TOM FAGAN POW DIARY 105 Kilo Camp June-July 1943 – NX47533 Lance Corporal T H Fagan, 105 General Transport Company (formed
FAGAN WAS RETURNING FROM MIDDLE-EAST EXPECTING TO SAIL TO AUSTRALIA – BUT INSTEAD WAS ‘DUMPED’ AT JAVA & THERE TAKEN POW OF JAPAN MARCH 1942.
THE FOLLOWING ARE THE WORDS OF TOTAL DESPAIR FELT AT 105KM CAMP BY TOM FAGAN – AROUND HIM MEN ARE STARVING, ILL AND DYING- THERE SEEMS TO BE NO END AND NO HOPE, FAGAN WAS SENT TO BURMA END OF RAILWAY WITH WORK PARTY FROM JAVA.
105 KM – ‘A’ FORCE CAMP
5 June 1943 – Cholera has broken out and four men died last night (including WX10366 Norm FRASER 2/4th MGB) others are being isolated in a hut to be monitored. The orderlies are doing a marvellous job nursing them at the risk of their lives.
WX10366 Norm FRASER
Driver with ‘C’ Company, 11 Platoon, 2/4th MGB AIF 8th Division.
Norm was father to 3 children.
WX10164 RUSSELL, Douglas Norman (Doug or Rusty) enlisted whilst working as a bank clerk for Commonwealth Bank, Mt Magnet 18 Dec 1940.
He joined ‘B’ Coy 8 Platoon.
As POW in Singapore Russell left with first work party ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion with Norm Fraser (above).
Russell died of cerebral malaria aged 28 years at Aungangaung 105km Hospital Camp 21 Jan 1944.
10 June 43 – Four things govern our lives – RAIN, MUD, RICE and WORK.
It breaks my heart to see so many starving and unhealthy men.
Hundred are just lying on their bed-spaces, unable to move or fend for themselves. Dysentery, malaria, pellagra and malnutrition are making inroads upon so many already weakened and crippled.
Those of us who survive will always remember the railroad of death and our barbaric tormentors, who put us through hell and caused the death of so many of our mates.
Very few have footwear, our legs filthy masses of tropical ulcers that run from knee to ankle. The only treatment is boiling water packs. The greatest fear is gangrene. (There are no bandages or cloth of any kind. Not even rice bags to cover their ulcers. No Medicines.)
I hate and despise these barbaric Japanese, and the just as sadistic Korean guards for the suffering they mete out to humans, and animals and birds. There is no end to the lengths to which they’ll go to inflict pain. I seeth with fury as I feel and see their bursts of cruelty.
(One cannot help but feel Tom Fagan’s absolute and total despair for their situation)
In pre-war days, or more particularly before becoming POWs of Japan, no-one could have ever convinced me I would see grown, supposedly educated men, go to such lengths to cause hardship and horror, or to perpetuate, deliberately, demoniacal acts of unbelievable violence towards men, women, children or animal life.