Rhys Webb - My father survived the Railway of Death then was sent to Nakom Pathom, and in May 1945 he was one of 500 men taken to Hong Hin to cut a road through the Maung Dung Pass. He died somewhere in this area four days after the peace was signed. I would like to find someone who could give me more information about this last period or about Nakom Pathom which was called a hospital camp.
Sue Ebury - There are a number of books about this part of the railway, butIi recommend you read 'TheWar Diaries of "Weary" Dunlop', by Edward Dunlop, paperback published by Penguin. Sir Edward was an Australian surgeon on the central Thailand section of the Railway and spent much time at Nakom Pathom. My biography of him, : Weary: the Life of Sir Edward Dunlop, also published by Penguin, puts the diaries and the period in context.,
Sir Edward treated more British patients than he did Australian ones.
Keith Andrews - Sorry for the delay in responding, just checking on some facts with a friend in Australia, and as yet still awaiting more news from a contact in the Far East, but I will let you know what I have. As Sue states in her reply, read The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop, it has helped me in my search. My father was with the Coast Gun Regiments in Singapore, and worked on the Railway, and like yours survived that far. I have a record of the camps he was in, but have had a hell of a job tracing the last one, Takuri. I sent an e-mail to a friend in Australia about the U.S.S.Sealion, and asked if she had heard of this camp. This is what I have so far: Early in 1945 men were taken from the railway camps (in my dad's case Tamuang) to build an escape road through the Tenassarim Forest for the retreating Japanese Army out of Burma. Conditions there were as bad, if not worse than anything on the railway, and a great many men died, although I do know of one survivor still alive. Takuri was one of the camps on the Mergui Road. Where you state Hong Hin through Maung Dung Pass, it could well mean south of Hong Hin (Hua Hin). South of there is Prachuap Khiri Khan which is where the men were first taken, and from there you go through Maw-duang Pass to Mergui. This could well mean our fathers were in the same place at the same time. My father passed away in 1986 without telling any of this. So, I am awaiting replies from two overseas contacts, one at the IWM, another in the UK, and awaiting the arrival of two books, which may take some time. I will get there, and share what information I have with pleasure. One last thing, log onto the COFEPOW website, cofepow.org.uk go to the Death Railway page, go to camps, then Section 2, look for Tarsoe, click on it and you will see some photos of a camp. It is in fact not Tarsoe as we first thought, but Takuri, and I am not sure if they are still there as Ron may have updated the site.
Hope this helps, and I will be in touch again with more information.
Ron Taylor - The Death Railway pages are on http://www.fepow-community.org.uk/research/Death_Railway
Sue Ebury - No the book is delayed - not handed to the publishers yet. I will certainly let everyone know when it is due to come out - and there will be publicity in the UK. I get quite a few requests from people who want to buy eith my biography of Sir Edward or his war diaries - does anyone have any idea where i can send them? I know Penguin don't always have stock because it has to come from Australia.
Keith Andrews - Thanks for the information re Jane Flowers book. I think I had a message back from you before. My replies to e-mails go through the fepow list, these are virus scanned anyway. Was the reply through fepow, or direct from an individual?
If you want to respond off list direct please do.
Sue Ebury -Jane Flower is an English historian who has been researching POWs and the Japanese camps for some years. Her book will be very well worth waiting for but I don't have a pubication date. As soon as i do, I will post an email. But it won't be in the next six months, of that I am certain.
Dorothy - Below is the first message you sent. Hope this si what you want. I've never done much on the web before and am not so comfortable as every one else with posting things up, sending them around, etc.! Sometimes I don't know what people are talking about! Still learning the language....
Still working through the accounts of ex-POWs on the FEPOW website, too, just hoping someone might have known my dad. There was one man who came back - his name was Eric Gibbons - he came to visit my mother and was kind to us children - but no-one gave children much information, then I left home as soon as I was grown up. I wasn't encouraged to enquire about the War - they thought it was best forgotten. From something my mother told me I think Eric and my father were friends on the railway and then they were separated. I don't know whether Eric is still alive. He used to live in Cardiff, my home town. If there is anything else that comes to mind I'll let you know.