Skip to comments.Amazing lost sketches of life inside Japanese PoW camp discovered in a shoe box
Posted on 09/16/2011 2:28:37 PM PDT by InvisibleChurch
Astonishing drawings of British soldiers in brutal Japanese Prisoner of War camps have turned up nearly 70 years later on TV's Antiques Roadshow. The lost sketches showing the appalling conditions the men endured were drawn by artist soldier John Mennie who gave them to fellow PoW Eric Jennings.
Mr Jennings never spoke about his wartime experiences and his family were stunned when they found the sketches stashed away in a shoe box after his death.
One of the drawings is a rare image of the 'Selerang Square Squeeze' - a shocking atrocity meted out to 16,000 PoWs in Changi, Singapore in 1942. The Japanese kettled the Allied soldiers in a cramped square for five days in unbearable heat to make them sign documents stating they would not try to escape. Many men died from disease and dysentery during the incident and four more were callously executed by their sadistic captors. A second drawing shows a British surgeon carrying out a life-saving operation on an emaciated prisoner in the open. Another picture shows a group of impoverished prisoners in their underpants singing Christmas carols to keep their spirits up. There are also 30 excellent pencil portraits of PoWs and six larger colour drawings that depict the horrors of the situation.
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I can see why he wouldn’t talk about it.
An Amazing Time Capsule.
bump for later read.
I’m surprised there wasn’t a sitcom about life in the Japanese POW Camp..
Look at the comments on the bottom, the site needs to be freeped.
They were treated so brutally that they could really find no humor there.
One humorous story though was the enterprising young man from NM who realized that getting VD was one of the most shameful things that could happen to a Japanese soldier. He carved a pill press and made plaster of paris “penicillin” pills and helped keep a lot of people alive with the food he traded for, I just always think what a sweet revenge he felt too.
The author James Clavell was a Japanese POW and often spoke of how grateful he and all the prisoners were to America for dropping the bomb and bringing their horror to an end.
Obi-Wan managed to keep a Stiff Upper Lip.
I know, but I was making a Hogan’s Hero reference..
Check out the article next month (if you remember) on a fellow named Maxwell! (Shot down in Pacific!) I'll try to link it next month, but you can review some stories here...
If you or a friend/family member are any former Veterans, career or "war theater" over 60 years of age (I spent two years on a tin can in the South China Sea, 66-68), there is a short waiting list here. The price is reasonable, and the place is quite good! Single rooms, mainly, but married quarters (both must be former vets!) Everybody has a view of the Gulf of Mexico, from their balcony or patio!
3 hots and much more than a cot!
And remember that today is POW/MIA Day.
I attended one of these observances the day my son was commissioned.
It is a simple and very moving ceremony.
The article says this drawing is of a British doctor, but the inscription identifies the surgeon as L/Col Dunlop (Edward “Weary” Dunlop) of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), a famous WWII Australian surgeon and war hero.
After talking with some GIs and airmen who went through German POW camps, I always thought Hogan's Heroes was a sick joke - couldn't watch it. Thought "Bridge on the River Kwai" was sickening too after reading up on it.
For the record I wonder what was going through the head of the show creator and the Network with coming up Hogan’s Hero’s..
My dad was in the Korean war. When I was very young and stupid, I asked him if he ever shot anyone.
He kinda looked off in the distance away from me and never said a word...
It wasn’t until years later, after he passed, I found out he had been a medic...
Wish I had an hour to sit and talk with that man.
Really weird given how much he did for the troops.
Agreed. They look so young.
A large number of NM National Guard were captured in Bataan, and one used scraps of cloth to make an American flag which he hid for many years, knowing that if it were found he would be killed. When the Japanese abandoned the camp at the end of the war, he hoisted it up the flag pole. It was later discovered that it may have kept the Navy from strafing the camp, not knowing it was a POW facility.
If I recall, Eric Liddel, winner of the gold medal in the ‘24 Olympics, (who famously refused to run a qualifing race for the 100meter his strongest event because it was being held on a Sunday, but won the 400 meter) died in an interment camp as a prisoner of the Japanese.
The author acted as Deputy Judge Advocate General for the British Army of the Rhine, giving legal advice on the prosecution of war criminals in the British zone of occupied Germany.
From wikipedia - In 2002, TV Guide named Hogan’s Heroes the fifth worst TV show of all time (p 180, Running Press, Philadelphia, 2007). The listing for Hogan’s Heroes in particular accuses the show of trivializing the suffering of real life POWs and the victims of the Holocaust with its comedic take on prison camps in the Third Reich.
800 to 1600 Pounds? I think they are priceless and they belong in a museum that is interested in preserving history, not being politically correct.
I had a friend, now deceased, who survived the Bataan Death March. To his dying day, he refused to accept a ride in a Japanese car. He preferred to walk.
The British Royal Crown did not send a delegation to Japan when Emperor Hirohito (WAR CRIMINAL) finally died, for good reason.
I don’t think the Aussies did either.
He should have been hanged with Tojo.
My dad was in the 14th Air Force(Flying Tigers) and help swept the JAP from the skies of China.
Remember Pearl Harbor when BOMBS AWAY over Hiroshima
I'd watch Hogan's Heroes before about 95% of the other crapola that has ever come out of Hollyweird. Not that Hogan's Heroes is particularly good, but it does have a few clever and comedic characters.
Wasn’t the movie called Chariots of Fire about Liddell?
His last name was Neumann. Can't recall his first name.
The Japanese culture did not permit any kind of pity towards the enemy. I recall reading a book on POW's of the Japanese. I had to stop reading when I got to a part where they dissected a living POW.
Most of the heroes of WWII refused to talk about their experiences.
Yes,Chariots of Fire focued on the UK’s 1924 Olympic team, Abrahams, and Liddell were the two major people they focused on.
I had an uncle, a surgeon, who served in WW2 and I used to ask him about it in my youth. He'd smile and change the subject.
After he passed my mom told me that he had volunteered with a number of doctors at this hospital and (I guess you you could do this back then) they all went together to North Africa where they set up a hospital to treat the wounded. It was in the rear, so safe. The wounded would end up getting battlefield treatment and transferred to some sort of aid station where a train would take them up to the hospital, several hours journey away. They were still in bad shape at that point though. Someone had to ride on that train full of horridly wounded men to keep them alive and, I suppose in some instances, comfort them in their final moments. My uncle got the job. I'm sure he couldn't do much on that train but I'm also sure he did what he could. I'm sure he saw some terrible, terrible things. It was not something I think he enjoyed thinking about and I do regret reminding him but how was I to know? Thank God men like him left their comfortable lives and saved the world.
I read “Unbroken” months ago. Louis Zamperini’s story told me all I needed to know. They deserved the nukes they got.
And some handwring over pint panties put on prisoners.
The Japanese culture did not permit any kind of pity towards the enemy
However, that was not always the case from what I read. I understand the Russian POWs taken during the Russo-Japanese War were very well treated. Many did not wish to return home after the end of the war.
My old dad was in Marine reserves after the Korean war, and before Nam. He had a Korea vet squaddie, who, after a few beers, would stare far away and answer that question, “Did I ever kill anybody? Well I guess I did. They just kept coming and I just kept shooting and they wouldn’t stop... So I guess I did.”
Beven’s bomber was shot down and he ended up a POW in Germany. While Rooney was with the Third Army as a reporter they were over running POW camps. Rooney ends up running into Beven and another POW named Ed Trzynski who went on with great enthusiasm about a play they wrote while prisoners. The play takes place in ‘ Stalag 17 ‘ and they performed it while in the camp.
Rooney gives the men the names of some NY contacts including literary agent Harold Ober. After the war the play is made into the well known movie.
But after CBS made ‘ Hogan's Heroes ‘ both Bevan and Trzynski sued as there were so many similarities. They were awarded a very large sum by the courts.
Worst shows of all time:
Dancing With the Stars
Meet the Osbournes
Entertainment Tonite/Access Hollywood/Byron Allen/Made in Hollywood - anything along the infotainment theme
I could go on. Plenty more shows worse than Hogan’s Heroes.
When I watched the movie "Paradise Road" about the women who survived death camp and formed a women's choir, I started reading the back story of some of the characters portrayed, and found the stories written by the nurses who were captured during the evacuation of Singapore
Amazing stuff, some humans are made of
That is news to me. What is your source?
It was my understanding that most American POWs in Germany were treated decently, about as expected from any POW camp.
It was the Japanese POW camps which were monstrous. I knew 2 Americans who were Japanes POW’s, and I cant even repeat the treatment that they got, that they saw.
“we had a family friend who survived the Bataan death march, to this day my mother will not own a Japanese car”
I had 2 very good friend who were in Japanese POW camps, and to this day I will not own a Japanese car.
As opposed to the Germans, what made the Japanese camps so bad, is that the cruelty of the Japanese was so pervasive, in other words, cruelty was a directive from a high ranking Japanense official, rather, all of the Japanese, from the common soldier on up were monsters. The cruelty from the Japanese guards was not because they were “obeying orders”, the Japanese guards were sick.
I believe too many of the cruel torturing Japanese soldiers went back home to Japan after the war to the Japanese auto companies. In my own opinion, the Japanese cruelty was too deep, too pervasive, too ingrained in the Japanese culture.
It may have been a volume specifically on POW treatment by the Japanese but I am uncertain. My own library has grown, shrunk, grown and is now dwindling as I sell things off.
I will check the remaining Pacific theater volumes I have left.
“ The Japanese had regulations about prisoners of war dating from when tey first fought against white men, in the Russo-Japanese War 1904-105. The Japanese won that war. They were concerned at the time to be seen as a people of elevated morality in the modern world, fitted to make 20th century war in a civilized way, up to Western standards.
POWs of the emperor, the Japanese regulations said, were to be treated with a spirit of goodwill, never subjected to cruelty or humiliation, etc. And that is how the Russians were treated “
On page 284 he discusses how the Japanese came up with the rules and sizes of transport for POWs which dates back to, again, the Russo-Japanese War.
I know very little of that war but I suspect the Japanese took a large number of Russian POWs based on how one sided the affair went. That and the fact the Japanese had to figure out how to transport POWs and made regulations in this regard.
I loved that movie — especially the score. I think I own it on video tape, but we don’t play those any more.
Thanks for the interesting background. Stalag 17 I could handle, Hogan’s . . .
Boy, "multicultural" to the Max. That, and an indication on how well their schools have dumbed down the new generation(s).
Oh, I agree. Hogan’s was pretty bad. My grandfather never allowed it on the TV. No Japanese cars - no Hogan’s Heroes.