In 1942 the Japanese began bringing Allied POWs to Taiwan from various parts of Southeast Asia. These POWs were captured at the surrender of Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies. They were brought to Taiwan to work as slaves for the Japanese war effort.
The POWs suffered terribly at the hands of the Japanese in all of the 14 POW camps on the island. They never had enough food to eat and were always hungry. They had to work long hours every day and were not allowed to rest even if they were sick or injured. If they did not fulfill their quota of work each day they were beaten by the Japanese. Beatings from the guards were frequent, and medicines, although available, were held back by the Japanese, causing the deaths of many men.
Taiwan is famous for the fact that all of the highest ranking British, American, Australian and Dutch military officers from Singapore, the Philippines, and the Dutch East Indies, along with the British governors of Singapore, Malaya and Hong Kong; the Governor of Guam and the Dutch East Indies, were held on the island in camps at Karenko, Shirakawa and Taihoku Most of these personnel were later moved to Japan and Manchuria in the fall of 1944.
Relief for the other men finally came in 1945, with the dropping of the atomic bombs and the surrender of Japan. If the atomic bombs had not been dropped and the war ended when it did, it is certain that most - if not all, of the Taiwan POWs would have died.
I suspect the earliest part of planning for this trip actually must have started when I was a young boy - seven or eight years of age -...THE STORY OF THE BOMBING OF THE ENOURA MARU Address given at the Memorial Service for the men who suffered and died on the hellship Enoura Maru at KaohsiungTaiwan - January 9, 1945 by Michael Hurst MBE, Director, Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society
Thank you all...THE KINKASEKI COPPER MINE
Taken from an Allied intelligence report on POW Camps and conditions on Formosa compiled in October 1945.
The Kinkaseki Copper Mine had the largest output of copper in the Japanese Empire. It was a commercial enterprise,...A MAN SENT FROM GOD
This is the story of a true hero of World War II - the Canadian doctor - Major Ben Wheeler, who gave himself to help his fellow prisoners of war in the infamous "Kinkaseki " Japanese POW camp...TOROKU POW CAMP MEMORIAL DEDICATED
After five years in the works, a memorial to honour the American and British POWs who were held in the Toroku POW Camp from November 1944 to April 1945 was dedicated on Saturday June 6, 2009. The...