POW in Nagasaki

POW in Nagasaki - Diary of Eric Murray Jobling

      Sandra Oliver-Jobling - I am an Australian. My husband's father was in Nagasaki when the A-bomb exploded. He was in the 2/40 Btn and, of course, a prisoner of war.

      I am writing his memoirs and a novel.

      Dad (Eric Murray Jobling - Murray) has kept a diary of the names of people
      he knew as a POW in Japan. Maybe this will be helpful.

      Ron Taylor - If you let me have the list I can put it within the Fepow Community site as a reference for others. Let me know when the book is released and I will add it to the Book Library.

      Sandra Oliver-Jobling - This is a project I have just started. I am amazed that the events surrounding that of being a POW in Japan are not better known in the wider population.
      I am slowly finding out more. Dad is in his eighties and either has forgotten or does not want to discuss detail or underestimates his own experiences.

      His war diary is a bit cryptic due to circumstances at the time. I'll be going to see him soon and will ask him to explain. I am not sure which list is the list for deceased persons etc.
      As soon as I have it sorted out I will pass the info to you.

      A few of his mates and himself sat down and worked through the list of names and it might clear up some situations.

      I am certainly pleased this FEPOW exists. Is it possible to look at past emails?

      Ron Taylor - The list of names you have will help others, when you are ready.

      I used to find with my pop, he would not talk about the bad times, but always had a laugh about the good times. Playing the Japs at football, when the railway was finished, was one of these. He said it was the only time the prisoners could get their own back. He played centre half for the Fepow English team and by what I've heard from other Fepows and school mates was a bit of a hard case, his hero was Nobby Styles, say no more. I never saw him play as a major operation after the war stopped his playing career.

      I keep all the emails from the list and keep thinking about putting them on as site pages, I will try to work that one out, would others like these on ?

      It could be a good idea to put the informative ones into topic sections on the site under List Archive, List Notes, or something similar, in the Research section.

      Capt. George W. Duffy - Although I did not get to Japan, I met many of the Battalion on Java, 1942-44. One of the officers, Captain Russell Piggott, visited me here in the United States about 30 years ago, and in 1979 he and his family hosted me and my wife at their home in Hobart. At that time, we attended the annual reunion which was held in Ulverstone. In fact, on that occasion I was made a Member of the Battalion's :Old Comrades Association, and have the badge to prove it! The last contact I had with any of the 2/40th people was at the great ex-POW reunion at Surfer's Paradise in 1986.

      It was through the Piggotts that I was able to make the acquaintance of Doctor "Weary" Dunlop, with whom I corresponded for a long time.

      Not too many years ago, someone loaned me a copy of a book relating the A. I. F. experience on Timor. I cannot recall its title nor the author's name, but perhaps you are aware of it. Many names were listed, particularly the officers. I believe you would find it to be great assistance in your project.

      Lesley - There was a book about 2/40 Bn called The Doomed Battalion by Peter Henning, and it was also mentioned in The Sparrows by Tony Paley.

      I have, from amongst my father's things, a very moving poem written by Pte G J Faulkner (2/40 Bn) called The Battle of Oesaoe if you wish to include it with your project. I managed to trace his son should you need to ask permission (john_faulkner@dcc.tas.gov.au) - I have transcribed it below but if you would like a photocopy e-mail me your address direct.

      My dad (British) would have been with some members of 2/40 Bn in Tandjong Priok camp in Java after they left Timor on their way to the railway/Japan.

      I look forward to seeing the list . . and good luck with the book!


      Twas on February the 22nd
      On that fatal Sunday night
      We had struck more than we had reckoned
      was fair in any fight

      A thousand Japs before us
      Twenty two thousand more behind
      We had no time to think or cuss
      Herešs into it, never mind

      The Japs were on the hilltop
      And we were down below
      But we had to take that hilltop
      Or go where all good soldiers go

      Just as the sun was setting
      The word was passed around
      to "fix bayonets boys and at Oem
      Wešll take that bit of ground

      And after the battle was over
      And all the din had died
      Of the 800 Japs who held the ridge
      but seventy five survived

      Though victory was ours that night
      We knew it were but a respite
      For the Japs we could not hope to outdo
      With the odds of one to about twenty two

      And we the next day had gone
      We were prisoners of the sons Nippon

      And now at Oesapa-Besar
      When we think of our dear land afar
      We hope our effort was not in vain
      And that Australiašs gate is safe again

      Composed by Private G Faulkner
      BN HQ 2/40 Bn - 1942

      Sandra Oliver-Jobling - Thank you for this info. I went to the library yesterday and looked these books up - they are great.

      Just a short note of appreciation - I am on the run. I look forward to "talking with you about Java. I think Murray was there for a few years. I must check my info because while I am overloaded with some info, and it's a lot to take in, other info is scarce.

      Murray was attached to Sparrow Force and he was not of the 2/40 BTN (my mistake) - Murray was of the 18 Aust Anti Tank Battery.

      A dear friend and mate of Murrays was Peter McGrath Kerr who was of the 2/40 BTN.

      Murray did not attend the reunions - I wonder why. He did however go back to Japan and it was filmed by the ABC .

      Sandra Oliver-Jobling - It's a sad poem. I appreciate you sending it. Excuse my ignorance but where was The Battle of Oesaoe?

      Hi Ron there are a lot more names than these and I will gradually send them. Most of them are Australians. I could also send them to the list if you think that is reasonable? I don't want to upset people though. If you can understand some of the shorthand could you please explain?

      Have you heard of the title/name Old & Bold

      Some dates Murray has of his war journey:
      Aerkom 23:2:42
      Koepang 23:9:42
      Dilly 24:9:42
      Hourabaya 30:9:42
      T.Priok 2:10:42
      Diaft 4:1:43
      Makaura 28:1:43
      T.Priok 30:3:43
      Glodok 1:12:43
      Cycle 11:2:44
      Adek 10:5:44

      777 draft 268 Aust, 43Yanks, 106 Eng, 270 Dutch, 19:5:44; Singapore 22:5:44
      5 men left in Singapore dysentry, 1Australian.
      Leave Singapore 3:644; Manilla 11-14:6:44
      Formosa 19-21:6:44
      Torpedoed 11.50 pm 24:6:44
      212 survivors, 85 D, 72 Aust, 42 Eng, 13 Yanks
      Fukuoka 14 Nagasaki 25:6:44 start work for Mitsubishi 8:8:44.

      Lesley - Oesaoe is in Timor and I presume the Battle of Oesaoe was their 'last stand' before being captured (the date ties in with this).

      The date 30.9.42 would be Sourabaya (Java).

      The boat torpedoed in June 44 was the Tomohoku Maru (though I have the date
      as 20.6.44) - I know a survivor of this sinking, who also ended up in Nagasaki working for Mitsubushi, if you would like me to put you in contact.

      Sandra Oliver-Jobling -Yes I'd like to be put in contact with another survivor. Murray might like to write although he has had a minor stroke. His diary was written just before sailing home. It is brief and to the point. Murray had started many diaries and they were taken off him. The date could very well be wrong for the torpedo but yes it was that ship. The cargo was sugar on the Tomohoku Maru and the submarine Tang sunk the ship.

      Lesley - Have forwarded your e-mail address to George Housego so he can contact you. It just occurred to me, another book which would be of interest is Doctor's War by Aidan MacCarthy - the second half is quite detailed about the Tomohoku sinking through to the end of the war in Nagasaki. Interestingly the USS Tang was later sunk and the crew became Japanese POWs also.
      Keep us posted on your progress!

      Capt. George W. Duffy - Sandra, you list Murray's camps and dates. Starting with Hourabaya, the Dutch spelling was Soerabaja. T. Priok was Tandjoeng Priok, the name for the general port area north of the city of Batavia. Three large
      piers were situated there, stretching about 4,000 feet into the harbor which was protected by a breakwater. On the piers were huge godowns and numerous railway tracks. The Tandjoeng Priok railway passenger station, a large stone building, stood nearby (and was still there in 1979). East of that complex was a small village measuring about 2,500 feet by 4,000 feet. Here lived the dockworkers, fishermen, and their families. After the Japanese occupation, about one-quarter of the buildings were evacuated, a high barbed wire fence was erected, and the area became the Tandjoeng Priok military prison camp.

      His next entry Diaft is probably meant to be Draft. My journal for that date shows "530 A. I. F. left camp". We used the term "draft" to indicate a movement of a group of prisoners. After that is Makaura. Again referring to my journal I have Makasura which was a corruption of Kampong Makassar. This was a small camp with a capacity of about 600 men, located in a sparsely populated area south of the city. Then on 30:3 he is back at Tandjoeng Priok. Again my journal notes, "Aussies who left here in January returned "home".

      His next entry, Cycle, is not until 11:2:44, and that confuses me. Tandjoeng Priok was shut down completely on 18:4:43. Everyone went to the former Dutch 10th Infantry Battalion barracks in the heart of Batavia. As the troops housed there in pre-war days were bicycle mounted, the place was called the 'Cycle Camp.

      Of the other places mentioned I know only of Glodok. That was a former civilian jail where most of the occupants were older or incapacitated soldiers. They were kept busy spinning string for the manufacture, I believe, of burlap bags. There were military prisoners in Adek early on, but the place is identified more as a women's and children's camp, that according to Van Waterford.

      I ended up spending a year at Kampong Makassar before being shipped off to Sumatra. Our in-camp commander at Makassar was the R.A.A.F. Wing Commander Ramsey-Rae who did a marvelous job at keeping the Jap Lieutenant Tanaka under control. We ate well there, too.

      For those of you with an interest in the TAMAHOKO MARU sinking, go to http://www.warfish.com/tang/index.html and click on Third Patrol for the TANG's commander's full report on the sinking. You may also wish to read his post-war written report on her loss to her last torpedo which circled back and sank her.

      Sandra Oliver-Jobling - Dear Ron, It was my query and your idea - I am glad the idea was triggered though :). I hope it isn't too much work for you.

      It's a shame that some people are objecting to the emails - wouldn't have thought 23 was that many. It was a little frustrating that the files were large to download, but then it was good that the effort was made to send them. I tend to become interested in a broad range of ideas and topics. It's a shame if people feel they cannot post. It takes just a little patience to see if an email is of interest to yourself - the subject headings say a lot.

      I have sorted out the details with Murray about the names in his diary and will email them. I am happy that you pass them on as you see fit. I think I'll also start a site with the names etc.

      Ron Taylor - Ideas are created from feedback, it takes time to collate the emails but it does make the collective material a good read. Unfortunately it does restrict my input. as there are only 24 hours in a day, did I hear a distant cheer, only joking.

      The Fepow List is working well and because of this information and ideas on researching those war years is flowing, making it easier and dare I say it, more enjoyable. The old saying “A friend in need, is a friend indeed” now has a special meaning.

      Sue Cahill - svc@nerc.ac.uk

      British known as Johnny King

      On this rather poignant date ie 9/8/02 I remember my father Alf King known as Johnny King who was from the HMS Exeter which was sunk on the 1st March 1942 (St Davids Day) - I wondered when I was younger why as a Welshman he diskliked this date so!

      Unfortunately my father died back in 1984 and I have only a few handwritten notes from him regarding his experiences in the camps at Nagasaki. If anyone remembers him or can give me some more information about him I would be really grateful. I remember dad had no hairs on his legs and arms but didn't think that was out of the ordinary either when I was younger as that was all I had known. Turned out as I have questioned over the years that their diets were atrocious and it is as a direct result of his term of captivity that he died so young, being awarded a full War Pension not long before he died.

      I have enclosed my email address. My father was a Chief Petty Officer, stoker trade, Devonport based.

      Hopefully I will hear from someone and if anyone would like a copy of his notes of that time, written by him, please contact me by e mail.

      Phil Tripp - Lanesly@aol.com

      My Dad Cyril Tripp was a signalman on HMS Exeter and also spent 3yrs at Nagasaki Fukuoka camp 2 I would like this list from Mrs Jobling to see if His name appears. ad died aged 52 in 1974 and never spoke much about this time. Good web site anyone can e- mail me if they like.



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