Tamarkan, Thailand. c. 1945. Bombs exploding on the two bridges over the Mae Klong river (renamed ...

Accession Number P01433.003
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Film copy negative
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Tamarkan, Thailand. c. 1945. Bombs exploding on the two bridges over the Mae Klong river (renamed Kwai Yai river in 1960). The wooden trestle bridge on the right was completed in February 1943, and the steel bridge on the left in April 1943. The Japanese engineers used prisoner of war (POW) labour in the construction of these bridges. The eleven span steel bridge had been dismantled in Java, by the Japanese, and brought to the site in 1942. Both bridges were subjected to numerous attacks by Allied aircraft during the period December 1944 to June 1945. One span of the steel bridge was destroyed in a raid mid February 1945. Two more spans were dropped in raids between April and June 1945. Tamarkan POW camp was located adjacent to these bridges and to the right of the railway track. The Japanese anti-aircraft battery was on the opposite side of the railway track adjacent to the POW camp, which suffered during these air raids. The worst of these occurred on 29 November 1944, when three bombs overcarried and demolished the top ends of two POW huts, burying a number of the occupants. The POW casualties numbered nineteen killed and sixty eight wounded. During a four hour attack on the bridges and Ack Ack battery on 5 February 1945, a further fifteen POWs were injured. The camp site was littered with great fragments of shrapnel, and one hut and the canteen were burnt to the ground. On 14 February 1945, the Japanese evacuated the remaining POW to the Chungkai camp located approximately two kilometres north of Kanchanaburi (Kanburi), on the bank of the Kwai Noi river. Tamarkan is located fifty five kilometres north of Nong Pladuk (also known as Non Pladuk), or 359 kilometres south of Thanbyuzayat. The village of Kanchanaburi (Kanburi) is five kilometres to the south of Tamarkan. (Donor B. Theobald)