Tamuang, Tha Muang 39k - Thailand
Photographs taken October 1945.
Tamuang, Tha Muang 39k – Thailand
By March 1944 the majority of POWs were brought out of the jungle work camps and so-called hospital camps (they had minimal if any medical equipment, supplies,) and were concentrated in the main camps at Nacompaton, Non Pladuk, Tamuang, Kanchanaburi, Tamarkan and Chungkai.
Tamuang was also one of the camps from which the Japanese selected POWs considered fit to travel to Japan. The camp was near to a small railway siding and recognisable by a brilliant flame tree near the entrance. It was constructed to hold 10,000 POWs.
The were a considerable number of Japanese accommodated here. Following the initial settling in, life was reasonable compared to speedo of earlier months. Now Allied air attacks began and the Japanese constructed a watch-tower manned 24 hours daily to keep watch for planes.
In September 1944 the Japanese announced 2,000 of the fittest men were to be sent to Japan. The party boarded trains to Singapore. There were more and more trains arriving from Burma filled with badly wounded Japanese soldiers who had no supplies or water. The soldiers were terrified of these unexpected Europeans. The POWs took them water and cigarettes for the Japanese would not care for their own men. Shame was associated with being wounded. One wonders if they ever left Thailand let alone arrived back in Japan.