British soldier served with 80th Anti-Tank Regt in Malaya 11/1941-2/1942. POW of Japanese and Thailand 1942-1945; Burma-Thailand railway
REEL 1 Brief resume of wartime service in GB and Malaya 1939-1942: with 215th Bty, 54th Anti-Tank Regt in GB 12/1939-1941; posting with 80th Anti-Tank Regt to Malaya 11/1941-2/1942 and Malayan campaign. Aspects of FEPOW experiences in Singapore and Thailand 2/1942 -8/1945: degree of contact with enemy troops; rations available in Changi; Japanese dispersal of Allied POWs; expectations of working party to Thailand; conditions on train journey up-country; amount of equipment and personal effects carried by POWs; conditions at Banpong 6/1942; daily work making camp at Nong Pladuk; wooden structure of Nong Pladuk camp Jul-9/1942; Japanese language classes; lorry journey under Major Roberts to Tamarkan 10/1942; clearing site and Thais constructing bamboo and atap huts; arrival of Toosey's troops 26/10/1942. REEL 2 Continues: Toosey assuming camp leadership; weekly work pattern; railway work and construction of bridges; physical appearance of Toosey and Boyle; war rumours; Young's dysentery; incident of kindness by Japanese guard when ill; keeping mentally alert; Toosey's discipline methods 1/1/1943; Toosey's action over an escape attempt which included Lieutenant Howard of 80th Anti-Tank Regt; POW pay; getting known by Toosey whilst in sick ward; incident of POW officers shooting POW with cholera and Japanese reaction; move to Nong Pladuk 10/1943 and effect on camp morale when Toosey took command in 12/1943; importance of Toosey's discipline and hygiene standards. REEL 3 Continues: Allied air raid and move to Nakom Pathon 6/1944 Toosey helping Young conceal diary at Nong Pladuk 1945; air raid on Nakom Pathon 4/1945; road building work 1945; Young's eye injury and treatment at Nakom Pathon ca 6/1945; returned dysentery summer 1945; hearing news of war end; finding Red Cross stores Japanese had kept and improving POW diet; air drops and types of supplies; evacuation from camp; Toosey inspiring confidence and his clothes; Young's relations with Japanese; Toosey starting games and entertainment at Nong Pladuk; reference to diary entries including beatings and escape attempts and treatment of Thais.
Over two million American servicemen passed through Britain during the Second World War. In 1944, at the height of activity, up to half a million were based there with the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Their job was to man and maintain the vast fleets of aircraft needed to attack German cities and industry.