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  Makan – No. 11
1st October, 1947

Patron: Brig. F.G. Galleghan, D.S.O., O.B.E., E.D.
Hon. President: J.H. Cooper, Esq.,
Hon. Secretary: S.F. Arneil, Esq.
Hon. Treasurer: R.E. Ellis, Esq.

Vice Presidents: N. McG. Johnston E.D. and E.E. Heckendorf
Committee: D.C. Blanshard, `W.’ Clayton, R.L. Friend, A.K. Thorburn

Dear Dig,

You remember ‘Bill’ Rooke, the Lieut. of ours who was always one step ahead of the Nips on the drome party and who caused them loss of face, to the delight of the lads?  Well he always appeared to me to be a chap who didn't care whether the cow calved or broke its neck and on recent news he still acts in the same fashion.

When we returned home Bill went back to C.O.R. where he had been for thirteen years and stuck it out for about nine months, then he resigned and shot off to Parkes to buy a farm.  He wrote me that it was a beaut little farm, which he intended to make into a model block complete with all latest mod cons.  It was to be one of those farms of which the natives talked in awe and the wheat was to grow thick and heavy, and in his great enthusiasm Bill worked like a nigger and invested so much dough that the local machinery agents retired on the commission they made on his purchases. Two bumper crops and Bill would have been a bidder for Shannon, but it just didn't rain.  He ruined his eyesight looking at the sky, wore his knees out with prayer, and lost his voice swearing, but he couldn't even rake up a damp breeze.  He's down the South Coast now as the No 1 boy if of the very select Gentleman's Club, the job carries a like luxurious little flat and a lot more money than farming so Bill is as happy as the sand boy again, and if the Club is burned down he’ll find another job anyway.

Tommy Williamson has a different type of job; he works in the mines at Newcastle, and leads the blind pit pony along the tunnels.  He writes that it is restful and congenial and takes him back to the times when he used to creep into the jail via the drain with a pack full of sweet bucks.  He is quite attached to little horse which he calls “Amaranthus” and although his love for animals grows daily, I think it rather unkind of my friend Sammy Hall to allege that one afternoon when he dropped into Tommy’s pub at Belmont, a very solemn, top hatted Elephant walked up to the bar and asked "Has Mr Williamson arrived yet?".  Of course Tommy does drink his share.

Lennie Ryan and Stan Lugton had rejoined the army and they play in the Eastern Command Band. Happy Stokes is also in the army once more and of course Capt. Peach is still there.

Aub Lansdowne, one time Quartermaster  is still in that trade and works in a stores job on Garden Island.

"Eight to a table" is having a lot of trouble with his gardening lately.  In his careful old way he is trying to grow flowers without water.  It is such as save on the water rates, he says.

Frank Hannan is an estate agent in Wollongong and Bully Cody has been seen down there, looking very fit and well.

Jack Elphick is at present stationed at the Haymarket branch of the Bank of New South Wales.

Ken Bush of B Coy, later of Japan Force is working in a Soft Goods store in Quirindi.

Congratulations to Arthur Overett on the arrival of a baby daughter, to Joe Roxburgh on his recent wedding, and to Peter Mason, a baby daughter.

Clem Jobson is leading a very manly life.  He's fishing for a living at Crowdy Heads, not the tiddler stuff but the real McKoy - lobsters, the deep sea schnapper and the like.  He writes that it is a good trade and is doing fairly well.

Des Gee sent to me a magazine article showing a lot of photographs of Changi jail in its present state.  All the huts have gone from without the walls and there are many hundreds of Japs, awaiting to be tried as war criminals, imprisoned inside.

No distinction of Japanese rank is recognised by the British guards and each inmate from the General who was GOC operations in Malaya down to the newest private wear a pair of numbered shorts, washed by themselves.

They paddle around in bare feet, that's getting back to their natural state and they enjoy a degree of comfort which was not dreamed of by us. They work reasonable hours have a great deal of leisure, enjoy plain satisfying meals and receive regular mail from home.

In during a trial, each criminal is allowed to wear his military uniform complete with ribbons and so on.  Witnesses have been brought from all over the peninsula and lots of Nips have been brought back from Japan itself even after they have been discharged from the army.

One Chinese, brought face-to-face with the Jap who thrust his child into a fire, before his own eyes, attempted to commit murder on the spot.  The trials in Singapore are very thorough but very speedy and all red tape has been eliminated as far as possible.

I have had the pleasure inspecting a long list of convictions and they have missed out on only a few.

All the Japs who were left in Burma and Thailand, when war finished, have been sought out and punished.

"F" Force war criminals were among the first to be tried and those two animals Toyama and Fucuda and the Jap in charge of Nikki Nikki were speedily executed.

Here are a few of the names, lots of them known to "A" Force boys.

S/M Ejima - executed at Kanburi for the murder of Sgt. Handley

Watanabe Sekicki – life imprisonment for the same crime

S/M Ada – the M.O. at Chunkai – death for inhuman treatment of the sick.

L/Cpl Osuki – Executed at Tarso for the brutal death of Sgt. Hilton

W/O Hiramatsu – Executed at Kinsayoh for brutality against P.O.W.

A Korean – known as Bombay Duck – fifteen years

S/M Osaka and Pte. Otsuki – both executed for the murder of an Australian, Pte. Derkin

Col. Nakamura – He was G.O.C. – P.O.W. for 43-44 and among other things was responsible for the Barrack Square incident - he had a lot of brushes with the old man – executed.

Col. Nagatoma – G.O.C. No. 3 Branch P.O.W. Burma – executed. This was the creature who stated that "this Railway will be built even over the bodies of prisoners"

There were many more but one name did catch my eye. It was of the "Hank the Yank" the Jap who was with our lads at Thomson Road and he made such a lot of money with them in the petrol racket.  He was repatriated home for the excellent work he did for the allies, after the end of the war.

Now the Smoko.  The tentative date is Friday, 5th December at Sargents, Market Street.

The committee has been unable to find suitable accommodation for a Saturday night and the Friday was accepted as the next best bet.

This is only an advance notice, of course, but you are urged to make formal application to your wives now, for that night off and the committee are trying to arrange a first-class night with much beer, a little to eat (1 lb. of biscuits have been awarded) and above all, plenty of room to move about.

That's all for this month, Gents!

Stan Arneil

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