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Wednesday, 10 April 1946

.   . was captured . . . in Java, . . On 17 April all patients were divided into those whom it would be unsafe to move, those who would require safe transport, and those who were walking cases. The Japanese did not accept these figures and. in one case Japanese soldiers with bayonets threatened a paralysed man in bed, to see if he could walk. When the witness drew attention to the Geneva Convention, he was told by the Japanese that Japan recognized no conventions. Bed Cross brassards were taken by the Japanese, and all badges of rank, ribbons and decorations were handed in. The party was marched seven kilometers to a native jail. Conditions there were extremely bad. There was great overcrowding. There were only a few bare rooms with stone floors for 600 men. The sanitation was extremely bad. There were only six latrines and these of a native type. Including Dutch, there were 1,300 in the camp, although the jail was designed for 500 native prisoners.

On arriving at the camp there was very little food for the first two days. The Japanese in charge told the prisoners they were scum and rabble.

On 22 April all camp commanders were instructed to witness the execution with the bayonet of three Dutchmen, for attempting to escape. They had been tied to barbed wire fences. They were blindfolded. Each received six thrusts of the bayonet. One who was not killed by the bayonet was eventually shot through the head.

On 14 May, 1942, they went to Bandoeng where the accommodation was extremely bad and the rations very poor, causing deterioration in health. Rice and vegetables were the main foods. They got only one .good meal a day and that frequently late at night. The prisoners were incessantly subjected to beatings and face-smackings by Japanese and Korean guards.

On 11 September they were told they were to be treated as prisoners of war. Badges of rank were returned. On 14 January . . . was informed that the party would move, under his command, from Java to an unknown destination. Eight hundred and seventy-three men were paraded, one-third of whom were suffering from malnutrition.

They embarked 011 a ship where conditions ' were unbearable through overcrowding. The prisoners were placed in holds which were stuffy and airless. The latrines were on deck, to which the men moved in small parties. Exercise was not permitted. There were no arrangements for the sick. No medical supplies were provided by the Japanese.

They disembarked at Singapore on 20 January and went by rail to Bampong, arriving there on 24 January. There were 30 men in each box truck and they were unable to lie down. They arrived in the Konyu area on 25 January and engaged in the building of the Burma-

Thailand railway. There were 4,000 prisoners in Konyu, including British. . . . These British troops were suffering badly from gross malnutrition and had much beri beri, dysentery and avitimosis.

Burma-Thai "Railway. . . was in Changi until 21- April, 1943, and then went ... to Thailand. On 18 May his party arrived at Shimo Songkura for work on the Burma-Thailand railway. They commenced work on 19 May before the men had had time to get a rest and provide reasonable camping accommodation.

The total strength was 2,010, but over 100 had died by the end of June. At the end of May, 850 were in hospital, and in July,- 1479. They suffered from cholera, malaria, typhus, dysentery, beri beri, tropical ulcers, pellagra, and many skin infections. They got enough emetine only for six cases out of a thousand. The only saw with which amputations were performed was an ordinary hack-saw which was borrowed for half an hour daily.

The Japanese had captured considerable medical stores in Singapore. The Japanese were well fed and received medical treatment; they had no beri beri or ulcers.

During June and July the rice ration was cut to .15 ounces and later it was made even lower; at one time it was 000 grammes for fit men and 200 grammes for patients. The rate for the fit men was adjusted by the prisoners themselves so as to give the sick about 320 grammes, which was still well below basal metabolic requirements. Undernutrition materials retarded the recovery of patients from various diseases and contributed to their deaths. The supply of fresh meat and fish was poor and was never more than half tin; Japanese own ration scale. For over a month less than half a bag of beans was issued daily for 1.850 men and beri beri increased steadily. On 0 July the Japanese camp commander was indignant that patients who had recovered from cholera were not working. ' He was told that they were halfstarved and would not be fit for months. Two hundred human scarecrows were paraded before him and he said that obviously they could not have been eating their ration, namely, 300 gramines..

Men got up in the dark, work twelve to fourteen hours in soaking rain, often carrying enormous burdens. They went to bed in the dark. All this had a weakening effect on their physique.

When the men' asked for rice polishings they were told they could not have them because they were being used to feed Japanese horses. If this had been added to the fowl at the rate of an ounce per day, beri beri would have been avoided. . . went to Kranji hospital in March, 1945, where the diet then meant slow starvation. The drop in weights was tremendous. On 1 August the average weight of 180 nien was under 100 lb.; twenty of these were under SO lb. The Japanese guards and troops at that time showed no signs of undernourishment

Singapore. . . said that on 13 February 1942 the hospital was marked with the Red Cross: lt had a big Bed Cross on the ground outside and there were Bed Cross markings on the beds in the* hospital. At 4.30 p.m. the Japanese broke into the hospital buildings, and went along the ground floor bayoneting and shooting everybody in sight. The hospital attendants were wearing Bed Cross brassards. The Japanese were big men, some quite 0 feet in height. They were the biggest Japanese that . . had seen. They were in green uniforms. They wore tin helmets and had twigs in their dress, so as to make them like walking shrubs . . . saw two patients from the Manchester "Regiment bayoneted and killed. Later he saw others bayoneted but not killed. He assisted to bring the wounded men into the surgical ward for attention. There were 40 dead bodies in the corridors and rooms of the hospital.

The Japanese then lined up 183 patients. They were all who could walk. They roped them together and inarched them to the rear of the hospital. Some were in pyjamas. Some had on only pyjama pants and no boots or shoes. Some were on crutches. Some had arms in plaster or bandaged, and some had lost limbs . . . did not see any of them again, but a Japanese officer told him that they were buried in two shell holes at the rear of the hospital and at the rear of Iiic oil tanks. The total number of casualties was 323, of Which 183 were patients. The others were doctors, padres, a dental officer, a hygiene officer, and orderlies.

Kuchino. . . was at Changi barracks until he moved to Kuching. There were British and Dutch as well as Australians. The British lost 50 per cent, from starvation. They were working at an aerodrome from before dawn until after dark. Many died in bed during the night. There was a piggery in the Australian compound, supposedly for the prisoners of war, but the Japanese ate most of the pigs killed. The pigs were fed on rice polishings, which have a high food value. The prisoners asked for those polishings, but the Japanese refused the request. The pigs had first priority. The pigs were fed also with a native bean which is even better than our green pea.

While the pigs were being fed in this way, men were dying of starvation.

Medical supplies -were very poor until the. Japanese surrendered. Then they gave- the prisoners enough sulphur to treat 100 times the number of scabies cases. In the meantime officers went through purgatory with scabies; more than half the camp had it. They could not sleep.

I lay on the table the following paper : -

War Crimes committed by Enemy Subjects against Australians and others - Report of Board of Inquiry appointed under National Security Regulations.







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