Kendaw, KANDAW 4.8 km Camp – Burma
This was really the first working camp on the Burma-Thai Railway and was also first Railway work camp for Green Force, with CO Major Charles Edward Green, WX3435.
The above photograph was taken October 1945.
Work on the last and most northern of the three airfields was completed by mid September. All ranks, less the sick, marched out of Ye to Thanbyuzayat via Lamaign, over 25th and 26th September 1942, arriving at Thanbyuzayat on 28th September.
On 1st October all ranks of Major Green’s first detachment that had left Victoria Point on 6th August marched out to Kendau 4.8 km Camp, the first to start work on the Burma end. The end of October drew nearer as did the end of the southwest monsoon. The men in Green Force would soon be hard at work constructing the rail link from the Burma end. Work had already begun on the Thailand side by a British work force.
Stringer’s 2nd detachment had left Victoria Point on 13th August aboard the ship No. 593. After disembarking the 1st detachment from Green Force, this ship returned to Victoria Point to transport the 2nd and smaller draft. This group arrived Tavoy on 15th August and on 20th August boarded the ‘Unkai’ Maru for passage to Moulmein for Thanbyuzayat. On 26th October Major Stringer’s detachment marched into Kendau 4.8 km Camp and Green Force was once again united.
Green Force became No. 3 Battalion of the Burma Administration Group No. 3 under command of the Japanese 5th Railway Regiment. Each prisoner was issued a wooden plaque with his POW number inscribed into the wood.
Kendau Camp had been built in a rubber plantation and was damp and messy.
It was also the location of Japanese HQ at some time.
Bert Wall said of Kendau ‘The area was of a particularly hard rock when hit, would crumble. The men had to cut into areas 2m deep and 200m long with hammer & tap – hard work.’