Kun Knit Kway, Kunhnitkway, 26 km Camp - Burma

Kun Knit Kway, 26 km Camp – Burma

The Railway, which was 421 kms long of single track and 1m gauge, was constructed in a little over 12 months.
RAMSAY FORCE 20 DEC 42 TO 18 MARCH 1943
The Camp was built in a little valley with the road running straight through the middle of the Camp with the edical section one side and the workers on the other side.  There were about 6 attap huts holding about 300 men.
(info from Alan Price, 2/3 Motor Transport Coy – ‘The men of the Line’ by Pattie Wright – Price was shipped from Java)
Price said they began work digging cuttings and ramps for the railway base.  Then they moved onto bridges (built of bamboo,  vines and teak from the jungle).  The POWs built about fiour or five bridges about 26km.

 

Black Force moved back here on 29 November 1942 after the water supply failed at Beketaung 40 km Camp. Between 14 and 25 December, Ramsay Force made up of 1000 officers and men also moved back to join Black Force. Black Force was encamped across the site of the proposed railway and the two groups were forbidden to talk to each other. Little notice was taken of this order. At about this time, Col Ramsay gave Sgt. Les Hall the job of building and operating a radio within the camp – a sentence of death if discovered.
The radio was referred to as the ‘nightingale’ and during his Christmas Eve address to the combined Black and Ramsay Forces, Col Ramsay spoke eloquently and with sincerity asking the men to take the greatest care of themselves in the rough period he forecast. He told the men they would be informed of world events via their kumi commanders. And in other ways alluded to the radio, but stressed that no one was to ever attempt to discover the source or location of the beautiful singing bird.
On the morning of 22nd December 1942 Ramsay work Force took their picks, shovels and chungkels and set off for their first task on the railway. Initially their task was 1 metre of soil per day, before long it was 4 metres and the Korean guards glorified in their newfound power, soon wielded out severe and irrational punishments.
As far as ‘A’ Force was concerned – 1943 was to be the blackest of years for them.
This Camp site was very open being situated at the end of a valley leading up into the mountains and dense jungle.  There was a section of line at 26 km that was 2.5 miles in length on which there were 6 cuttings and 3 embankments.  Each of the 6 cuttings was 55 yards deep and from 80-250 yards long.  In the same section there were six small and two large bridges, one of which contained about 60 yards of two-tier scaffolding about 60 feet above the ravine.

Location of Kun Knit Kway, Kunhnitkway, 26 km Camp - Burma