Roy Cornford - Prisoner on the Burma-Thailand Railway

Running time
1 min 27 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Roy Cornford:
I was 19 when I enlisted and I was 19 when I was taken prisoner of war. It all happened very quickly. Actually, I'd only been overseas three months when I was taken prisoner of war in Singapore. I was in the 2/19th Battalion and that was the first group that were chosen to be sent up onto the Burma Railway.

I went up there in 'A' Force and when we started all we were doing was digging foundations and building up embankments, and we started at the 56th-kilo camp and we worked our way backwards to the 26th-kilo camp, and then when we had all our embankments built they moved us back to the 26th-kilo camp, and it was from there we started to lay the sleepers and the railway lines.

And when we first started off the prisoners had to carry the sleepers and lay them in their positions, and then they would get the railway lines brought up, which astounded us because we came from Wollongong and the railway lines were made at the BHP steelworks in Port Kembla.

Was this page helpful?
We can't respond to comments or queries via this form. Please contact us with your query instead.