During World War II, the Japanese Armed Forces captured nearly 140,000 Allied military personnel (Australia, Canada, Great Britain, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United States) in the Southeast Asia and Pacific areas. They were forced to engage in the hard labour of constructing railways, roads, airfields, etc. to be used by the Japanese Armed Forces in the occupied areas. About 36,000 were transported to the Japanese Mainland to supplement the shortage of the workforce and compelled to work in the coal mines, mines, shipyards, munitions factories, etc. By the time the war was over, a total of more than 30,000 POWs had died from starvation, diseases, and mistreatment both within and outside of the Japanese Mainland.
Even more died building the infamous 'railway of death' from Thailand to Burma and at numerous horrendous camps throughout the conquered lands of the pacific.
This collection, generously donated by Ron Bridge collates nearly 65,000 records from the national archives & other sources and combines them to make these some of the best general research records there are for this period/theatre of the war.
Please see our extensive FEPOW guide for further detailed information.
Related historic documents:
Please be aware that due to the way we collate, and cross reference our databases, some records will contain more information than that listed above.
Original Source: Displayed here by courtesy of Ron Bridge, original source materials include the National Archive references WO392, WO345.