Memorial Register Thailand 2, WW2, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Part III

quota to the deaths on the line. Most of the camps were right alongside the railway track and some were near bridges and other vulnerable points. The only cover for the prisoners was that afforded by the flimsy bamboo and thatch huts where they were made to shelter while the raids were in progress and the inevitable casualties were heavy. In one raid alone on the Non Pladuk area where the camp was located amongst sidings holding petrol, ammunition and store trains protected by an anti-aircraft post and prisoners were not allowed to leave the huts 95 were killed and 300 wounded. In March 1944 when the bulk of the prisoners were in the main camps at Chungkai, Tamarkan Kanchanaburi Tamuan Non Pladuk and Nakom Paton conditions temporarily improved. The Japanese had been surprised by the reaction of world opinion against their treatment of prisoners of war and there is evidence that they began to feel apprehensive about the heavy casualties of 1943 and made efforts to counteract their reputation for uncivilised treatment of prisoners. But this phase soon passed and from May 1944 until the capitulation of Japan in August 1945 parties of prisoners were sent from the various base camps to work on railway maintenance, cut fuel for the locomotives and handle stores at dumps along the line. Other parties were employed on cutting and building roads some through virgin jungle orin building defence positions. As before their food and accommodation were minor considerations. The railway was overworked carrying troops and military supplies, and local traders seldom visited the camps of the working parties small compared with those of 1943 and therefore not so profitable so that supplementary food supplies were scanty and again sickness took its toll. The only redeeming feature was the ease with which the sick could be evacuated to base hospitals in trains returning empty from Burma. The graves of those who died during the construction and maintenance of the Burma- Siam railway (except Americans who were repatriated) have been transferred from the camp burial grounds and solitary sites along the railway into three war cemeteries. At Chungkai War Cemetery and Kanchanaburi War Cemetery in Thailand now rest those recovered from the southern part of the line from Ban Pong to Nieke about half its length. In the War Cemetery at Thanbyuzayat in Burma lie those from the northern half of the line. Those who have no known grave are commemorated by name on memorials elsewhere the land forces on either the Rangoon Memorial or the Singapore Memorial according to the campaign in which they were taken prisoner the air forces on the Singapore Memorial and the naval casualties on memorials at the manning ports.
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