Web Sites December

And To Think I Volunteered by Harry Thorpe

      Alan and Richard - dick.thorpe@btinternet.com

      Having pestered Dad for many years to put down on paper his experiences of his war years, he at last succumbed. I might add he was always reluctant, as he said he wanted to forget.
      Dad also had an active and happy youth, which we found quite fascinating and even up to his death, he was a fitness fanatic.
      On the day he died, which incidentally was 'Friday the Thirteenth' (a most significant date in his life as you will see later in the book), he'd been out shopping with mum and in the evening, Richard called for him to go to the local pub for a game of pool, which he loved to play. Unfortunately, at the end of the evening he suddenly fell ill with a terrible pain in his stomach. Richard managed to get him home but dad felt worse so Richard called an ambulance. Dad passed away on the operating table with a ruptured abdominal aneurysm. A quick way to go, but a helluva shock to mum and the family.
      The book is in dad's own words. He had a wonderful memory and the detail he recalled never failed to amaze us, I hope you enjoy the content.

      Mike Savin - mike@savin11.freeserve.co.uk

      I was interested in the article written by the late harry thorpe i am currently researching my uncles time as apow in thailand he served in the 18th division with the 4th suffolks. he was from west bromwich and i note harry thorpe mentions stourbridge her ein the west midlands. when i have the first draughts preparded I will forward same.

      Ron - >Mike

      I was a bit quick off the mark in sending the email.
      Any information that will help is very welcome.
      Look forward to reading them.


Alf King By Sue Cahill

      Ron - Thanks to Sue for sending Alf’s story in and all the help she has given to get more detail. Alf was aboard the HMS Exeter when she was sunk. As pow, he was sent to Makassar in the Celebes and then on to Japan.

      This site is in remembrance of Alf who died in 1985.


 CFIR - The Center for Internee Rights

      Ron - The below email was just received.

      http://www.EXPOWs.com/news1225.pdf - Click on this to view or printout the newsletter.

      Gil Hair (Santo Tomas Internee & son of Corregidor/Hell Ships POW)
      Executive Director - The Center for Internee Rights, Inc. (CFIR)

      The site is worth a read, as the following part of an article shows.
      Select: http://www.expows.com and then select Japanese WWII Atrocities for the full page.

      Excert from site
      ( 1945 )
      Sandakan, the prison compound in British North Borneo holding 2,434 Australian and British POWs. Captured when Singapore fell, they were transported in a decrepit tramp steamer, the Yubi Maru, to Sandakan to help build a military airstrip for the Japanese. When their labour was no longer required, they were confined to the prison compound where they slowly died from starvation, disease and brutalities. As the Allies approached the islands, over 1,000 prisoners, still alive, were force marched in groups of 50 to another camp in the jungle at Ranau, about 120 miles away. The 291 prisoners, including 288 stretcher cases, who were too sick to march, and left behind at Sandakan, were massacred soon after, many dying after undergoing diabolical torture. In June, 1945, of the 455 prisoners that left Sandakan for Ranau on the first march, only 140 reached Ranau alive, the remainder had died or were shot during the march. Prisoners were shot out of hand, their bodies littering the route. On the second inhumane death march, 536 POWs left Sandakan but only 189 were still alive when they reached their destination, 142 of these were Australians. The third march consisted of 75 prisoners, mostly British, all of whom died. During their short stay at Ranau, six Australians managed to escape, the rest were either shot or died from exhaustion, or illnesses such as malaria, beriberi, and dysentery. Of the six escapees, three died later and only three from the original 2,434 were alive to bear witness at the War Crimes Trials which followed at Rabaul and Tokyo in 1946 in which fourteen Japanese officers, convicted of war crimes in Borneo, were executed. Captain Hoshijima, the Sandakan prison commandant was found guilty and hanged at Rabaul on April 6, 1946. Altogether, 1,381 Australian prisoners-of-war died at Sandakan in the most heinous atrocity of the Japanese against Australian troops in the entire Pacific war. Of the British prisoners, 641 had died. The 4,000 imported Javanese slave labourers who worked on the airstrip, less than half a dozen were alive at wars end. Only 25 Australians escaped from Japanese prison camps to come home again to their homeland. These escapes were from Borneo and Ambon. Around the same number escaped but were recaptured and executed.
      Today, the Sandakan War Memorial Park, with its two Australian memorials, is beautifully laid out on the former site of the notorious prison camp.


Second World War Experience



      David - I have found a great site :-


      e-mail : gprovost@webruler.com

      I am currently researching escape parties from Singapore, most particularly
      The 2nd Cambs, I know their route, but not the vessels involved, Gilbert of
      the above has been most helpful.
      The vessel you are looking for might not be listed, but an e-mail gets you
      the information you are looking for!

      Happy Hunting

      Stuart - Hi David, excellent, I knew this data was available, but didn't know it was on WWW yet! Might save
      me a trip to London...


North China Marines

      John N. Powers - jpowers@netnet.net

      I have recently completed one stage in creating a web site on a unit called the North China Marines. One camp in particular is mostly finished - Fukuoka 3-B in Japan. At present I have only the roster of Americans in the camp although documents say 130 British were there.

      If you think British citizens are searching for information on this camp please list it as a link. My father-in-law was an American at this camp and we knew little about it until this year. I am putting the information on a site so others may more easily find information on their relatives. I hope soon to have information on the Hakodate camps and others. Any info I find on British citizens I will forward to you.



      Dear friends,

      Canada Association for Learning and Preserving the History of WW II in Asia (ALPHA) joins with the Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens' Association (JCCA); Canada Asia Pacific Resource Network (CAPRN); and UBC's First Nations House of Learning, Women's Studies and Gender Relations programme, and International House in hosting the conference "Preventing Crimes Against Humanity: Lessons from the Asia-Pacific War (1931-1945)". To be held on Friday, March 21 & Saturday, March 22, 2003 at The Longhouse First Nations House of Learning on the UBC campus, the conference will examine the progress made and problems remaining in digesting the lessons of World War II, with special focus on the issue of redress for Asian victims of that war. We invite you to attend this important conference. Below is the announcement of the conference for your information. The website for this conference is under construction and will be up and running for registration in mid January. I will inform you when it is ready. Theka Lit
      Co-chair of Canada Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WW II in Asia (ALPHA) & President of B.C. ALPHA
      Website: www.vcn.bc.ca/alpha


      A Canadian Conference on
      Preventing Crimes Against Humanity:
      Lessons from the Asia Pacific War (1931-1945)

      Friday, March 21 - Saturday, March 22, 2003
      at The Longhouse
      First Nations House of Learning, UBC
      1985 West Mall, Vancouver

      Seventy years ago, the drums of war were beating. In Asia, racism, sexism, militarism and imperialism ignited a lethal conflict, precipitating terrible crimes against humanity. Have we learned the lessons from that war?

      This two day conference will offer an opportunity to learn from the Asia-Pacific War (1931-1945) in order to eliminate racism, prevent crimes against humanity and stop war. It will provide a particular focus on how women were affected during the war. It will also look at how we approach tough issues such as redress and reconciliation. The conference will be interactive, allowing participants to learn about the past, and to apply the lessons to the present. Among those who will share their experience are:

      Madam AHN Jeom Soon: Korean survivor of Japanese military sexual slavery
      Indai Lourdes Sajor: former Executive Director of Asian Centre for Women's Human Rights of the Philippines, co-convener of Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual Slavery
      Roland David Chrisjohn: First Nation's scholar/activist, principal author of The Circle Game: Shadows and Substance in the Indian Residential School Experience in Canada
      Art Miki: former President of the National Association of Japanese Canadians and leader of Japanese-Canadian redress movement
      Erna Paris: Author of Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History, called a "best book of the year" by The Christian Science Monitor (U.S.), The New Statesman (U.K.) and The Globe and Mail (Canada)

      Workshops will include hands-on sessions related to the war (biological warfare, the "comfort women", the Rape of Nanking, Hiroshima, Internment of Japanese Canadians) and to the present (residential schools, violence against women, the "war against terrorism", racial profiling). Join us in the quest for justice and equality on the 40th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

      Registration Fee (including conference materials, box lunches):

      $20 (students, low income) $50 (regular)

      Sponsored by:
      Canada Association for Learning & Preserving the History of WW II in Asia (ALPHA)
      Canada Asia Pacific Resource Network (CAPRN)
      Greater Vancouver Japanese Canadian Citizens' Association (JCCA), Human Rights Committee
      U.B.C. - First Nations House of Learning, Women's Studies and Gender Relations, and International House

      For further information contact: aplconference@ubc.ca

      or Thekla Lit at bcalpha@shaw.ca of Canada ALPHA


AMF Prisoners of War and Missing in the Far East and South West Pacific Islands Database

      Don Clark - >Ron,

      The Australian War Memorial site has recently put up a new database that any Australian members may find helpful:

      AMF Prisoners of War and Missing in the Far East and South West Pacific Islands Database

      Best wishes for the new year

      Don Clark

      PO Box 96
      Latham ACT 2615 Australia
      Website: 211 Squadron RAF



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