Sketch by Jack Chalker

The Rising Sun On My Back


A Personal Account of War

1939 - 1945


L/Bdr  (Art) E.S. BENFORD R.A.

Army No. 856255


Served during the Malay Campaign with 11th Indian Division, 350th Battery, 137th (TA) Field Regiment R.A. This book is an autobiography of Ernest S. Benford’s life during World War II, 1939 - 1945, in which he was a prisoner of the Japanese Imperial Army. The postscript also gives a brief resume of his life after returning home and shows how being a prisoner of war of the Japanese for 3 years affected him, particularly in later years.

Sadly, he did not live to see his autobiography printed.  He died on the 14th June, 1984, after suffering a heart attack three months earlier.


Your death lies in my heart;

The wound of it will come

together, the bruises fade.

The hurt will never go,

but I will touch your

memory gently, so it will

not disappear.



I dedicate my story to those who were and are not now, and to Dad who was always concerned for my safety and fearful for my life, yet tragically lost his own in Kanchanaburi Hospital Camp, on 24th April, 1944



    Introduction Introduction

    Training Training

    Sailing Sailing

    Malaya Malaya

    Singapore Singapore

    Changi Changi

    Rest Camps Rest Camps

    Speedo Speedo

    Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur

    Kachidaki Maru Kachidaki Maru

    Kibibi Maru Kibibi Maru

    Fukuoka Fukuoka

    Nagasaki Nagasaki

    Postscript Postscript


I was crucified in Tarsau

and again close by Hintoc -

I was whipped along the River Valley Road;

I was driven pierced and bleeding,

With a million maggots feeding

on the body that I carried for my load.


Yet my heart was still unbroken

and my hopes were still unquenched,

‘til I love my cross to blighty thro’ a crowd.

Soldiers stabbed me on that road.

But at home, I dropped my load

When politicians broke my legs and made

my shroud.


At Westminster my poor body,

Wrapped in linen of fine words,

was perfumed with their sweetly-scented lies,

and they laid me in the tomb,

of their golden-mirrored room,

with the other lads who had refused to die.


Bill Duncan.   Died 1968.



Far Eastern Heroes would like to thank Arthur Lane for allowing this book to be printed on these pages

Please email for the availability of this book



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[Sun on my Back] [Introduction] [Training] [Sailing] [Malaya] [Singapore] [Changi] [Rest Camps] [Speedo] [Kuala Lumpur] [Kachidoki Maru] [Kibibi Maru] [Fukuoka] [Nagasaki] [Postscript]



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