VJ Day

VJ Day: Working On The Death Railway

The horrors POWs faced working on the infamous 'Death Railway' in Burma

This week marks 75 years since victory was declared over Japan and, in turn, the end of the Second World War. To honour this we are taking a look at some important interviews with veterans who served in that conflict.
 
Harold Pleasance, a Lance Sergeant in 135th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery was captured by enemy troops in Singapore in 1942.
 
During his time in a string of prison camps, he was forced to work on the infamous 'Death Railway' in Burma. 
 
Built by Japan to support its forces in the Burman Campaign, it was created using forced labour, and later became the subject of a novel and award-winning film, The Bridge On The River Kwai.
 
Almost 13,000 of the 60,000 Allied prisoners of war who worked on it, in appalling conditions, died during the construction.
 
Of these, 6904 were British, while there were 2802 Australians, 2782 Dutch, and 133 Americans.

 

This is an edited article first published in 2015.

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