VJ Day

VJ Day: The Hell Ship Survivor

The horror of living in conditions so cramped you could barely lie down

To mark 75 years since Victory Over Japan Day (VJ Day) we have been searching our archives for fascinating interviews with veterans of the 'Far East' conflict.
 
Bill Marshall was a prisoner of war (POW) in Java, before being transported in one of the notorious 'hell ships' to a camp in Japan. 
 
He and other POWs were packed onto the vessels in conditions so cramped you could barely lie down.
 
Having to deal with freezing temperatures, constant attacks from insects, and the spread of illnesses like dysentry, things did not get much easier when they got to Japan - where they were put to hard labour in the country's mines.

 

This is an edited article first published in 2015.

Click here for more memories of VJ Day