Bart Richardson's story
Barton (Bart) Richardson enlisted at Rutherford, New South Wales, in June 1940. He served with the 2/20th Australian Infantry Battalion as a lieutenant in Malaya and Singapore. He was taken prisoner in Singapore on 15 February 1942.
As a prisoner of war (POW), Bart was interned in Singapore and Thailand. He was one of a group of officers, known as H Force, who worked on the Burma-Thailand Railway. One of their tasks was to build an embankment for the railway. This back-breaking labour involved carrying hand baskets filled with about two shovels-full of soil to the embankment.
Bart also worked on the Konyu cutting, now known as Hellfire Pass, where his party laboured in 2 shifts of 12 hours during ‘speedo' time.
One of Bart's strongest memories of his time in Thailand is the commitment the men had to ensure no man died alone. He recalls that often men would hold the hand of their dying mates as they slipped away.
In December 1943, Bart returned to Singapore, spending time at a former school before being moved to Changi prison until his liberation in August 1945.