Takanoon, Tha Khanun, 222.40 - Thailand
Takanoon, Tha Khanum 222.40km
This was a staging camp for columns heading north. Known as ‘Whale Meat Camp’ it was described as being the best jungle camp at the time ‘F’ Force was moving through.
The bivouac area was a cleared site on a hill which to everybody’s surprise had not been fouled by coolies. There was plenty of shade and a fast running stream nearby. ‘F’ Force stayed one night on their march north and Pond’s Party was the only group from ‘F’ Force to return to this camp.
The other Tha Khanum camps accommodated British POWs only.
It is thought WX8638 Clive Hellmrich and WX10012 Wally Worth were the only members of 2/4th to return to this camp with Pond’s Party. Hellmrich had requested to join 2/6th Field Park Battalion to which his brother belonged. The Hellmrich family learnt the heart-breaking news that Clive died 22nd Dec 1943 of malaria, beri beri and dysentery aged 33 years at Kanchanaburi Camp.
Today Clive Hellmrich rests at the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery with 91 members of the 2/4th, including other footballers Edgar Hunt WX9327 who also played for Swan Districts and Frank Clark WX7714 who played in the 2/4th Footy Team.
Wally Worth died of cholera at Kami Sonkarai aged 31 years on 28 August 1943. Initially buried at Kami Sonkurai, he was later laid to rest.
When Pond’s Party moved to Tha Khanum it was necessary to use a shuttle system to move the POWs. had to be employed whereby fit and nearly fit (who by now were very few) marched to the next camp, erected tents, dug latrines, prepared cookhouses etc. and then returned to the last camp to carry stretcher cases and sick men and their gear forward. … the men repeatedly were ordered back to dig from the mud and then push up the hills the many ox-carts laden with Japanese stores which had become bogged.