Dick Ridgwell’s POW’s story – never assume Japanese do not speak English!

Another occasion I nearly got myself into trouble with my big mouth.
We were working on Bukitima Hill building a shrine for the Japs and a cross for our boys who hadn’t made it. They had used Bukitima Hill as an observation post during the attack on Singapore and it was an important site for them.
We were standing in the hot sun, dressed in ragged and repaired cloths waiting for instructions from the Japs. I was impatient and said out loud “where’s that little yellow bastard who is looking after us?”
From behind me came an American voice “here’s that little yellow bastard buddy.” I quickly identified behind me a Jap who as it turned out had been born and raised in America and had gone to Japan for a holiday, but when the war broke out he was conscripted into the Japanese army.
Lucky for me he was understanding and there were no consequences!
We had dealings with the same American-Jap for months later and always found he would help us where possible.
PS: All my time as a POW on the railway line, I often got myself into trouble with my big mouth.

English speaking Japanese guards on Burma-Thai would not allude to POWs his command of English.  It is very likely Japanese who spoke english (other than senior officers)  probably did not advertise the fact to other guards to avoid suspicion.

Relayed by Dick Ridgwell,WX14197