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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 Camp.

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 to eat.

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 camps.

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.


World 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 -

Japanese 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 -