Atom Bomb Nagasaki – Jack Maude’s memories – Fukuoka sub-Camp No. 24 Sendyu

Fukuoka sub-Camp No. 24 Sendyu – Japan

Fukuoka Branch Camp #24-B
Sumitomo Coal Company
Nagasaki-ken, Kita-Matsuura-gun, Emukae-machi, SENRYU (now part of Sasebo City)

15 Jan 1945: Established as Fukuoka #24 Senryu (Emukae)
16 Jan 1945: 150 Australian POWS and all Americans arrive from Awa Maru
5 Mar 1945:
(approx date) British arrive ex Taiwan (Formosa) on Taiko Maru
Sep 1945:
 Rescue effected
This mine and Camp was 25 kms from Nagasaki.


Jack Maude WX13285 from 2/4th was POW working underground in the mine on 9th August 1945.  It must have been a terrifying experience for the POWs who had no idea the cause of the blast and wondering if they would ever see the light of day.

The following is from ‘Ghosts in Khaki’ by Les Cody of 2/4th.

“We were working at the 300 ft level in the mine when there was a huge bang.  We were thrown heavily against the walls of the shaft.  The blast and aftershock were so powerful that all the lights went out, dirt fell from the shaft roof and pit props creaked, some even bending.  Our first thought was that the mine head had received a direct hit (American bombing raids) and we were being buried alive.  In the darkness the miners crawled upward for three hours.
On reaching the surface we found a deserted mine compound – the guards had fled into the hills.”


**bombers roamed at will, with over 700 counted in one day.  POWs were by this time at the end of their endurance.
Other 2/4th men incarcerated at Sendyu  were WX8430 M.J. (Jack) Sheedy and WX10792 E (Ted) Murtagh.

A former Fairbridge Farm School boy, Jack Maude arrived at Pinjarra 1921 from England having just turned 10 years of age.  He was one of 21 Fairbridgians who enlisted with 2/4th.   Only 10 returned home safely to Australia at the end of the war.
As a former POW located so close to Nagasaki, Jack suffered all his life from the effects of the Atom Bomb..  He was a regular visitor for treatment at Hollywood Repatriation Hospital.
The fact that Australian POWs in Japan suffered the effects of the Atomic bombs was a topic not made public.
He never dined with others – his food was especially prepared (mashed).  In final years he had a carer who would prepare his food.
A keen and talented sportsman, Jack pursued his interests however he disciplined himself to maintain the healthiest  lifestyle as was possible.


Above:  WX10792 Ted Murtagh

Above:  WX8430 Jack SHEEDY

Please read Western Australian Neil McPherson’s report on his POW life – McPherson was with 2/2nd Pioneers at Java.
Jack Maude missed boarding ‘Aquitania’ 16th Feb when she sailed from Fremantle – he was one of 90 men from 2/4th who missed their ship and were then landed in Java.
Jack and McPherson sailed from Java with same work party to work Burma-Thai Railway – Java Party No. 4 Williams Force
Murtagh and Sheedy were taken POWs Singapore 15 Feb 1942 – they departed Singapore with first large Work Force of 3,000 Australians.  They first repaired three airfields on SW coast of Burma then moved to work on Burma end of Railway, starting 1st October 1942 at Kendau Camp.
When the rail was completed towards end of 1943, tthe Japanrese moved all the POWs in Burma and outer Thailand locations  to one of several large POWs camps.  They were both selected fit by Japanese to work in Japan.
Murtagh and Sheedy sailed on ‘Awa’ Maru to Moji Japan with Maude and McPherson and worked at Fukuoka sub-Camp No. 24 Sendyu.

For further reading