I was reading an article in the August
2009 edition of the Family Tree magazine written by Alan Stewart. The
article was called 'British Forces POWs' and the content of the
article was an overview for family historians researching British
Servicemen who were taken prisoner during World War II.
According to Alan Stewart prisoners of war captured by the
Japanese totalled more than 140,000 made up of all allied
servicemen. They were kept in around 250 camps in Japan and in
Taiwan, Singapore and other countries occupied by Japan. They were
often moved between camps and between countries as and when the
Japanese required forced labour on rail-roads or in mines.
Where I was in Singapore in 1942 about
100,000 allied troops surrendered to the Japanese Army and I along
with 40,000 other servicemen were imprisoned in the notorious Changi
As the article points out there were
few attempts to escape from these camps, as the Japanese troops "would execute anyone caught trying to escape and sometimes some
other prisoners as well" (Stewart 2009), Japan had not signed the Geneva Convention and
treated POW's very harshly, working them very hard with little food
The Family Tree article contains a
photograph of British women voluntary workers packing and despatching 70,000
parcels of food each week to POW's. To those of us working for the
Japanese these parcels may have benefited the camp staff more than
the allied prisoners, as the parcels were very few and far between.
Over 60,000 prisoners were forced to
work on the infamous 260-mile Burma-Thailand Railway where more than
one in five died. Conditions were not much better in any of the other
I have re-listed some of the links to
on-line research resources that were included in the article and
added some extra ones. I hope they provide more information to those
interested in discovering the story about their family members who
were held captive by the Japanese.
To visit these sites I have provided a
simple 'button' system. There is no need for you type out the long
web address or 'url', just click on the button. The web site will
open in a new 'window' and you can then 'bookmark' the sites you are
interested in within your own web browser. Or you can return to
my site to make new additions to your search.
Prisoners in Japan
Wikipedia has an incomplete list of
Japanese POW camps - please click on the button to see the list.
Another list of camps.
OTHER SITES WITH INFORMATION ON JAPANESE PRISONERS OF WAR
War Two - Prisoner of War Camps in Japan There were more than 140000 prisoners in Japanese
prisoner of war camps. Of these, one in three died from starvation,
work, punishments or from ... www.historyonthenet.com/WW2/pow_camps_japan.htm
POWJapanese prisoners of war,
though a rarity for part of the Pacific War, were taken as the war
neared its end and immediately after the war had finished. www.historylearningsite.co.uk › World
War Two -
Similar Japanese POWJapanese POW. 11th July 1942 - 15th August 1945.
Before leaving the Ramses, we were addressed by a Japanese official, who
informed us that we were being ... www.far-eastern-heroes.org.uk/...of.../japanese_pow.htm