This is the story of the Japanese prisoner of war camps on the island of Taiwan (Formosa) during the Second World War and of the men who were interned in them.
It seems that many people know about the hardship and suffering of the POW's working on the Death Railway in Thailand and Burma, but few know about the "hell-camps" of Taiwan. We hope to tell the story of the suffering and deprivation endured by the POW's so that all will know - and hopefully never forget!
Our site contains descriptions of the prison camps, a detailed list of all the former prisoners, an honour roll of those who died, and the story of the
Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society.
On Saturday August 13th the Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society will host the 9th FEPOW (Far East Prisoner of War) DAY event to be held in Taiwan.
As usual, the event will take place on the 2nd floor of the SPOT THEATRE - 18, Zhongshan North Road Sec. 2 in downtown Taipei. The Zhongshan MRT Station on Nanking West Rd. is just around the corner from the Spot Theatre.
This year's program will feature an exhibition of WWII military and prisoner of war artifacts from the Society's museum collection and a memorial tribute to the former prisoners of war will be conducted. This will be followed by the showing of the film “The Great Raid” which tells the true story of the mission to rescue 500 POWs from Cabanatuan Camp in the Philippines in January 1945.
Following a short intermission after the feature film, the 30 minute documentary entitled “The Veterans Remember” will be shown. The entire program will finish at 10 pm.
(Please note that this film is not suitable for young children and there are no Chinese subtitles on the film.)
The doors will open at 5:30pm for viewing of the artifacts, and the program will start promptly at 6:00, so come early and get a good seat. Space is limited to 70 people, and reservations are a must, so if interested please email us no later than Wednesday August 10th and we will reserve a seat for you.
There is no charge for this event and coffee and fruit drinks will be available. It is a great opportunity to learn more about the Taiwan POWs, so please plan to join us if you can. It's also a great Saturday night out! We look forward to seeing you.
19TH REMEMBRANCE WEEK EVENT
As usual, we will have visits to the former POW camp sites complete with memorial services, local sightseeing tours, and of course the Remembrance Day service at the Taiwan POW Memorial on the site of the former Kinkaseki POW Camp in Jinguashi on November 13th.
We hope that former POWs and their families will make an effort to come as we have a special program prepared for these guests. If you are interested in attending, and for more information, please contact the Society by email or mail (please see the "contacts" page). Hope to see you in November!
A FAMILY CONNECTION TO THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME - JULY 1916
Michael Hurst MBE
As I have mentioned many times, it was learning that I had relatives who served in both World Wars that sparked my interest many years ago in honouring and remembering the veterans. My Grandmother's brother was one of those and he fought in the Battle of the Somme in July 1916 - 100 years ago this month. This is his tribute.
FURNESS, CHARLES ABEL
Relation: Grandmother's Brother - my Great Uncle
Nationality: United Kingdom
Regiment: South Wales Borderers,
Unit: 11th Btn. "B" Coy.
Service No: 21529
Date of Birth: 1890
Date of Death: July 7, 1916
Husband of Florence Maria Furness, of 18, Dudley St., Newport, Mon and the brother of May Furness of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs.
Notes/Details of Service:
On July 7, 1916 the South Wales Borderers of the 38th Welsh Division was detailed to attack and capture Mametz Wood as part of the First Battle of the Somme which lasted from July to November 1916 and claimed the lives of more than a million men.
The heavily defended wood was the largest on the whole Somme battlefront. The men of the Welsh Division were amateur soldiers, with lots of enthusiasm and courage, but poorly trained, ill-equipped and badly hampered by the tactics of their commanders.
The Battle of Mametz Wood began in the early morning of 7 July. The wood was intended - by the generals at least - to be taken in a matter of hours, but the battle lasted for five days until July 12th as the Germans fiercely resisted the assaults of the Welsh Division. On the first day alone over 400 casualties were sustained. Among these was my grandmother's youngest brother Charles who died somewhere on the battlefield in the initial attack. His body was never found and so today he is remembered on the walls of the Thiepval Memorial - Pier and Face 4 A.
The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before March 20 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. A cemetery containing equal numbers of Commonwealth and French graves lies at the foot of the memorial.
LEST WE FORGET !
71 years ago on January 9th 1945, the Japanese Hellship Enoura Maru which was en route to Japan with POWs from the Philippines, was bombed in Takao (Kaohsiung) Harbour. More than 350 POWs were killed. They were subsequently buried in a mass grave on Chijin Island nearby, and in 1946 the American War Graves Recovery Team removed the remains and sent them to Hawaii for permanent burial. They currently rest in peace in Section Q of the Punchbowl Cemetery in 20 common graves, marked only with the words "20 Unknowns January 9, 1945". However, we do know who each and every Enoura Maru POW was who is buried there.
In 2006 the Society - in co-operation with the City of Kaohsiung, erected and dedicated the Taiwan Hellships Memorial in the War and Peace Park in Chijin – just across the road from the location of the former mass grave. For the past 5 years the Society has desired - and worked very hard, to have a memorial stone placed on the Memorial Walk at the Punchbowl Cemetery in Honolulu in honour of the men who lie in those graves. There have been numerous articles about this project in the Society's newsletters over the last few years. However, the previous director of the cemetery and his deputy and the supervisor at the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs repeatedly ruled that they would not allow this simple stone that would tell a little of the story of that ship and the men who are buried in Section Q, because "having the word 'hellship' on the stone might offend the Japanese tourists who visit the cemetery for its scenic viewpoints". There was nothing else that was offensive with the inscription in their opinion – just the word 'hellship'.
We are working together with the American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor Memorial Society in this effort, as many of their members had fathers. grandfathers, uncles etc. on that ship. We have tried many ways to persuade the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs who manage the cemetery - and whose mandate and task it is to look after and support all veterans while they are alive, and to honour and respect them when they have passed on, to allow the stone to be placed on the Memorial Walk, but so far with no success. It is a shame that the VA and the US Government feel that it is more important not to offend Japanese tourists than it is to honour the men who are buried in the cemetery, having given their lives in the service of their country and the cause of America's freedom!
We have the backing of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of America and also the AMVETS organization, and despite appeals to the VA and also a couple of US Senators and Congress people, the issue has not been resolved. We are hoping that perhaps this year with a new cemetery director, and by making contact with some new government reps, that we might be able to see this project finally completed in honour and memory of the men of the Enoura Maru.
American wartime patriotic poster vowing to remember the sacrifice of those who died for their country, so their deaths would not be in vain.
It's too bad that 70 years on this pledge and promise by the US government and especially by the US Department of Veterans Affairs - whose specific responsibility and task it is to make sure that those Americans who died in war are honoured and remembered, has gone unfulfilled for those men who died on the Enoura Maru. Let's hope that this can be rectified this year!
A country's promise - unfulfilled, and one of the Enoura Maru graves at the Punchbowl Cemetery, Hawaii
All of the previous articles from the homepage have been saved together in the Articles and Stories Section under the title of JAPAN UNDER THE NEW ABE REGIME. For those who are interested - and everyone should be, please CLICK HERE to read the series of articles which reveal the startling changes which have already taken place, and which will continue to take place in the near future under this extreme regime.
July 21, 2016 - "Retaking Japan: The Abe Administration’s Campaign to Overturn the Postwar Constitution" - added to the story "JAPAN UNDER THE NEW ABE REGIME" in the Articles & Stories Section. Scroll down to the end and click on the link to get the story from the Asia Pacific Journal.
June 30, 2016 - Spring-Summer2016 Newsletter uploaded to the site. Click here or go to the Society Section and click on the newsletter in the Newsletters box.
May 15, 2016 - The complete list of Taiwan POW Camps updated and put in correct sequential numerical order on the 'CAMPS' page of the website.
April 5, 2016 - Update to the "POW Camp Tours" page, with regards to booking tours
February 26, 2016 - Added - "More Facts About the Numbers in Malaya and Singapore" in the Articles & Stories Section
February 25, 2016 - Revision to "The Truth About the Numbers in Malaya and Singapore" in the Articles & Stories Section
January 27, 2016 - "A New Memorial Bench for the POW Park" added to the Articles & Stories Section
January 23, 2016 - Added - "The Wall - A very Special Place", the story of the Taiwan POW Memorial Wall and poem "THE WALL" to the Articles & Stories Section.
December 28, 2015 - "19 Years of Researching, Remembering and Honouring the Taiwan POWs" added to the Articles & Stories Section.
November 28, 2015 - Fall-Winter2015 Newsletter uploaded to the site. Click here or go to the Society Section and click on the newsletter in the Newsletters box.
November 20, 2015 - Update to "The Memorials for the Taiwan POWs" in the Articles & Stories Section.
October 20, 2015 - The complete article "70 Years Ago - Events in Taiwan POW History" is added to the Articles & Stories Section.
August 24, 2015 - Update to the story "A Family Connection" in the Articles & Stories Section.
April 16, 2015 - "Hirohito's Responsibility for the End of World War II" - added to the Articles & Stories Section.
We would like to remind our viewers that this website is a work in progress, so be sure to check back often.
In 2009 six former Taiwan POWs returned to Taiwan to join in the annual Remembrance Day service at Kinkaseki. Society supporter and good friend Chen, Hsiao - Fang produced a slide show of the event and we invite you to watch it and remember these men to whom we owe a debt that can never be repaid. Click here to view the presentation.
Lest We Forget!
LISTEN TO THE POWS' STORY
Society director Michael Hurst is featured in two radio interviews with Radio Taiwan International. We invite you to:
To listen to these programs click the links below -
Do you need a photo of a loved ones' grave or name on a memorial in the Far East?
Welcome to the ASIA WAR GRAVES PHOTO GROUP.
We are a group comprised of FEPOW organizations and researchers located in the Far East and we are dedicated to providing good quality photos of war graves and the names on the various memorials from the war cemeteries located all across Asia - FREE OF CHARGE - with the sole aim of keeping the memory of the veterans alive, so present and future generations will not forget the sacrifices they have made so far from home.
As well as actual war grave photos, we specialize in photos of the names on all the memorials across Asia. We have all 25,000 names on the SINGAPORE / KRANJI MEMORIAL, all 27,000 names on the TAUKKYAN / RANGOON MEMORIAL, as well as all the other memorials such as SAI WAN, YOKOHAMA and LABUAN. We are happy to be able to supply names from all the memorials as well - FREE of CHARGE!
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Another great source for FREE worldwide War Grave & Memorial photos . . .
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The Society has been urgently seeking information regarding the POWs who were evacuated from Taiwan on September 6, 1945 on the aircraft carrier USS Santee CVE-29, and the Destroyer Escorts USS Brister DE-327 and USS Finch DE-328. We have searched various archives to try to find the ships' deck logs and service records, but up to now nothing has turned up.
However, thanks to some help from a researcher friend in the US, we have found the complete list of men carried on the USS Finch. So that just leaves the USS Brister and USS Santee that we still need complete lists for.
If there are any former crew members of these ships who know of the lists that were made and where they might now be, please kindly get in touch with us.
We would also like to hear from former POWs and their families if they have any knowledge that their relative or anyone they knew sailed on either of these two ships. We would be very grateful for any help and information we can get.
USS Santee - CVE-29 USS Brister - DE-327