David Langton - There has been some talk lately of web sites, I thought I would remind you of Wes Injerds brilliant site.
All the recently released American material is there, including 'War Crimes Affidavits', medical evidence etc.
Anyone requiring info on The Hell Ships should visit, original writings are there. I warn you, set aside a few days!
My interest in going there is because my dad was sent to Ube, after his stint on The Railway. Unfortunately, it's just about the only coal mine not covered! Although I have a considerable amount of info.
On the subject of "incorrect information in records", you should see The Nominal Roll of TA's (Cambridgeshire's) 16 August 1943. Sergeant Major's are Corporals, and such like! It seems as though no-one wanted "rank"?!
Ron Taylor - Deliverance! It Has Come! was created by John S. Beaber to honor his father, Herman Knight Beaber who was a minister in the United States. He sailed for the Philippines on January 12th 1941 to help spread Christianity in that part of the world.
On December 7th 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and three days later on December 10th they attacked the Philippines Islands. Herman spent three years as a prisoner or war under the Japanese. During this time he wrote a powerful and telling POW diary which is a compelling story of his fight to stay alive during times harder than many today could imagine. Reading this work will take you back to times that many want to forget. Take yourself back into the past and relive the brutality and romance of the Second World War through the eyes of another.
William Rowan, a WWII historian in this book review states the following: "No account of conditions in Manila during the Japanese occupation would be complete without including John S. Beaber's carefully edited account of his father's WWII Philippine diary entitled Deliverance! It Has Come! As a missionary to the Philippines, Herman Beaber was allowed to spend most of the war outside the prison camps. Initially, most missionaries registered at Santo Tomás and then soon afterward were released only to be reincarcerated again in July 1944. Herman Beaber kept typed and written records of his observations throughout the Japanese occupation. He details the early months of the war, describing each air raid carefully as regards the presence or absence of American fighter planes, how many Japanese planes were seen to be shot down, and what the intended targets probably were. His information seems accurate and should add measurably to other accounts.
One of the most interesting aspects of Herman Beaber's diary is the background coverage he gives regarding a fellow missionary named Ernest Stanley. Stanley appears in Clio Mathews Wetmore's book entitled Beyond Pearl Harbor (reviewed at this website along with the other Philippine prison-camp books) as one of the unsung heroes of Santo Tomás. Based on information that Clio received, Clio cites Stanley as a British agent responsible for tipping off MacArthur as to Japanese plans to murder thousands of male prisoners February 4, 1945, and retreat from Manila with the women and children as hostages. The tone of Beaber's numerous references to fellow-missionary Stanley during the days and weeks before the war seem to me to cast considerable doubt on Wetmore's conclusion that Stanley was a British secret agent planted by British Intelligence long before the war. It will be interesting to see how history treats the Stanley story in the years ahead.
After being rounded up in July 1944, Herman Beaber and many other missionaries spent an uncomfortable night sleeping on wooden desktops or the concrete floor at Santo Tomás. Early the following morning then were shipped off to Los Baños prison camp south of Manila. Here, Beaber adds valuable detail of conditions in Los Baños and of the rescue of the camp February 23, 1945.
John S. Beaber has done an excellent job of editing his father's diary. The book is available as an e-Book 'through Global Publishing Bureau Limited and is currently listed as a Best Seller'. It is thoroughly documented with footnotes. John's website contains additional illustrative material and photographs as well as many important links to related sites. It is this factor that makes this site one of the most useful to ex-POWs.
This site has also been recommended by History Channel.com and ushistory.org and has received the Golden Web Award for 2001-2002.
Robin - There was an international conference in Singapore in February to mark the 60th anniversary of the fall of the city.
It will probably be a while before the academic papers are published, but ABC News (Australian Broadcasting) was there and produced a full edition documentary on its Four Corners show (equivalent of US_Frontline UK_Panorama Canada_fifth estate)
They also produced an excellent website
with interviews, video, transcript of the show and some of the academic papers (in the Viewpoint section)
Ron - Summer Will Come Again Author John Lane
This book and site recalls POW life as slave labour on the docks of Kobe, Japan and the trauma of surviving months of American air raids. With the Japanese surrender, John Lane procured a camera and made a unique visual record of those turbulent weeks of freedom before arriving at Sydney on the carrier H.M.S Formidable.
I enjoyed this site and the part about the Lisbon Maru had more some extra information.
Mick - I am at the moment doing a lot of research on my father Lance Corporal Joseph Titley 21 Lt A A. Regt. Workshops, R. E. M. E. He died on Sunday 4th of February 1945 and is buried in Labuan War Cemetery. I have just received an email from one of your members, Brian Green, who gave me a great deal of information and another source for my research. I read all of the emails and would like to thank all of the people who give their time and expertise to help others such as myself. Brian's email gave me the name of the ship that dad went out to Java on and that started me thinking "what happened to it" so I have spent the last two days on the internet and I have found this site, www.merchantships.click2site.com it gives us another source of information.
I hope that this may be of some use, I would like to think that it may help someone.
Keep up the good work,