Jun 12, 2011
Shao Ping and I visited Kanchanaburi and the Bridge on the River Kwai in Thailand during October, 2003. This is the site of the infamous Thai-Burma railway or Death Railway as it is also known. My father worked on this railway as a prisoner of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second World War. At the foot of this post is a gallery with 66 photographs from the visit.
Jun 11, 2011
I have found six letters written by my father during the war. The first was written in January 1942, not long before his capture. The last five were written not long after his liberation. It is interesting to read my father’s views at the time. So much had happened during his time as a prisoner of war. Each page of the original letters can be viewed in the gallery at the foot of this post. I have also typed up the contents of each letter.
Letter postmarked January 10th, 1942.
This letter was written approximately two weeks before Frank was captured by soldiers of the Japanese army. In the letter Frank mentions the family and a remittance that he had sent home. Read the complete letter on this page.
Letter postmarked September 26th, 1945.
Frank refers to his arrival in Manila following a journey from Japan on the US troop ship “Haskell”. Frank mentions he had initially travelled to Okinawa on a hospital ship on the 18th September. Frank writes of the B-29 food and medical supply parachute drops. Read the complete letter on this page.
Letter dated September 28th, 1945.
Frank asks a number of questions about his family and praises the work of the American soldiers who looked after him and other POWs in Wakayama, near Yokohama. Read the complete letter on this page.
Letter dated October 1st, 1945.
Frank writes about his time in Manila, attending mass and benediction. He also refers to his impending repatriation to Australia on the US aircraft carrier “Leader”. Read the complete letter on this page.
Letter dated October 2nd, 1945.
Frank is looking forward to his return. He wants his homecoming kept quiet. Read the complete letter on this page.
Letter dated October 4th, 1945.
Frank refers to his last days in Manila and the impending return on home on the British aircraft carrier “HMS Speaker”. Frank praises the good work of the American GIs looking after the liberated prisoners of war. Read the complete letter on this page.
Jun 11, 2011
My father sent six prisoner of war postcards during his internment as a prisoner of war. The postcards were sent to his family via the Red Cross. Prisoners of war were not able to write very much. Space was limited. The messages were also used as the basis for broadcasts by Radio Singapore.
Postcard received September 9th, 1943
Message: Dear Dad, Hope the family are all well. Am unwounded and in good health. Best wishes to Bill. Don’t worry. Love to all. Frank.
Postcard received September 12th, 1943
Message: Dear Dad, Am unwounded and in good health. Love to all. Give my best wishes to Kath McNamara. Good luck to Bill. Love, Frank.
Message: I am interned in No. 4 POW Camp Thailand. My health is excellent. I am working for pay. Please see that Dad and family is taken care. My love to you Frank. [This postcard was pre-printed]
Message: I am interned in No. 4 POW Camp Thailand. My health is excellent. I am working for pay. Please see that all concerned is taken care. My love to you Frank. [This postcard was pre-printed]
Message: Your mails (and —) are received with thanks. My health is good. I am working for pay. My best regards to Dad and family. Yours ever, Frank. [This postcard was pre-printed].
Message: Love to family. Congratulations to you and Alice and best wishes for a happy future. Am in good health and am praying for my return as soon as possible. Sincerest wishes to Bill. Regards to all my friends. Frank.