Propaganda Leaflets

Propaganda Leaflets and Signatures

      Jean Roberts - In amongst some of my Dad's papers I have come across, what looks like, some propaganda leaflets. The back of 1 of them is signed, obviously by people he was interned with. I can't make out all of the names but some have put nicknames or the fact that they were airmen besides their names (eg: Hurricane, Spitfire). Dad was Royal Artillery so they look to be quite a mixture.

      I can't date this I'm afraid, perhaps a translation of the japanese script may help to do that.

      I don't want to cause any upset to anyone but if anyone wants to see this I will scan it and post it. I would rather have people's opinion first as I am only too acutely aware that too blatant a reminder can still cause distress.

      Janet Jacobs - Jean I would love to see the the leaflet, if you could scan and send on to me.

      There are lots of things I have found of my dads that I had no idea existed, like his paybook when he was taken prisoner, in the back page on the will form he leaves all his wordly goods to my mother includng "half a packet of peppermints" ! this was obviously a wind up on his part and even the Japanese didn't destroy his humour, this was witnessed by a Pvt Weaver, a Londoner who my father admired for his tenacity and diligence,( although as a country boy my dad found weaver " a bit of a gobby cockney")

      Ron Taylor - Can you send me a copy so I can have a look please.

      With any information on where he was captured and interned.

      I will try my best to get some answers.

      Tony - If you'd care to scan in the Japanese text I can get it translated very quickly. There are several such propaganda leaflets in the museums over here in Hong Kong, so it may be possible to date it.

      Capt. George W. Duffy - Please ! Put them on. Who knows what one may recognize, be they Japanese characters or nick-names.

      To all recipients, have you been to my site ? If not, go to which is an unofficial United States Merchant Marine page. Scroll down the first page to the first window on the left and click on to access. I suggest you ignore the current article, for the moment, and scroll to its end for archived titles. Click on "The Dreadful Saga of the 'American Leader' and Its Crew" and everything else will be better understood. Regarding prisoners of the Japanese, the article "duffygavehimlife" may be interesting to UK and Australian visitors.

      Keith Andrews - Hello both of you, hope you are well. I am going to post the book back to you, registered post this weekend. Thank you for the loan. Peacocks name appears in Hardies diary on the Railway. I too am having Japanese problems, as I have just managed to obtain a copy of my fathers Japanese POW registration card, part of which is in Japanese. I regret I do not have a scanner at home. If you are sending copies of your fathers paper, I would
      not mind looking to see if I can help with the names. How is the rest of your research going? Please drop me a line and let me know.

      There you are again! If you have your dads paybook, is his medical record in it, and if so, when was it signed by the doctor, and where. My dads was signed in Takuri, 26/8/45, by a medical officer in the Indian Army. I cannot read the signature, nothing new there then!

      Janet Jacobs - I too was born and brought up in London and my hubby is of "oh Cor blimey guvner" extraction, both my parents went to London before the war and met there, it seemed the natural thing to settle back there after he was de-mobed and infact all my parents children grew up in London, my oldest brother still lives there, just behind Berkley Sq, but my other brother & I are both now country bumpkins by choice.

      The paybook is in pretty bad shape and the writing mostly unintelligable, going back to Weaver, he did find him rather loud & GOBBY (as he described it), but he still admired him greatly for his diligence & tenacity.

      Yes, I know what you mean about reading the writing of the medics, I reckon they do a special course on it at Medical school !

      Jean Roberts - Several people have said that they would be interested in seeing the signatures on the paper that belonged to my Dad. If it helps anyone to trace a loved one then I am happy to share it with you. As I said previously, I am not able to date this so I will tell you a little about my Dad to see if it fits in with anything that you already know. I am grateful to Tony for offering to get a translation of the japanese, this may help enormously. Please forgive me if I have posted the japanese script upside down. I don't know any japanese and can't decipher which way up it is meant to be. I hope I have guessed it right.

      My Dad was with 3rd HAA Royal Artillery, 11th bty and was taken (or as he always said, given away) at the fall of Singapore. He went into Changi and then up the railway. It is possible that he went by ship because he spoke of being on a ship in Saigon Harbour (where he swapped his engagement ring for 2 eggs) and then overland to the northern end of the railway. I do know that at some time he was in camps no. 1 & 4 and in Nikke. It is fairly certain that he ended the war in Kaorin as I have a photograph of a Chinese priest that was given him as a birthday card and was dated and labelled Kaorin 1945. His birthday was in July.

      I have no idea what these leaflets say. I have a few of them, all identical except the one with the signatures. This has the same bold red print on the front but is blank on the back. Obviously a misprint. It is also possible that it was signed after repatriation as 2 of the names are signed on the back of a photograph that appears to be taken after release. These names are signed more in full as Stanley Smith and D Ray Williams. The photo is included in this mail.

      I have tried to decipher the signatures but haven't been successful with all of them. As far as I can make out they are: (top to bottom) Left column:


      H Lloyd. D R Williams (sub cheeze), R Sinclair. ? R M (or W) Evers. R or A Scott. E C Ball F/O. ? Brewer (Boots). L V Chambers (Letch). A Mackaskill (357 DAKS). Jock (my Dad).

      Right Column: ? S Smith. ? M R Alston (Hurricane). ? Whelan P/LT (Eng. Officer). ? Hatter or Halton (357 The Lazzoo or Lizzie). H Cooper (Spitfire).


      I would be very pleased to hear from anyone who can relate to this, likewise I would be also very pleased if it helps anyone in their search.


      Tony, thank you. I will await eagerly the translation.

      Tony - I managed to decode your .max files into JPG (they are about 90KB each in that format. Very efficient).

      However, the guys over here are really struggling as it seems that Japanese has changed over the years.

      The bold title is "Do you want to live or die?", and it then starts "Japanese soldiers..." and appears to be a list of things they need to do in order to defeat the British army. It appears to be internal (trying to boost the morale of Japanese troops), rather than external propaganda. The Japanese use katekana to describe foreign place names, which is a purely phonetic script. Here is says something like they need to cross 'Min Ra' in order to get to 'Ban Bu Air Gong' or 'Ban Vair Gong'. I may get some more from them tomorrow.

      All I can think of is that this might be a late-war piece from Burma. Would that make any sense?

      Ron Taylor - Thanks Jean. I can now put them on the pages, if it's O.K. with you.

      Tony - The translation was emailed back from Kobe last night. Interesting that the translator's uncle died fighting the British in Burma. I have included it below exactly as it appeared, and I gave you my thoughts on the place names yesterday.

      Clearly my first attempts to decipher the message were off course. This is a British leaflet as you'll see. I wonder if it was picked up when it was dropped, or found on one of the airbases from which the leaflet flights were made?

      Personally I think this is fascinating & important.

Front of Leaflet

Back of Leaflet

      “The document you sent me is, I think, one of the bills scattered by British Army around Burma at the final stage of the battle between GB and Japan (after the summit in Yalta ?). My uncle who died there also might have read a copy of it.

      The style of sentences is hybrid, half-colloquial or half-bookish. But this does not mean the bill was composed by the Allied Forces because some Japanese, for example, in US did take part in a propaganda against Japan (it is well know that US actor Mako Iwamatsu's father drew pictures and wrote messages). The whole style reminds me of that of agitation applied at the war time, but the rhetoric is not very Japanese, obviously European.

      Down here I will attatch my translation (not word-to-word, but almost literal).”


      Dear Japanese soldiers! This is our last proposal. You are now standing on the boundary between life and death.

      The rain keeps falling and moistens mountains and fields, yet the jungle can never your life: only the death is waiting for you.

      The projectiles of our British Army and the horrible, disgusting diseases from jungle are obviously quickening your death day by day.

      We, however, do not wish you die for nothing! Please die not!! We really in need for your help to build New Japan.

      Keep thinking over and over which way to choose, to live or to die!
      If you come to a clever decision, you will be happy! Here we will show you what to do...

      First, you should come as early as possible to "Bangbugon (?)" which lies on the way to "Minrah (?)". You may bring your arms with yourself to this point.

      Second, when you come into suburbs of "Bangbugon", you should throw your arms away.

      Third, you should walk in an unarmed group of 3-4 people waving a white flag or anything like that in order to show you come to join us.

      When your comrades arrive at "Bangbugon", the British Army will kindly tell you what to do in order to be safe. We shall assure of your safety and also of a desereved treadment. We respect your brave fighting spirit.

      We do hope you will be rescued with ladies and children. Even if you decide to die, please let your ladies and children be alive. We propose you to escort them to "Bangbugon"! They will be protected by the British Army. You also be alive with strong will and do not die for nothing. Who will build New Japan if you are gone?


      Stuart - Keith, Have you got a translation of the Japanese on the POW card you

      Keith - The card, or at least the copy I received, was a two sided affair. The bulk of the first side is in English, the rest, and the second side in Japanese, or Japanese script. Translation is being worked on, thank you for asking. One interesting thing I have noticed, my dad gave the wrong address for the next of kin, although it may have been taken down incorrectly.

      Tony - I have my Dad's card from the Camp he was in.

      His card also has inaccuracies and he told me that the prisoners gave some incorrect information as a matter of course to give the Japanese the wrong intelligence and to let the folks at home know that they were still being awkward.

      Keith - Thanks for that, it never crossed my mind that would be the case. I have a copy of a report you may be interested in as your father was rescued by the Sealion. I will look up the title and drop you a line tonight when I get home.


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