Sketch by Jack Chalker

No One Will Believe You

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Toward The End

There were both positive and negative indications that the end of the war was getting closer. In Alf’s case he may have had no interaction with other POW’s, and no access to radio. There was however increasingly frequent bombing and strafing by allied air forces which at worst destroyed work that had to be redone and killed many others during the attacks. Some POW recalled that in some cases toward the end of the war the Japanese had softened their approach to them and permitted more rest days; but this was of course different anywhere along the line. For most prisoners there was a sense of doom, as they feared being killed so close to the end which is evidenced by 1944 Japanese orders to eliminate all POW that was found and translated in 2015.

From the Journal of the Taiwan PoW Camp HQ in Taihoku. entry 1st August 1944:-

    ‘Under the present situation if there were a mere explosion or fire a shelter for the time being could be had nearby buildings such as a school, a warehouse, or the like. However, at such time as the situation became urgent and it be extremely important, the PoWs will be concentrated and confined in their present location and under heavy guard the preporation for the disposal can be made.

    The time and method of the disposition are as lollows:

    The Time.

    Although the basic aim is to act under superior orders, Individual disposition may be made in the following circumsatances:

    When an uprising of large numbers cannot be suppressed without the use of firearms.

    When escapees from from the camp may turn into a hostile Fighting Force.

    The Method:

    Whether they are destroyed individually or in groups, or however it is done, with mass bombing, poisonous smoke. poisons, drowning, decapitation, or what, dispose of them as the situation dictates.

    In any case it is the aim not to allow the escape of a single one, to annihilate them all, and not to leave any trace.


       The Commanding General

      The Commanding General of Military Police

Many prisoners were just so sick and tired that death really did not worry them. Recollections of the survivors of some of the death marches confirmed that many of their mates who just could not carry on knew they would be ‘mopped up’ by the Japanese.

As previously mentioned, Alf ended up in a camp north-east of Bangkok called Pratchai from June to August 1945. Here POWs were in most cases forced to dig tunnels for petrol and ammunition dumps. This would be his final stop on his captive journey, as the end of the war came and he was eventually shipped home after some recuperation. There seems to be some consensus that at the end of the war that there was no understandable hatred of the Japanese; the survivors were literally too tired, melancholy and sick at the time; but this is not say that personal justice was not pursued at the wars end. Alf was asked to identify his tormentors at the end of the war but chose to move on.

Surrender Leaflet

Surrender Leaflet





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[No One Will Believe] [Introduction] [Alfs Enlistment Record] [Overview 2/3rd MAC] [With The Indians] [2/3rd MAC under AIF] [2/3rd MAC in Singapore] [The Aftermath] [Alf in 'K' Force] [Toward The End] [Alfs Demob Record] [Alf's Photo Album] [Thai-Burma Trip 2019] [References]


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