Given by Mr J.E. ‘Hamish’ Tod
Entered Malayan Civil Service 1940. After Second World War worked in Malayan Education Department and in North Borneo.
Typescript memoir: ‘I passed by “Three Pagodas”: the March to the Death Railway in Siam’ by J.E. Tod. Written after the author’s repatriation to Britain in September 1945. [‘Three Pagodas’ is the name of the Pass between Thailand and Burma.] 146pp.
The memoir gives an account of the march and hardships suffered by 7,000 Prisoners of War – half of them Australian and half British – when they were sent in April 1942 from Changi Prison, Singapore to work on the Bangkok-Rangoon railway being constructed by the Japanese with forced labour. The prisoners’ final camp in Thailand, Neike, was closed by the Japanese on June 15th, 1942 and the few remaining P.O.Ws. fit enough to travel were sent to Burma. The manuscript ends abruptly, before the completion of the account of the journey to Burma.
There are graphic descriptions of the inhumane treatment received by prisoners from Japanese guards and officers during their enforced captivity and labour. Observations and reflections on the psychology and unpredictable behaviour of the Japanese feature in the account.