Stolen Years: Australian prisoners of war
“Virtually a starvation diet”
Ta ra ra boom de ay
We’ve soup and rice today
We had it yesterday
We have it everyday
Aircraftman Ken Parkyns, RAAF, Zentsuji camp, Japan
Perhaps the greatest and most prolonged atrocity committed against prisoners of war was that they were always starved of food.
As soldiers, Australians had consumed about 4,000 calories each day. In Changi, they received about 2,000. On the railway, on Ambon, at Sandakan, and in many other places, they received far less. Slowly starving to death, they suffered a range of debilitating dietary conditions. It was no wonder that, for some, collecting recipes became a passion.