- Contributed by
- Dunstable Town Centre
- People in story:
- Lt Geoffrey Ernest Moore R.A.S.C
- Location of story:
- Far East
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 09 September 2005
Lt. Geoffrey Ernest Moore R A S C
This story was submitted to the People's War site by the Dunstable At War Team on behalf of the author and has been added to the site with his/her permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions
This is a typed version of a 4 page pencil record kept by Lt G Moore:
13.11.1941 - Left Gourock. Heavy weather N. Atlantic. Arrive Durban approx 20.12.41. Magnificent hospitality. Taken to P Maritzberg and Howick Falls, valley of 1000 hills. Left 24.12.41 after getting extra day due to anchor breaking away. Went ashore with Tony and had difficulty getting back in docks. Durban very attractive town. Fuelled at Maldives coral reefs. Air raid entering Singapore. Smell of Chinese quarters. Confusion and lack of information during campaign. “All aircraft are hostile”. No concentration put down on Jap positions in Johore. Fires everywhere. No water. Hospitals crowded out. Civilians in bad way.
15.02.1942 - Tremendous disappointment on 15th. Singapore in bad state, bodies everywhere. On 16th stopped and searched by 2 Nips. Furious temper. Ordered to march to Changi. Took all men and food on trucks. Just as well as there were no rations. All VERY hungry. Had to draw well water. Baths once a week. Chinese shot. Started garden. Hospital supplies taken by Nips. Seldom saw Nips. Church services as normal. Concerts in due course, very good ones too. Saturday evening concerts at D block overlooking Straits and Fairy Point. Football, little cricket. Hunger appalling. Plain fried rice ball great treat. Black market flourished, immense profits made. Working parties sent into Singapore. Food better there. Chaps used to try to pinch stuff. Also used to flog anything they could lay their hands on. Petrol, tyres, etc. Incident of milk …….episode. Wonderful singing. Morale tremendous. 3 or 4 black sheep who signed. Amazing trek to and fro. 6.10.1942 — Ration parties in Changi Flyer.
26.10.1942 — Up Country - 32 to truck. Terrible conditions. Hot in day, cold at night. Diarrhoea. 10 hard boiled eggs. Shocking state of Bampong camp. “Electric lights, running water!!” Lorry to Kanburi. Barge to Karyn. 50 to bays. ½ pomets. 8 bananas for 4 days. “All men push”. Rain. Floods. Karyn built camp appalling. Rice and wee bit of pumpkin. Men up hill every day. Soon 100 sick out of 600.
Dec 1942 - Malaria very bad. Got malaria and jaundice in Dec. Blackouts. Cold intense at nights. Mist over river till 4. Wore all clothes but still shivered at nights. Huge fires good thing. Day temp in shade — 85, in sun 110. Nights 45. Nips very anti. Bashings up frequent. Mad Mongrel. Karyn Kid. Fit for Christmas day. Pig for 600 men. Peanut toffee gone bad. Up hill camp for week in Jan. Still very weak from malaria.
March 1943 — Fish caught in river. Eggs from Thais. Little else. Wood and water fatigues. Dysentery. Malaria rife. Work to dark. 5 sick men allowed for sanitation for 1000! No roof to cookhouse. Many of us in huts or own shacks. Food dreadful. Sick forced to work Up at dark, get breakfast and haversack rations, parade for work, go out, home at 8, roll call, supper, wash if not too tired, bed. Diarrhoea very bad, but weaker, weaker.
17.5.1943 — Couldn’t step over tree truck. Nips very anti officers. May 7th — so ill was taken off work, lucky to be sent to Tarsoe with 50 others by truck. Karyn got worse and worse. 5 and 6 died daily. 60 officers died and about 350 men in 4 months. Often went to sleep while frying little whitebait for following lunch. 120 yards to latrine. Mud everywhere. Stream 6 inches by 3 foot for Nip C’house, our C’house and washing. Best day working with elephants. Drivers anti. Heat in day terrific. No shade. Nip promises never kept. Their treatment of sick appalling. Beatings up daily. Treat their own sick same way. No news. No letters. No food. No drugs. Morale very low — never a smile or joke. Except for F H force. Karyn worst camp on river. Hell Fire Corner. Saigon force came up — very fit. Jack’s crowd very fit. Appalled at poor state of men but within 2 months both had lost 1/5 of men. Couldn’t eat for 5 weeks. Food much better but attitude of Tarson officers very poor indeed. Rats, lice and bugs appalling. Sweeps on whether people would live. Malaria again and bronchitis. Moved into new hospital. Ulcers frightful, no dressings, seven died. Over 200 lost legs. Smell appalling. Fellows from up county absolute skeletons. Some with one sack. No bedding.
June 1943 — Dunlop improved cleanliness of camp. Letters in June. Had pellagra. Get small ulcers in hands. Bathing in river good. View along river very nice. Letters great event. Get a spot of news from time to time. Jerry H and other officers beaten to death at Kanburi for working wireless.
Dec 1943 — Heard good reports of Chungkai. Had good Christmas day 1943. Reasonable food, good pantomime. Communication and services very good. Casualties around hospital and camp. Lectures and talks very popular. In January Nips stopped all talks and entertainment. For some time past not allowed to sing The King or use flag for funerals.
March/April 1944 — Deaths still 2 or 3 a day. March and April slept in open — very nice too, good crowd and conversation. Food simply dreadful. April evacuated to Kilon Paton — new hospital camp. Good camp built by Thais. Food better. Quite comfortable. American Red Cross supplies came in. One parcel to 10! (This and some S African in 1942 was the only stuff apart from little Thai Red Cross that we received before August 15th 1945). Also got some drugs. Camp flooded in rains. Duck stocks reduced by 100 in a week. Canteen good. Food deteriorated. Steadily improved.
September 1944 — Took over Messing Officer in Sept 1944. Rations not good. Made ourselves chairs and had my bed and so were quite comfortable. Night raids particularly one on Nong Pladuk clearly visible.
December 1944 - Very heavy raids heard on Bangkok. Bob P good chap — took 2 services, conducted choir, carols, etc. Felt very queer Christmas Eve. Went round carolling. Got pleurisy. All right after few weeks. Newspaper news from time to time. Racketeers over fence. Big round up. Bunds and fences built.
April 1945 — Constant uncertainty of staying or going. Nip doctors inspections April 45. Moved to Kanburi., carrying John. Very small camp. Miserable Nip Commander. Dryer incident. Pump house incident. Confined to huts. No reading, laughing, talking, acting, etc — 10 days. Dumb Crambo great success. Stopped due to laughing. Work on fence and bund. Catching fish. Food quite good. Canteen reasonable. Wireless news service. Chaps that worked it deserve decorating.
July 1945 — Talk of move to new camp. Advance party left in July. Concerts allowed but no acting. Eric’s 2 classical concerts very good.
August 1945 - Left Kanburi, 30 to a truck. Door closed. Heat terrible. Eventually allowed on top. Arrived in Bangkok on top of truck. Then barge journey, 2 nights rest and on again — 36 to a truck. Tremendous damage in Bangkok. On top again. Then unloaded train and started out on a 48 kilometre march after a ¼ hour rest. Rained heavily. Had to help with sick peoples kit, then with stretcher case. Then rained again. Kit weighed twice as much. Got in, in 22 ½ hours.
15.8.1945 — Work in new camp very heavy. Worked 8.15 am till 7.30 pm. Some jobs walk 25 kilos carrying bamboo. Food good. Aug 16th Karyns started boozing and dropping hints. Drunken Nip said “War finished.”
16.8.1945 — Thais said the same. Nothing official. On 17th announced officially. Thanksgiving service in evening, practically whole camp there. Later singing and National Anthems. First time we had been able to sing them for years. Nips issue Red Cross food, small amount and drugs enough to have saved 100’s of lives 2 years before. Food had been in for over 2 years. Nips must have eaten rest. Accumulator taken from Nip truck to work wireless. Some Nips try to get good conduct chits. Pony race meeting. Sent officers to O.R’s camps. O.R’s come to us. Red Cross clothing issued. Food very bad for few days till Lt. Col. C takes over. Food then very good — meat plentiful.
29.8.1945 —American comes in who has been in Siam 2 months on intelligence work. Promises to radio out for supplies this evening. One of our aircraft came over other day and acknowledged us but no supplies dropped. Letter from lady internees, Bangkok. Climbed 700ft hill behind camp. Nothing but paddy fields.
The record ends here. The original is in the possession of Lt Geoffrey Moore’s widow, Mrs Christine Moore.
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