Roy Cornford - Capture on Java

Running time
2 min 13 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Roy Cornford:
Well, we never saw a Jap for the first week. Never saw anyone. We had been told that we'd surrendered, and then one day a Japanese vehicle came and someone spoke to one of the generals and he said we had to march to this railway crossing and board a train, and when we boarded the train, it took us to Batavia.

Took a while, three or four days to get us there. They unloaded us here and we just stopped. And then we were in a camp in Batavia for a while when they chose all the fit men to go to Singapore, and that's when we were taken back to Singapore, but we only spent two days, three days there. Then they took us on the ship again and took us to Rangoon, and then they took us on another ship from Rangoon to Moulmein, I think it was, and from there we spent about four days in the big jail there.

We only had wooden platforms in the jail to sleep on, and we had practically no clothes or blankets or anything. There was a little hut in the jail yard and there was good bunks in there, and we asked the guards, "Did anyone sleep there?" They said, "No," and I said, "Well, why can't we sleep there?" He says, "You can if you want to," but he said, "I wouldn't if I was you," he says, "That's where we put the lepers. Anyone with leprosy that's in jail, that's where they go." So nobody slept in there. Then after about a week there, they marched us from there and put us on trucks and took us to Thanbyuzayat in Burma, and that's where we started the Burma Railway.

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