Research & Articles by Lt. Col. Peter Winstanley OAM RFD (Retired), JP
Research, Interviews and Articles about the Prisoners Of War of the Japanese who built the Burma to Thailand railway during world war two. Focusing on the doctors and medical staff among the prisoners. Also organised trips to Thailand twice a year.
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Khun Nid

On 29 February 2008 when near Non Pladuc, I had the opportunity and privilege of interviewing Khun Nid, who was a Siamese national employed by the Japanese in 1942. He was a very modest man, who was quite proficient in speaking English, possibly a result of working with the British POWs. He had a clear recollection of the arrival of the first POWs to work on the Burma Thailand Railway at Non Pladuc where he said workshops were built. He also recalled there being Dutch POWs, but, did not recall any Australian POWs. A possible explanation, would be that he identified Australians along with the British.

Khun Nid

He was in charge of a work party of natives on Siam and was responsible for selecting them and received 1 Baht per day pay plus 2 meals. The Japs treated them reasonably and they worked 7 days per week with few breaks.

He recalled the bombing raids on Non Pladuc and also remembered there being bunkers there. It could be that he recalled the slit trenches which the Japanese finally allowed the POWs to dig. But, only after there had been many fatalities and injured amongst the POWs.

He remembered the Japanese guards punishing the native labourers by making them carry sand bags. He worked for the Japanese for around 3 years.

Post war he became a farmer and married a lady who came from Nakhon Pathom about 4 or 5 years after the war ended.

They live in a spacious home in the vicinity of Non Pladuc. Near their home are the foundations of some of the workshops which were built in 1942. His wife took us and showed us the foundations. She also showed us some items which were said to be from the infamous Burma Thailand Railway. These included a two man cross-cut saw (see picture below of Peter Winstanley and Khun Nid's wife) and pieces of concrete (also see below) which looked as though they could have been the remains of concrete sleepers brought from Malaya. The pieces of concrete bore the marking "F.M.S.R. 1938". Their home is in the vicinity of a POW cemetery and as a token of respect they have placed a small temple in the area.

Two man cross-cut saw
Railway sleeper F.M.S.R. 1938

It was a privilege to speak with Khun Nid and his wife.

Interviewer - Lt Col (Retired) Peter Winstanley OAM RFD JP

Photographer - Major Beverley Poor RFD

Facilitators - Khun Vivatchai Wongsuvat, Pacific Horizon Travel, Bangkok March 2008
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