"F" Force



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POW | Surrender - 1942 | Singapore - from Feb.1942 | Burma -Thailand Railway | "A" Force | "B" Force | "C" Force | "D" Force | "E" Force | "F" Force | "G" Force | "H" Force | "J" Force | Singapore - from March, 1945 | Surrender - 1945

Departed Singapore 23/4/1943; arrived Shimo Sonkurai 18/5/1943

Returned to Changi, 17/12/1943

"F" Force was a working party of prisoners of war of the Japanese. It consisted of 7,000 men, of which 3,662 were Australians, the others British. The purpose of this working party was to assist in the construction of the Burma/Thailand Railway linking Bangkok with Rangoon. The force was formed at Changi and the first of thirteen trains left Singapore on April 18, 1943. Each train contained approximately 600 men crowded into rice trucks, 28 men to each truck. The last train departed on April 26, 1943. Each train took five days to make the journey, Singapore to Bam Pong, Thailand. 

Most of the 2/30th travelled in Train 5, which departed Singapore on 23/4/1943. After arrival at Bam Pong, they were then marched 330km to various camps north. The men from Train 5 arrived in Shimo Sonkurai on 18/5/1943. The main camp for the Australians was Shimo Sonkurai (No 1 Camp) and Changaraya (No 5 Camp).  These camps were located in the centre of the cholera belt. Consequently the Australians were to lose 1,060 men from various diseases, mainly cholera, in the period April to November 1943.

In mid November 1943 "F" Force was transferred south by train, to Kan Buri Hospital Camp, about 80 km from Bangkok.

Most of the the members of "F" Force arrived back in Changi on 17/12/1943.

(Source: Wigmore, Lionel, The Japanese Thrust (Australian War Memorial, Canberra. 1968), and NX68238 - DESMET, Stanley Job (Bill), Pte. - BHQ Band 22/4/2006; NAA - B883, NX45299)

Other pages

Further reading

  • Arneil, Stan, One Man's War (Stan Arneil, 1980)

  • Wall, Don, Heroes of F Force (Don Wall, Mona Vale, NSW. 1993)

Last updated 24/08/2022