Australia Remembers – Prisoners of War

Australia Remembers – Prisoners of War

Below is a heart touching letter from Prisoner of War Corporal James (Jim) Fittock to his wife and family. He was registered with No 3. Branch Thai War Prisoners Camp. Nike, Thailand. The letter was required to be passed through censorship prior to being posted.

Over 22,000 Australians became prisoners of war of the Japanese in south-east Asia. This was a result of the Second World War. The wave of Japanese victories, ending with the capture of the Netherlands East Indies in March 1942, left in its wake a mass of Allied prisoners of war, including many Australians. Most of the Australians (14,972) were captured in Singapore; other principal Australian prisoner-of-war groups were captured in Java (2,736), Timor (1,137), Ambon (1,075), and New Britain (1,049).

At the end of the war Australian prisoners of war were widely distributed: 5,549 on Singapore Island and in Johore (Malaya); 4,830 in Burma and Thailand; 265 in French-Indo China; 385 on Java; 243 on Sumatra; 100 on Ambon; 2 on Macassar; 7 on Bali; 150 at Kuching (British North Borneo); 2,700 distributed between Japan, Korea, and Manchuria; and 200 on Hainan Island.

These figures are referenced from the Australian War Memorial government website. You can view more details about the dates when various prisoner-of-war forces left Changi, Singapore, and their destinationsHERE

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