Maibara, Osaka #10-B - Japan
Maibara, Osaka #10-B – Japan
The Japanese designation for this camp was Shiga, Maibara-Machi, Yaeuchiko Kankatsu. Two men from 2/4th were here, Gerry Arthur WX9011 and Edwin Clarke WX9360. They were sent to this camp on 19 May 1945 and the next day the camp was officially opened. It was located on the outskirts of the village of Maibara in the Shiga Prefecture; approximately 6 hours away by train and 10 minutes away from Lake Biwa.
Opened 15 May 1945. Men arrived mostly from burned out camps in Osaka (Wakinohoma) and Kobe.
The Camp was initially known as Osaka 25-B – however was changed to Osaka 10-B in August 1945.
Accommodation consisted of grass-roofed huts no similar to the atap variety of Burma and Thailand. Water for the camp was drawn from a well which quickly ran dry unless it rained frequently.
You can see the grass-roofed huts below.
Below: 6 Sept 1945 – Flags made of parachute silks.
Work here was the construction of a dyke to enable the lake to be emptied so that rice, barley and sorghum (tropical grass) could be planted for food.
The POW Camp was not known of by the allies until surrender – the American, British, Dutch and Australian POWs at this camp did not know the war had ended until 20 August 1945.
Rescue was effected 10 Sept 1945.
Maibara Camp, Japan. Australian soldiers of 8th Division who were prisoners of war (POWs) at the Maibara POW Camp in the Osaka area. These men suffered many hardships, being poorly clad in winter and receiving very short rations of rice. They had been POWs for three years and eight months, and had recently been receiving supplies of rations and clothes dropped by parachute from B29 bombers and US Navy aircraft. Left to right, back: Driver Steve Bell of Beechworth, Vic; Driver Dick Ashcroft of Parramatta, NSW; Private (Pte) Fraser Butland of Corryong, Vic; Gunner A. Barnard of Mackay, Qld. Third row: Pte Luke Carey of Randwick, NSW; Pte Jerry Arthur of Mount Lawley, WA; Pte Greg Barklimore of Cobar, NSW; Pte Leo Bond of Gladesville, NSW; Pte Stand Black of Glebe, NSW; Pte John Carey of Randwick, NSW; Pte E. C. Bray of Forbes, NSW; Sergeant H. A. Burton of Surrey, England (the sergeant has been with Australians since his catpure); Pte Bill Banister of Parkville, NSW. Second Row: Pte Keith Astill of Cessnock, NSW; Pte Ray Brown of Bankstown, NSW; Corporal (Cpl) Ron Baxter of Stockton, NSW; Pte Ted Anderson of Cairns, Qld; Pte Robert Bridges of Breadalbane, NSW; Pte E. J. Clarke of Walpole, WA; Gunner Walter Bird of Townsville, Qld; Pte Albert Armstrong of Sydney, NSW; Cpl Bert Bowtell of Lawson, NSW; Pte Les Cook of Tamworth, NSW; Lieutenant Frank Pringle of Canterbury, NSW; Pte John Byrnes of Parramatta, NSW; Pte Phil Burley of Burnie, Tas.