British ex-POW in Japanese camp 'disgusted' by guard demands for compensation

“I want to ask that our honour be restored very soon,” Lee said.

Lee complained that while former servicemen convicted of war crimes receive
monthly pensions, non-Japanese nationals receive a smaller amount.

“It’s a tough situation and it’s continuing,” Lee said. “I
would like to ask for support.”

But Arthur Lane, who was a bugler with the Manchester Regiment and captured at
the fall of Singapore in February 1942, says the troops from Japan’s
colonies were the most vicious abusers of prisoners.

An emaciated British POW in a Japanese Camp

“The Japanese guards were bad, but the Koreans and the Formosans were the
worst,” he told The Telegraph from his home in Stockport.

“These were men who the Japanese looked down on as colonials, so they
needed to show they were as good as the Japanese,” he said. “And
they had no-one else to take it out on other than us POWs.”

Now 94, Lane was sent to work on the “Death Railway,” which was
designed to run from Thailand to the Indian border and to serve as the
Japanese invasion route. An estimated 12,400 Allied POWs and some 90,000
Asian labourers died during the construction of the 258-mile track.

“After my capture, I witnessed many atrocities – murders, executions,
beatings and instances of sadistic torture – and I was on the receiving end
myself on a number of occasions,” he said.

“I was also one of a handful of buglers in the camps and played my bugle
at thousands of burials for the victims of the ‘sons of heaven’,” he

“That’s why I have no sympathy for this group’s claims,” he added. “These
men volunteered and they all knew exactly what they were doing. And they
mistreated us because they wanted to please their masters and knew they
could get away with it.

“They joined up for kicks, when Japan was winning the war, and they took
advantage of that for their own enjoyment,” Lane said.

“They won’t get an apology or compensation from the Japanese government,”
he added. “I think a more fitting result would be to have then taken
out and whipped for what they did to us.”

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British ex-POW in Japanese camp 'disgusted' by guard demands for compensation
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