This mine and Camp was 25 kms from Nagasaki.
Jack Maude WX 13285 from 2/4th was POW working underground in the mine on 9th August 1945. It must have been a terrifying experience for the POWs who had no idea the cause of the blast and wondering if they would ever see the light of day.
The following is from ‘Ghosts in Khaki’ by Les Cody of 2/4th.
“We were working at the 300 ft level in the mine when there was a huge bang. We were thrown heavily against the walls of the shaft. The blast and aftershock were so powerful that all the lights went out, dirt fell from the shaft roof and pit props creaked, some even bending. Our first thought was that the mine head had received a direct hit (American bombing raids) and we were being buried alive. In the darkness the miners crawled upward for three hours.
On reaching the surface we found a deserted mine compound – the guards had fled into the hills.”
**bombers roamed at will, with over 700 counted in one day. POWs were by this time at the end of their endurance.
Other 2/4th men incarcerated at Sendyu were WX8430 M.J. (Jack) Sheedy and WX10792 E (Ted) Murtagh.
A former Fairbridge Farm School boy, Jack Maude arrived at Pinjarra 1921 from England having just turned 10 years of age. He was one of 21 Fairbridgians who enlisted with 2/4th. Only 10 returned home safely to Australia at the end of the war.
As a former POW located so close to Nagasaki, Jack suffered all his life from the effects of the Atom Bom. He was a regular visitor for treatment at Hollywood Repatriation Hospital.
The fact that Australian POWs in Japan suffered the effects of the Atomic bombs was a topic not made public.
He never dined with others – his food was especially prepared (mashed). In final years he had a carer who would prepare his food.
A keen and talented sportsman, Jack pursued his interests however he disciplined himself to maintain the healthiest lifestyle as was possible.