Day 1 - we reported from our first destination in Thailand, our first stop was the Thailand/Burma 'death railway.'
- We want to know if any of your relatives were Prisioners of War, what's their story? Tell us what you know about them?
- Do you have any question's for us as we visit the 'death railway, what would you like us to find out?
Here is what we know about the 'death railway':
During the WW2 supplies needed to be sent from Japan into South East Asia, Japan was growing very fast and it meant that goods needed to be sent to the Japanese armed forces who were fighting in Burma.
The train route was planned through mountainous country and dense jungle, in a region with one of the most harsh climates in the world.
The 258 mile rail line was constructed at the same time from both ends.
Originally, the Japanese had intended to use only Asian slave labour to build the railway. The Japanese used Prisoners of war to build the railway,
Out of the 270,000 civilians from Thailand, Malaya, Burma and the Dutch East Indies, who worked on the construction of the 'death railway', about 100,000 died!!
The conditions were dreadful:
- Rations were at starvation level
- Accommodation was basic
- Poor sanitation.
- The food was often unfit for human consumption.
- Prisoners were expected to labour with primitive tools for long hours.
- Few escaped diseases – including dysentery, malaria, beriberi and cholera - which they often died from.
We have reported and witnessed the railway, seen the cemeteries of the soldiers that died building the railway, spoke to local Thai people about the railway - What do you think of our first film?
We have also been sending back pictures from our mobile phones, making video documentaries and we want to know what else you would like us to find out for you…
Were any of your relatives prisoners of war - tell us a bit about them, what do you know about their stories?