"A" Force
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Departure Dates:-

May 14th 1942

Work Party Name:-

“A” Force

Commander:-

Brigadier A.L Varley

Journey:-

Sea

From Camps:-

Changi

 

Then

 

Victoria Point, Tavoy and Mergui Airfields in Burma

To:-

Moulmein

 

Consisted of:-

British

Australian

Non-Dutch

Dutch

Total

 

3000

 

 

3000

 

Transport:-

 

Toyohashi Maru

With 2000 Pows sailed via Belawan Deli, Medan, Nth Sumatra. In convoy with Celebes Maru. Joined a convoy including England Maru and Kyokusei Maru on the way to Burma.

Celebes Maru

With 1000 PoWs sailed via Belawan Deli, Medan, Nth Sumatra and Celebes Maru picked up 350 IJA Troops. In convoy with Toyohashi Maru. Joined a convoy including England Maru and Kyokusei Maru on the way to Burma.

 

Remarks:-

These men were put to work on the airfields in Burma at Victoria Point, Tavoy and Mergui. At the end of September the airfield work was finished and “A” force was moved by ship to Moulmein and then by road to Thanbyuzayat. These were the first working parties on the Death Railway in Burma and consisted of:

Green Force:- Under Major Green of the 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion. This force started work on the Railway on the 1st October 1943, and were the first of No 3 Group to work on the Railway

Ramsay Force:- Arrived at the 26 Kilo Camp 20th December 1942 on the 18th March 1943 they moved to the 75 Kilo Camp, then to 105 Kilo Camp on the 22 May 1943 where they were amalgamated with Black & Green Forces.                            

Anderson Force:- Made up into Kumis of 50 men each, No 37 to 51, 750 men Kumi 37 officers Kumi, 38 Warrant Officers Sergeants, arrived in Thanbyuzayat on the 5th October 1942. On 10th October only 710 marched to the first camp which was the 18-kilo camp ALEPAUK (Hlepauk) On the 3rd January 1943 this force moved to the 35-kilo camp Tanyin to join Williams Force, later became No 1 Mobile Force.

British Sumatra Battalion:- 498 British 2 Australians from Sumatra under Capt D.P. Apthorp, including Australian surgeon Colonel Coates worked at the 18-kilo camp then joined the Americans under Capt Fiztsimmons, these were the only British prisoners working on the Burma end of the railway.

 


 

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anbird1

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