Roy Cornford - Stealing to survive

Running time
2 min 8 sec
Date made
Copyright
Department of Veterans' Affairs

Transcript

Roy Cornford:
We worked on the railway and we were at a Japanese camp and there was Japanese soldiers and all that there, and we had to go over there to get water for the Japs. Jap guards took four of us over to get this water for them. And when we got over there to their kitchen we noticed all these bags of salt and sugar and things packed outside. And we took the water back and we were still sitting out there on the railway lawn, waiting for railway lines to come, and a couple of hours later when they come, we laid them, and then it was all men back to camp.

And on the way back, one of my mates says, "Let's get a bag of salt." So we snuck over to the camp because the guards in the pitch dark they weren't going back with you, and everyone wandered on back along the railway line to find their way back to the camp, and we got a bag of salt. And we're walking back along the railway line and next thing we heard Japanese voices down in front of us, coming towards us, so we just got off the side of the railway line and squatted down near some bushes, and these couple of Japs went past us. We got back on the railway line and carried the bag of salt back to camp.

The next day we sold most of that for 5 cents a sausage tinful. As we used to get 5 cents a day for working on the railway, the Japs used to pay us, and you could buy a few things with that 5 cents. Oh, well, we probably only made a couple of dollars and we kept it to sprinkle the salt over the bare rice that you used to get was quite good.

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