Robert Harby Gilbert Jelley, ex POW medical personel ex Burma-Thailand railway, interviewed by Dr John H Mitchell

Accession Number S01403
Collection type Sound
Measurement 1 hr 14 min
Object type Oral history
Physical description AGFA PEM 369 on 5 inch reel
Maker Jelley, Robert Harby Gilbert
Mitchell, John
Date made 1 August 1990
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright

Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Description

Robert Jelley, formerly Bombardier, 4th Anti-Tank Unit, relates experiences as POW of Japanese. the interview begins with his recital of a poem he's written to memorialise the escape, capture and execution of several members of his unit. Interview also includes recollection of: a Japanese plane crashing on landing strip; deaths from illness including appendicitis, cholera and cerebral malaria; a guard nicknamed 'Peanut' and also 'Dillinger'; another guard nicknamed 'Teddy Bear'; Jelley's own nick name, 'Baby Soldier'; medical conditions such as pellagra, malaria, cholera; Australian doctors and medical officers; having to work 'speedo period'; rat catching for 20 cents per rat payment; toenail removal without anaesthetic; lack of toilet paper; an anecdote about stealing pumpkins from the cook house; a string orchestra provided to improve the health of sick prisoners; how he heard about the end of the war, and having gratitude to the atom bomb for saving POW lives; gratitude to local Thai guerrilla forces; gratitude to Australian doctors on the railway and how one of them developed a distillation of quinine from foliage; poetry.
Persons mentioned include: Stanley Woodlands; John Chalmers; Rowley Richards; Larry Oakshott; 'Pinky' Rhodes; Sydney Kranz; Jim Armstrong; Claude Anderson; Frank Moore.
Places mentioned include: Thanbyuzayat; Moulmein; Medan; Hlepauk; 18 Kilo Camp; 35 Kilo Camp; 45 Kilo Camp; 60 Kilo Cap; 70 Kilo Camp; 80 Kilo Camp; Thangzun; Reptu; Kunknitkway; Three Pagoda Pass; Sonkurai; Niki Niki Camp; Tamarkan; Nakon Patom.

  • Listen to Robert Harby Gilbert Jelley, ex POW medical personel ex Burma-Thailand railway, interviewed by Dr John H Mitchell
  • Listen to Part 2 of Robert Harby Gilbert Jelley, ex POW medical personel ex Burma-Thailand railway, interviewed by Dr John H Mitchell