed in to me. At last

at about 1100 hrs the officer came back & after 

inspecting my cell lead me out into the passage where

I found Sitwell waiting. I was then allowed to put on

my shoes and we were conducted to the guard room. Here

we had to wait until the forms were brought for 

us to sign. The same officer who had struck me was

there & pressed a cigarette upon me in the friendliest

fashion. I suppose because of my fatigue & hunger

I nearly fainted before I was half way through it.

Whilst we were waiting for the forms our personal

belongings were returned to us but not my matches

(which we were told were forbidden) or my

cigarettes a request for which was greeted only

with a grin. We were then taken into a room

& found that the luggage which we had left at

the railhead had arrived. We were ordered to

unpack it all for inspection. A few papers - including

my delegated powers a Comdr. of AIF in JAVA -

were taken from me, and my cigarette lighter

which had been put out of action by the

guard whilst I was in the cells, was at first

taken but subsequently returned. I subsequently

found that a cake of soap had also been taken &

the glass of my watch broken. We were then taken

upstairs to the first-floor of a long wooden building

& taken to our quarters which consisted of a long

room in which (with Sitwell & I) there were 28

officers, Americans, Dutch & British. The room was

just long enough to take 14 beds per side almost

touching, with tables & forms down the centre. 

 

at the sides of the room were lockers - each officer

having two lockers with slide doors & two open

lockers. The bedsteads are iron with straw

mattresses & a straw pillow & four blankets each were

issued to us. I was utterly filthy as I had not had 

my clothes off for about a week , so I immediately had

a shave & a cold bath - standing naked in the

wind & ladling water over myself from a big

concrete tub. I then had lunch at 1200 hrs

of vegetable soup & rice served in bowls of china

which were issued individually to us. During the

afternoon I arranged my bed & clothes etc. At 1730 hrs

we again had vegetable soup & rice & at 2000 hrs

stood to our beds for roll-call & then went straight

to bed. During the afternoon I contacted Major-Gen

Calligan, Col Kent Hughes, Pigden, Derham, Thyer, Walker,

Brig Taylor & other Aust. officers. In the camp are

about 400, English, Americans, Dutch & Australian. All

army officers are Cols or upwards. Gen Percival is

here also the Govs of Hong-Kong, Malay, etc & the Chief 

Justices of F. M. S & Singapore upon whom I called &

paid my respects at the earliest possible moment.

The routine of the camp is reveille at 0630, parade

for roll-call at 0700, breakfast 0730, work parade

on fine days 0900 - 1130, midday meal at 1200 hrs

work parade at 1230 - 1600. Evening meal at 1730.

Evening roll call in quaters at 2000, lights out at 2100.

Smoking is permitted only in quarters & between morning &

evening roll calls. There is only one kitchen about

200 yds away. The meals are uniform, vegetable

soup & rice are brought up to our rooms by two of

us in turn, served out & eaten in our own room. There

is not enough to eat & the food has to be divided

up with scrupulous care. One leaves every meal

feeling hungry. The latrines are downstairs & at

thein a separate building in rear. After evening roll

call & until reveille every person going to the latrines

has to register his name with a latrine guard

provided by ourselves. A Jap. sentry is on duty at

the latrine door to whom we have to bow or

salute when going in & out. Outside the latrine is

a large concrete  tub or series of tubs for washing

clothes or bathing. Alongside the cookhouse is a

bathroom & twice a week a week hot bathes are allowed.

each room being allotted 20 mins. The discipline of

the guards is very severe face slapping being the

punishment for any suspected breach & these are almost

daily occurrences. Buying from outside is very

strictly limited to certain stock articles (cigarettes,

cigars, tea, pencils, note-books etc) & there is a very

grave shortage of soap. Fruit, eggs etc cannot be

procured at any price.

N.B I feel that I should record matters preliminary to my being

put into the cells. Maltby spoke to all British officers &

stated that we should do all possible to avoid signing &

in any event should not sign anything until satisfied that

failure to do so would result in serious punishment.

When Searle was called out I suspected that I would

follow & so said to Maltby 'What do you want the

British officers to do Sir?'. My own opinion is that we

should sign at once. 'We are going to be compelled to

sign & I consider it more dignified to sign now than

to put up a useless protest but I will stand by

your decision & certainly will not let you down'

He replied "I must leave it to you, but we must make a

protest" It was because of this that I took the action

which I did. I learnt subsequently that Maltby & all others

(except Sitwell) signed without demur!

 

[*Febry 4th*] Uneventful day we are "quarantined" in our own quarters for

one week. Meat ration (offal etc from local killing yards in our

soup) which had been going on from about a month

ceased today.

[*5th*] Very cold bleak weather. My cough is no better & keeps me 

awake half the night. Hot bath today. Bath house is about

200 yards away & is the usual circular bath of hot water

which is ladelled out & poured over oneself. Hot baths

are taken by squads 15-20 mins per squad on Thursdays

& Sundays

[*6th*] Newspapers printed in English & published in Japan were 

issued today. Russians doing very well advancing towards

Rostov & have surrounded 6th Army. Salt issue. 1 months supply

[*7th*]  Sunday. church service in morning but as we in quarantine 

we could not attend.

[*8th*] Quarantine ended.

[*9th*] Attended morning roll call outside with others at 0700 hrs

At 0930 fell in & were marched out to garden about 1000

yds away to work. Heavy baggage arrived & was stored.

Sugar issue - 1 months supply. New system of payt accounted

to come into operation at once. No money whatever will

be handed to us, but our pay will be placed to our credit &

agst it we will be allowed to buy what articles the Japs

approve - mainly cigarettes etc. They supply a list of articles

which we are permitted to purchase. It includes no

foodstuffs.

[*10th*]  Sgt Kavanagh (U.S.A) died today. Worked in garden in

afternoon. Cold, bleak weather continuing. We were all

photographed today with a big placard showing our P.O.W

No hung around our necks. My number is 370.

[*11th*]  Anniversary of founding of Jap dynasty . Muster parade

in morning when Jap declaration of  war against England &

America was read. 1 pig & 18 chickens were added to the

evening soup & extra rice was issued. The food generally seems

inadequate. I am perpetually hungry, even immediately after

a meal.

[*12th*]  Sgt Kavanagh's funeral today. Japs appear to have relaxed

cremation rule & allowed body to be buried by ourselves.

[*13th*]  Meat (gristle, windpipe, offal etc) from local killing yards

in soup tonight. Announced that this will continue of 3

days. Sir Mark Young & others slapped by sentry this evening.

Return put in of Singapore & Java money in our possession.

[*14th*]  Very bad head-ache all day, developing to intense pain

at night. Obtained aspirin from AVM Maltby & got to sleep

attended church service

[*15th*]  Headache gone. More newspapers 25th Jan - 5 Feby, issued.

News of Russia's great success agst 6th Army & that Tripoli occupied

by British

[*16th*]  Heavy baggage issued to us after close inspection by Japanese.

My map which I had kept to locate australian graves in 

Java was seized also a personal account of my movements

since leaving Palestine - also a torch, a primus stove, a
pair of pliars, all matches, torch batteries & my boots. During

work period today squad leaders were called in for

conference with Jap officer. Took opportunity to point out

that food was quite inadequate. Singapore & Java money

called in.

[*February 17th*]  Spent all day cutting my mattress down to fit my

bedstead & restitching same. Used surplus flock to repack

my pillows & gave balance to numerous other officers

for same purpose.

[*18th*]  Everyone had their fingerprints taken today. Every 
finger was done as well as whole hand. Played

bridge in the morning with Gen Percival, Simmons & AVM

Maltby

[*19th*]  All Jap money in our possession was handed in today &

placed to our credit. I paid in 26 yen 50 sen. Issued with

strip of cloth upon which is written my POW No 370 & my

name in Japanese. This must be worn at all times on the

right breast.

 

[*Feby 20th*]  Cigarettes made available agst cash credits. Until now I have

had to exist on borrowed cigarettes. I secured 400 & 9 cigars. Very

cold blustery day. No work. Washed all the dirty clothes I

brought in my heavy baggage. Issued with a printed post - 

card to send to our homes.

[*21*] Attended Church Service conducted by Percival. Earthquake shock

occurred last night. Very loud rumbling & building shook

severely. Hot bath today but water was almost cold. Am

trying to get plot of ground for private garden but so far

without success. 10 more pigs & 15 rabbits arrived for our

livestock farm. This evening I was punched & slapped by

Jap. Sentry for no apparent reason. Having neuralgia I had

a woolen wrapper around my head. A sentry came into

the room & I immediately removed my wrapper & stood up & bowed.

The sentry walked straight up to me & spoke in Japanese & then

struck me in the face sending my glasses flying (but fortunately

not breaking them). He then struck me again 3 or 4 times.

[*22*]  Fire drill in the morning. Work in the afternoon from 1300 - 1600 hrs

Another issue of salt in the evening. Extra rice sweetened & 

with sweet potatoes in it at evening meal.

[*23*]  Wet day.  No work. In evening after roll call sentries

came around & quite a lot of officers were slapped & kicked

for trivial & in many cases unknown offences.  Order

issued that nobody may appear outside his room with

any button of his coat undone; also that we are not to

sit or lie on our beds between reveille & evening roll call.

As there are not seats enough except unbacked forms which

just tol hold us all each man touching the other, it is

going to be very uncomfortable.

[*24*]  Dull cold day. Worked in morning. No work in afternoon

[*25*]  Work all day. Good rich soup at night with small

quantity of fish in it. First time we have had any fish

since we arrived here. This evening a sentry saw one

of the Generals in his room with a button undone. He

immediately came in & cut off the button & handed it to

the General.

[*26th*]  Still cloudy & cold. Work in the morning. Made a start at

sewing the garden. Sewed bean seeds in one area. Squad

Chiefs ^Gens & Governors^ called together in afternoon & told that internees in

our respective countries were being very cruelly treated.

They were then invited to write their respective Govts

urging that internees be better treated & it was hinted that 

our treatment would greatly improve if we would do

so. Nobody offered to do so & conference broke up at

once. No work in afternoon. Reported that fish soup

will continue for 3 more days. Traded a pair of stockings

for a cake of washing soap. Soap shortage is very acute.

Shortly after conference as above, Jap officer returned from

Camp H.Q & went to Guard & spoke to guard. Immediately

strictness prevailed. Large number of officers were beaten

up for various reasons. I was twice rigidly examined

by sentries to see if I had any buttons undone. Just

after evening meal I saw four men severely slapped

by sentries for various reasons.

[*27th*]  "Heat" is well on. Many officers severely smacked

& knocked about last night including Lt-Gen Wainwright

(U.S.A). This morning Gen Heath (British) was very s XXXX

knocked about. He has one arm withered at birth & it

looks as though it is snot out straight when he

stands to attention. For this he was apparently hit.

His eye is very inflamed & going black. Staton (British)

was hit with a rifle butt, kicked & slapped. Many

others totalling probably 50 - 60 have been slapped &

punched. Work this morning. Fine warm day. At

about 1400 hrs I was standing in my room & two

sentries came along. "Kigoski" was called & I stood

to attention & as they came to door I bowed in the

manner ordered. One of the sentries walked straight

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Ray WilsonRay Wilson
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