Roy Cornford - Home comforts

Running time
2 min 42 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Roy Cornford:
It was just before Germany surrendered, because they tried to take us aboard a ship there. And the captain wouldn't go to sea. He said he could nearly walk from there to Japan on those periscopes. So they took us off that ship, brought us back to the camp in Saigon, and we there for another week or so. And it was here that I was made a turban.

A toban is where you have to, so many men would to do anything that the Japanese wanted, guards. And their hut was close to the fence. And I was out washing the Japanese guards' clothes close to the fence and a French girl on the other side of the fence come by when she was speaking to us. And I asked her if she could get us any English-reading written books or a pair of scissors or anything like that. And she said she would see. The next day she came back and she said that she couldn't get any English written books, but she gave me a pair of scissors.

And about, that was where we were bombed by the Americans. And they bombed the docks and the ships just near there and one bomb lobbed about 500 metres from our camp when it lobbed on the tobacco plantation. And of course that spread heaps of tobacco leaf everywhere in the camp the next morning. And the prisoners were collecting all the tobacco leaf and everything making cigars, smokes out of it and...luckily I wasn't a smoker, but I can say, I didn't see men who would swap a feed for a cigarette.

I couldn't understand it in a way but we used to get issued with cigarettes now and again. And I can remember, one bloke used to, we used to get occasionally, it would like a crumpet or something or other screwed-up some thing of mixed meats and things, and all made up in a little ball like a tennis ball everyone would get, and this bloke used to swap his with me for a cigarette.

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