Australian Prisoners of War of the Japanese
Further online resources
The books on this reading list are available for use in the Research Centre during opening hours. They may be available in your local library.
The Research Centre's book collection also includes many published unit histories and personal narratives of former Australian prisoners of war describing their experiences. These (along with other books on prisoners of war) can be searched on the book database.
Hank Nelson, P.O.W Prisoners of War: Australians under Nippon (Sydney: Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 1985). [Covers life in Changi; Outram Road Goal; on the Burma-Thai Railway; at Ambon; Borneo; Timor; Manchuria; details escapes, starvation, atrocities; maps.]
Toshiyuki (Yuki) Tanaka, Hidden horrors: Japanese war crimes in World War II (Japanese title: Shirarezaru sensåo hanzai: Shirarezaru sensåo hanzai) (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1996). [Academic account of atrocities committed at Sandakan and Banka Island. Discusses ‘comfort women’, biological warfare experiments, cannibalism and the dehumanisation of those who perpetrated these crimes.]
Lionel Wigmore, The Japanese thrust, Australian in the war of 1939-1945, Series 1, vol. 4. (Canberra, Australian War Memorial, 1957). [Prisoners of the Japanese in Changi, on the Burma Thai railway, in Borneo and Japan. Describes movement of Forces, enforced labour, illness, rations, torture, and deathrates.]
Allan S. Walker, Middle East and Far East, Australia in the War of 1939-1945, Series 5, vol. 2. (Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1953). [Medical history of prisoners of war in Timor, Ambon, New Britain, Sumatra, Java, Malaya and Borneo.]
Michelle McDonald (ed.), Changi (Sydney: Edmund & Alexander, 1992). [Official war artist Murray Griffin’s illustrated personal account of his time in Changi.]
Rod Beatty and Ken Bradley, Hellfire Pass Memorial: Thailand-Burma railway (Bangkok: Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce, 1998). [Relates story of reconstruction of part of the route as a memorial to those who died. Contains camp locations, building schedule of the original railway, maps and plans.]
E.E. Dunlop, The war diaries of Weary Dunlop: Java and the Burma-Thailand Railway 1942-1945 (Melbourne: Nelson, 1986). [Describes POW camp life from a medico’s view point at Bandoeng, Tjimahi, Batavia, Singapore, Konyu, Hintok Mountain, Tarsau, Chungkai and Nakom Patom.]
Gavan McCormack and Hank Nelson (eds.), The Burma-Thailand railway: memory and history (St. Leonards, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, 1993). [Chapters by notable historians and prisoners, including Tom Uren, E E Dunlop. Tells the story of the Asian forced labourers, ‘romusha’. Appendix A, lists Forces and numbers of Australians who worked on the railway.]
Margaret Reeson, A very long war: the families who waited (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 2000). [Personal accounts of the evacuation of women and children from Rabaul, New Britain and of their separation from husbands and fathers taken prisoner of war.]
Athol Moffitt, Project Kingfisher (Sydney: Australian Broadcasting Corporation,1995). [An account of the massacres at Sandakan, secret plans for rescue and trial of Commandant Hoshijima Susumi.]
Lynette Ramsey Silver, Sandakan: a conspiracy of silence (Burra Creek, N.S.W.: Sally Milner Publishing, 1999). [Researched account of the systematic massacres of pows at Jesselton, Labuan Island, Brunei, Kuala Belait Tanjong, Lobang, Miri, Kuching, Outram Road Gaol and Sandakan in British North Borneo. Appendices include nominal roll of deaths, burial sites and recovery of relics.]
Kevin Smith, Borneo, Australia's proud but tragic heritage (Armidale: K. Smith, 1999). [Account of Sandakan massacres, marches and operations of Z special units. Appendices list officers of ‘B’ and ‘E’ Forces, prisoner deaths, Australians in Outram Road Gaol.]
Hugh V. Clarke, Twilight liberation: Australian prisoners of war between Hiroshima and home (Sydney: Allen & Unwin,1985). [Stories of the events after the declaration of peace and the release of prisoners in Japan at Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu and in Manchuria at Mukden and in Saigon.]
John Lane, Summer will come again: the story of Australian POWs' fight for survival in Japan (Fremantle, W.A.: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1987). [With J Force Lane travelled from Changi to Kobe House on Honshu Island, where he worked in a factory, includes maps, photos and poetry.]
Australian War Memorial, Sandakan roll of honour (Canberra, Australian War Memorial, 1998).
James McClelland, Name and particulars of all Australians killed in action, executed, or who died while prisoners of war and who are buried in the Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore (Silverdale, N.S.W.: James McClelland Research, c1990).
James McClelland, Name and particulars of all Australian prisoners of war and army of occupation soldiers buried in Yokohama War Cemetery, Japan (Silverdale, N.S.W.: James McClelland Research, 1990).
Jack Magnussen, The Burma-Thailand Railway: remember them (Croydon Park, S. Aust.: Jack Magnussen, 1998). [Comprises detailed lists of Australians buried at Kanchanaburi (Thailand) and Thanbyuzayat (Burma).]
Don Wall, Heroes at Sea (Mona Vale, N.S.W., D. Wall, 1991). [includes lists of Australians who died on the Montevideo Maru, Tamahoku Maru, SS Van Waerwijck and Rakuyo Maru.]
Don Wall, Sandakan under Nippon, the last march (Mona Vale, N.S.W.: D. Wall, 1997 ). [Includes Honour Roll lists of 'B Force' and 'E Force'.]
Van Waterford, Prisoners of the Japanese in World War II: statistical history, personal narratives and memorials concerning the POWs in camps and on the hellships, civilian internees, Asian slave laborers and others captured in the Pacific theatre (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 1994).