Mudiman, Roy Clifford (Private, b.1920 - d.2004)

Accession Number PR03377
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 1 cm; Wallet/s:1
Object type Diary
Maker Mudiman, Roy Clifford
Place made Australia, Burma, Malaya, Singapore, Thailand
Date made 1941-1945
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copying Provisions Copying permitted subject to physical condition
Source credit to This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.

Collection relating to the Second World War service of NX52458 Private Roy Clifford Mudiman, 2/20th Infantry Battalion, Malaya, Australia, Singapore, Burma and Thailand, 1941-1945.

Collection consists of two diaries spanning the period 7 December 1941 to 2 November 1945, with a typed transcript. Diary 1 is a small booklet missing its cover and has been sewn together with modern black thread. It spans the period 7 December 1941 to 5 February 1945, and the second is a small faux leather, black notebook spanning the period 7 February to 2 November 1945.

The diaries begin with Mudiman attached to the Medium Machine Gun Platoon of the 2/20th Infantry Battalion in Malaya. It recounts as Mudiman and his unit are attempting to defend Kota Bharu as the Japanese are closing in on their position. The diary follows as his unit moves out of the area to Singapore, and then north. Mudiman is then evacuated to Alexandria hospital after being shot in the finger. While there, he witnesses the progression of the Japanese invasion of Singapore, including the evacuation of nurses and the Alexandria Hospital massacre - of which Mudiman fortunately avoids. He notes during the massacre, the bayoneting of patients, doctors and civilians, but also the execution of some of the responsible soldiers by their commanding officer following the massacre. Following this, Mudiman documents his gradual progression from the hospital to a POW based at Changi Prison. The next few years document Mudiman's movement between different camps, largely in Thailand and Burma working on the railway. He documents contracting malaria around 40 times, and the treatment of the prisoners at the hands of their Japanese captors. Regular subjects covered include rations, disease, the wildlife regularly encountered including snakes and tigers, and the relationship that soldiers had with locals.

Nearing its conclusion, the account discusses the gradual rolling back of Japanese control over the soldiers, including the hurried issuing of rations, clothing, and other supplies as Allied soldiers make their way towards the POWs for their liberation. It documents the arrival of Douglas C-47 Dakotas, and the evacuation of prisoners. Mudiman documents his removal to Bangkok, with sporadic entries about the various tasks he undertook and places of entertainment for the soldiers before discussing his movement out of Thailand to Australia. The account ends with his being reunited with his family and brief notes about his repatriation.

History / Summary

Mudiman gives an account of the events preceding the fall of Singapore, the Japanese invasion and Mudiman's time as a prisoner of war in Singapore and Thailand, including Changi and work on the Thai-Burma railway. He depicts the severe treatment by the Japanese soldiers, the harsh conditions and labour, widespread illness and mortality, and eventual repatriation.