ID number ART26213
Title British Indian prisoner of war
Collection Art
Object type Drawing
Maker Hodgkinson, Frank (Artist)
Place made Borneo: Balikpapan
Date made 1945
Medium pencil on paper
Measurement Overall: 45.7 x 50.8 cm


Study of Naik Kirpal Singh of 15 Punjab Regiment. He was one of the many prisoners held by the Japanese in Dutch Borneo and released during operations of Balikpapan. Natives reported that many British Indian prisoners were held by the Japanese in the area across the Balikpapan River from Tempadeong. One of the pioneers (of 2/1 Australian Pioneer Battalion). set out with a native guide to investigate. In an area called Tandjeong Batoe, they observed about thirty Japanese but no Indians. Later, in this area, a escort plane observed a white sheet stretched on the ground bearing the words "Indian PW". A patrol of 2/1st Australian Pioneer Battalion was sent out and guided by the plane, found these prisoners, 63 in all. They had suffered badly in Japanese hands for three and a half years.