Background information
Online Resources
Official records
Private records

Background information

The Encyclopedia entry Australian prisoners of war: Second World War prisoners of the Japanese contains general information about the capture of Australian troops as well as entries on each location of imprisonment.

Online resources

Use these resources to identify further information or particular items in the collections relevant to your interests:

Official Records

Official records held by the Memorial include:

  • [Diaries, Personal (including Enemy) - General:] Diary written by VX 23913 L/Sgt D.G.P. Foley, Bakli Bay Prisoner of War Camp, Hainan Island. AWM54 253/1/4
  • [Prisoners of War and Internees - Treatment by Enemy:] Arrangements for search for AMF personnel. Report on Shanghai position. Australian POW on Hainan Island. Interrogation of recovered POWs for casualty and atrocities. Information nominal rolls. AWM54 779/4/16
  • [War Crimes and Trials - General:] Petitions by Japanese War Criminals against findings, and sentence by Military Court, arising from Hainan Island Trial, Reports on interrogation of Japanese war criminals by Australian War Crimes Section, 1947/1948. AWM54 1010/1/1
  • Nominal Roll of Australian, American and Dutch prisoners of war transferred from Ambon to Hainan Island. AWM127 76
  • Records of Australian Military Forces prisoners of war and missing, Far East and South West Pacific Islands. Contains nominal rolls and paybook photographs of POWs. Searchable by name, theatre of war, unit location of POW camp. AWM232 The nominal rolls can also be searched online.

Private Records

Private records held by the Memorial include:

  • Athol (Tom) Pledger 2/12 Fld Amb. Personal papers kept while POW on Ambon and Hainan Island PR00871
  • Frank Albert Biddiscombe. Nominal roll of Australian POWs at Hainan, 1942, notes on incarceration, diary covering February 1941 – May 1945. 3DRL/1763
  • Leslie G. Cornell (Private); Leslie Walter Cooke (Private). Diary includes notes on imprisonment by the Japanese on Hainan Island. PR90/159
  • John Raymond Henry Craig (Sergeant). Hand written summary of evidence in the court martial of Sergeant Craig while a prisoner of war at Haicho Camp, accused of stealing vegetables from a Japanese truck. PR00589
  • James Frederick Armstrong (Private). Diary covers Ambon (17 December 1941 to 25 October 1942), Hainan Island (4 November 1942 to 1 September 1943). PR89/165


Books held in the Research Centre include:

  • Courtney T. Harrison, Ambon, island of mist : 2/21st battalion AIF (Gull Force) prisoners of war 1941-45 (North Geelong, Vic : T.W. and C.T. Harrison, 1988) Includes a section on Hainan Island
  • Allan S. Walker, Middle East and Far East, Australia in the War of 1939-1945, Series 5 (Medical), vol. II (Canberra : Australian War Memorial, 1953).
  • Lionel Wigmore, The Japanese Thrust, Australia in the War of 1939-1945, Series 1 (Army), vol. IV (Canberra : Australian War Memorial, 1957).

Check with your local library for availability of these books.

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