Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by BFBSM, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    Just noticed that this page has been published by COFEPOW: COFEPOW. Some hard work has been conducted by volunteers and I am sure will prove to be an excellent and well used resource.

    alistair wilson, SDP, dbf and 2 others like this.
  2. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Having gone through these questionnaires from A - Z for a friend at Kew, I agree that COFEPOW have carried a labour love. It is indeed a great resource to be able to access.
  3. vitellino

    vitellino Senior Member

    Have had a quick glance...the FE in the title refers to Far East, I presume?
  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Picked out some of my Chindit 1 POW's a while back. This has been a long and impressive effort by the COFEPOW team.
  5. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    That's an amazing piece of work. Thanks and well done to all involved.

    I've found my uncles questionnaire and it confirms his various POW Camps with dates; excellent to see this confirmed in what appears to be his own handwriting(?).

    One quick follow up question: were the Questionnaires just the single page or were there other pages as well?
  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    The image shown is the front side of the document, on the reverse there were questions relating to escape attempts and acts of sabotage. These in my experience are rarely filled out by the POW. I have seen one other type of questionnaire which is three sides, but with much the same lay out and questions. I'll post examples of the reverse when I get back home from work. Officers and other senior ranks from camps would often fill out extra sheets with information about Japanese brutality, escape atempts and such like.
  7. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    My first visit to Kew beckons: I've now got a good excuse and pass by every so often anyway.
  8. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    The last time I was at Kew in June I asked for an LQ file only to find that Kew had lost it. Hope they've found it again.

    The LQ files reveal all sorts of fascinating material which the front page of M.I.9 Jap form do not contain, especially the recommendations for POWs who carried out notable and worthy acts. About one LQ in 15 to 20 has further information.White and yellow forms were top and copy of each other and tended to be typed. They were printed locally ( India )by E. Group. These are on the LQ files. They have more elaborate questions about the physical descriptions of the camps. Some ex-POWs filled in several types of form.

    A lot of pieces of paper for an ex-POW to cope with included an atrocity form ( "Q" form ) and a casualty form. UK "agencies" involved were M.I.9/M.I.19, E. Group, Cas.PW, AG3(V/W), Judge Advocate General, Int Corps, et al. Casualty forms can be found in WO 361, generally under the Battalion involved but some WO361 files are described as " Statement by XYZ." Best to search by a man's name.

    If there is an LQ then there is a 40% chance there is a WO 356 card.

    WO 356 cards have been available at Kew since the early 1990's. LQs have been available since about 2008.

    A POW might go through the LQ/Casualty/Q/Warning/Interrogation Certificate process several times with the different army commands: Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, U.S.A., encountered on the way home. M.I.9/M.I.19 lay in wait for RAPWI in ports or calling places ( Aden, Suez Canal, New York ) but were sometimes fobbed off by the local commanders who pointed out that ex-POWs had been under the severest and nastiest of discipline since 1942 and they needed leave.

    Anyway, M.I.9/M.I.19 soon learnt that ex-POWs actually could not remember. They were asked to hand over papers and unfortunately many went astray, which was very hard for the men since keeping a diary in captivity could mean very severe punishment from the Japanese.

    In return for the LQ, Q, and Casualty form it was an opportunity for an ex-POW to acquire a pencil ( having been deprived for so long even the most honest Church-going POW found it hard to resist pencils and cutlery ) and it was important to obtain an "interrogation certificate" ( see attached ) and each were given due warning not to talk to anyone ( see attached ).

    Interrogation Certificate.jpg Warning.jpg
    Mr B and bamboo43 like this.
  9. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    Assuming I've read it correctly, that last document is, to be frank, a downright disgraceful instruction to a guy who has been to Hell and back. Does this document help explain why so many chaps didn't speak about their experiences? In order to come to terms with what they had been through, some people need to talk and being told that they can't talk simply makes matters worse. In the case of my uncle - who died many years ago - I only found out last year (indirectly courtesy of this excellent Forum) that he had been held POW in places additional to his first stint in Singapore: even his sole surviving sister didn't know and she was, needless to say, surprised by the 'news'. It also explains why my uncle experienced certain 'difficulties' in later life.
  10. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    I think the ex-POWs could talk freely about their experiences to other ex-POWS and to no others.

    They all suffered dreadful nightmares and health problems.

    I think the "warning" matches the forms, in that both were very badly conceived and designed. M.I.9/M.I.19 thought the Far East was the same as Europe, that you could dig a tunnel, catch a train, and eat soup at railway stations without a ration card. You could also take correspondence courses and take professional examinations.

    The fact that Europeans tended to stand out in a crowd in Burma, Thailand, Malaya, Netherlands East Indies, Japan, Hong Kong etc., etc. apparently did not occur to them. Nor that a lot of them had been employed to build a railway because railways were in short supply.

    They had every opportunity to design appropriate forms. The pink/buff coloured LQ was individually numbered in the printing process and rushed out to the Far East in the bomb bays of Mosquito aircraft. The individual numbers were soon forgotten. The spaces for camp locations, dates, camp leaders are ludicrously small.

    It was utterly crass to ask about escape attempts: this is reflected by the number of times you see an emphatic "NO" in answer. It just reflected European practice.

    To be fair, the sort of "bumpf" the Fepows got on their way home is more reflected in the attached documents which were given to ex-POWs in transit who had stopped off in New Zealand. The pencil comments are made by army staff in the UK, probably M.I.9.


    To All Ex.jpg

    Eden 1.jpg Eden 2.jpg
    timuk likes this.
  11. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    Although 'rose tinted spectacles' come to mind, that last document is as good as the previous one was bad. What a pity there appears to have been no real follow-up aka 'counselling' as we now call it.

    I understand that my uncle kept himself going as a POW at least in part by conning himself into thinking that he was having it easy compared to my father, in fact there is no comparison - dad was a tank driver in NW Europe campaign while my uncle was sent to the Kinkaseki Copper Mine on Formosa among other hell-holes.
  12. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member


    A very useful article from the British Medical Journal archive shows that the repatriation process at home involved the divulgence of "useful information" to interested parties, but also to press interviews. The pdf is free. The journal also has other articles about Fepow health problems both in the camps and afterwards. This demonstrates a somewhat different approach from the M.I.9 strictures.

    My uncle might have worked in Taiwan but for the fact that after being in Thailand in June 1942 and staying there until May 1944 he embarked at Singapore on the Hofuku Maru and died on the vessel on September 21st 1944 ( see the thread). My father was a submariner in the Mediterranean and his boat only just escaped destruction on two occasions, in April and October, 1944.He thought that people in the blitz had it worst because he lost his cousin, a nurse, who was killed in October 1940 as a result of a German air raid.

    Lt Col Toosey was instrumental in forming an ex-Fepow association, being aware of the need to share experiences. He approached the RA record office with a request for names and addresses of ex-Fepows, only to be told that the record office were too busy to comply: he would have to provide some staff to look out the details. I have the letter from a WO361 file somewhere.


    Repatriation | Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps
  13. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi SDP,

    I thought I'd post the images even though you are receiving far more assistance from John at present.

    Here is the reverse side of the standard form and an example of the other type that I have come across. If you look closely you will notice that all these examples are for the same soldier.

    Cheers now.


    John Kennedy.Lib.Q.2 copy.JPG John Kennedy.Lib.Q.3 copy.JPG John Kennedy.Lib.Q.4 copy.JPG John Kennedy.Lib.Q.5 copy.JPG
    Mr B likes this.
  14. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Forgot to mention MIS-X forms ! SDP has currently taken to his motor-car for a nice long journey in the rain ( East Anglian weather - only 120 mm last month. Pity the poor farmers, and others.)

  15. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi John,

    I'm a grower of sorts, drier than a camels armpit for 4 months, then the kids break up for summer..........you know the rest.:)
  16. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Steve, the three page, white MI9/GEN form is the type used in Europe mostly.

  17. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Thanks Lee, I had only seen this one a few times before, having never ventured into the European files.:D
  18. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Journey complete and now in East Anglia! Thanks for all your help guys both in this thread and via PM - you know who you are! This has transformed aspects of my understanding of what my uncle went through all those years ago and, of course, very many thanks for the COFEPOW people for putting in that massive effort with the database which is the actual subject of this thread.
  19. Enigma1003

    Enigma1003 Member


    'while my uncle was sent to the Kinkaseki Copper Mine on Formosa among other hell-holes'

    SDP, my F-in-L, now 97, was in Kinkaseki from Nov 42 - May 45, before being sent to the extermination camp at Kukutsu.
    I have gathered a lot of information, if any of it may be of use to you about your uncle.
    We have taken him back to his camps 4 times, on Remembrance Day trips, and visited most of the 16 camps on Formosa, so have many modern photos of the camps and memorials. e.g. Taihoku, Shirakawa, Heito and Taichu to name the major ones.

    Let me know if anything may be useful to you.

    Who was your uncle, and what regiment?

  20. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic


    Thanks for your post. It was, in fact, you who provided me with some amazing help last year - notably the incredible revelation about Kinkaseki and the England Maru - about my Uncle William George Pannell of the 155 RA Lanarkshire Yeomanry. Thanks again.


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