The War: War Prisoners

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A group of Australians embarked on the Rokyo Maru ; the Kachidiko Maru , carrying some 1, British prisoners of war, was also in the convoy. Those picked up by the Japanese were sent to the Kawasaki group of factories, and Moji and Sakata prison camps. In only one party of Australians reached Japan from Singapore. This party of Australians arrived at Moji on 15 January and were then sent to separate destinations. Black Force, under Brigadier A. Blackburn 7th Division , became prisoners of the Japanese after Java fell on 9 March Leggatt, which was a component of Sparrow Force were transferred to Java and Singapore, and thence to Thailand, Japan and elsewhere.

Bandung camp, under Lieutenant Colonel E. In October this group and others were moved to Makasura, near Batavia. Bicycle Camp, Batavia. Brigadier A. Blackburn was the senior officer there. On 11 October , a group of Australians under Major L. Robertson embarked for an unknown destination it was A Force in Burma. Some six Java parties moved through Changi on their way to join other forces. Dunlop was commander of the sixth Java party. Carr and attached units were sent to New Britain as Lark Force to protect airfields at Lakunai and Vunakanau and seaplane anchorage.

In October Colonel J. Scanlan took over the HQ New Guinea area. Some troops escaped, but 1, Australians were captured on New Britain. Troops from New Ireland who were taken prisoner were sent to Rabaul. In June and July an attempt was made to transfer the Australians to Japan in two drafts. One draft, containing about 60 officers and 19 Australian women including 6 Army nurses , arrived safely it left Rabaul on 6 July under Colonel Scanlan and reached Yokohama on the 15 July. There were no survivors among the prisoners.

The Senior Officers' Party, made up of officers, engineers and technicians, left Singapore on 16 August The party included Major General C. Callaghan and 13 Australian senior officers. They were taken to Takao, Karenko, and other prison camps on Formosa, where they stayed until November when they were taken to Mukden, in Manchuria, via Japan. The engineers and technicians stayed at Takao until November , when they were shipped to Moji and imprisoned at Yokohama. The second group, a working party including 6 Australian officers and 90 men, was taken first to Takao, and then to Fusan and Seoul in Korea.

In September one Australian officer and 50 men were transferred to Konan, also in Korea. Changi was the main prisoner-of-war camp in Singapore. Some 14, Australians captured at the fall of Singapore were imprisoned there as drafts were sent away, the numbers at Changi declined, then after the completion of the Burma-Thailand Railway, numbers rose again. Lieutenant Colonel F. Many work forces were assembled in Changi before being sent to the Burma-Thailand Railway and other work camps. It was also used as a staging camp for those captured elsewhere.

Prisoners were used on heavy labouring works in and around Singapore. Tasks included road-building, freight-moving, mine removal and work in chemical factories. These troops suffered from diseases such as beriberi, malaria, and dysentery. The main prisoner-of-war camp on Sumatra was at Palembang. In about 60 Australians were imprisoned there, but by the end of the war there were On 12 February just before the capitulation at Singapore 65 Australian nurses embarked on the Vyner Brooke.

On 14 February the Vyner Brooke was sunk just off Banka Island; 22 nurses made it to land but were shot by Japanese soldiers. The only nurse to survive was Sister Vivian Bullwinkel; after ten days of freedom she was captured and imprisoned at Muntok. At the end of the war, only 24 nurses returned to Australia, the rest having died in captivity. General information about Australian prisoners of the Japanese. Burma A Force, 3,strong and commanded by Brigadier A. Thailand The majority of Australian prisoners from Changi and Java were sent to Thailand to assist in the building of the railway.

The fitness of prisoners of war for work shall be periodically verified by medical examinations at least once a month. The examinations shall have particular regard to the nature of the work which prisoners of war are required to do. If any prisoner of war considers himself incapable of working, he shall be permitted to appear before the medical authorities of his camp. Physicians or surgeons may recommend that the prisoners who are, in their opinion, unfit for work, be exempted therefrom. The organization and administration of labour detachments shall be similar to those of prisoner of war camps.

Every labour detachment shall remain under the control of and administratively part of a prisoner of war camp. The military authorities and the commander of the said camp shall be responsible, under the direction of their government, for the observance of the provisions of the present Convention in labour detachments.

The camp commander shall keep an up-to-date record of the labour detachments dependent on his camp, and shall communicate it to the delegates of the Protecting Power, of the International Committee of the Red Cross, or of other agencies giving relief to prisoners of war, who may visit the camp.

The treatment of prisoners of war who work for private persons, even if the latter are responsible for guarding and protecting them, shall not be inferior to that which is provided for by the present Convention. The Detaining Power, the military authorities and the commander of the camp to which such prisoners belong shall be entirely responsible for the maintenance, care, treatment, and payment of the working pay of such prisoners of war.

Such prisoners of war shall have the right to remain in communication with the prisoners' representatives in the camps on which they depend. Upon the outbreak of hostilities, and pending an arrangement on this matter with the Protecting Power, the Detaining Power may determine the maximum amount of money in cash or in any similar form, that prisoners may have in their possession.

Any amount in excess, which was properly in their possession and which has been taken or withheld from them, shall be placed to their account, together with any monies deposited by them, and shall not be converted into any other currency without their consent. If prisoners of war are permitted to purchase services or commodities outside the camp against payment in cash, such payments shall be made by the prisoner himself or by the camp administration who will charge them to the accounts of the prisoners concerned.

The Detaining Power will establish the necessary rules in this respect. Cash which was taken from prisoners of war, in accordance with Article 18, at the time of their capture, and which is in the currency of the Detaining Power, shall be placed to their separate accounts, in accordance with the provisions of Article 64 of the present Section.

The amounts, in the currency of the Detaining Power, due to the conversion of sums in other currencies that are taken from the prisoners of war at the same time, shall also be credited to their separate accounts. The Detaining Power shall grant all prisoners of war a monthly advance of pay, the amount of which shall be fixed by conversion, into the currency of the said Power, of the following amounts:.

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Category II: Sergeants and other non-commissioned officers, or prisoners of equivalent rank: twelve Swiss francs. Category III: Warrant officers and commissioned officers below the rank of major or prisoners of equivalent rank: fifty Swiss francs. Category IV: Majors, lieutenant-colonels, colonels or prisoners of equivalent rank: sixty Swiss francs. However, the Parties to the conflict concerned may by special agreement modify the amount of advances of pay due to prisoners of the preceding categories. Furthermore, if the amounts indicated in the first paragraph above would be unduly high compared with the pay of the Detaining Power's armed forces or would, for any reason, seriously embarrass the Detaining Power, then, pending the conclusion of a special agreement with the Power on which the prisoners depend to vary the amounts indicated above, the Detaining Power:.

The Detaining Power shall accept for distribution as supplementary pay to prisoners of war sums which the Power on which the prisoners depend may forward to them, on condition that the sums to be paid shall be the same for each prisoner of the same category, shall be payable to all prisoners of that category depending on that Power, and shall be placed in their separate accounts, at the earliest opportunity, in accordance with the provisions of Article Such supplementary pay shall not relieve the Detaining Power of any obligation under this Convention.

Prisoners of war shall be paid a fair working rate of pay by the detaining authorities direct. The rate shall be fixed by the said authorities, but shall at no time be less than one-fourth of one Swiss franc for a full working day. The Detaining Power shall inform prisoners of war, as well as the Power on which they depend, through the intermediary of the Protecting Power, of the rate of daily working pay that it has fixed.

Working pay shall likewise be paid by the detaining authorities to prisoners of war permanently detailed to duties or to a skilled or semi-skilled occupation in connection with the administration, installation or maintenance of camps, and to the prisoners who are required to carry out spiritual or medical duties on behalf of their comrades. The working pay of the prisoners' representative, of his advisers, if any, and of his assistants, shall be paid out of the fund maintained by canteen profits. The scale of this working pay shall be fixed by the prisoners' representative and approved by the camp commander.

If there is no such fund, the detaining authorities shall pay these prisoners a fair working rate of pay. Prisoners of war shall be permitted to receive remittances of money addressed to them individually or collectively. Every prisoner of war shall have at his disposal the credit balance of his account as provided for in the following Article, within the limits fixed by the Detaining Power, which shall make such payments as are requested.

Prisoners of War Betrayed

Subject to financial or monetary restrictions which the Detaining Power regards as essential, prisoners of war may also have payments made abroad. In this case payments addressed by prisoners of war to dependants shall be given priority. In any event, and subject to the consent of the Power on which they depend, prisoners may have payments made in their own country, as follows: the Detaining Power shall send to the aforesaid Power through the Protecting Power a notification giving all the necessary particulars concerning the prisoners of war, the beneficiaries of the payments, and the amount of the sums to be paid, expressed in the Detaining Power's currency.

The said notification shall be signed by the prisoners and countersigned by the camp commander. The Detaining Power shall debit the prisoners' account by a corresponding amount; the sums thus debited shall be placed by it to the credit of the Power on which the prisoners depend. To apply the foregoing provisions, the Detaining Power may usefully consult the Model Regulations in Annex V of the present Convention.

The Detaining Power shall hold an account for each prisoner of war, showing at least the following:. The amounts due to the prisoner or received by him as advances of pay, as working pay or derived from any other source; the sums in the currency of the Detaining Power which were taken from him; the sums taken from him and converted at his request into the currency of the said Power.

The payments made to the prisoner in cash, or in any other similar form; the payments made on his behalf and at his request; the sums transferred under Article 63, third paragraph. Every item entered in the account of a prisoner of war shall be countersigned or initialled by him, or by the prisoners' representative acting on his behalf. Prisoners of war shall at all times be afforded reasonable facilities for consulting and obtaining copies of their accounts, which may likewise be inspected by the representatives of the Protecting Powers at the time of visits to the camp.

When prisoners of war are transferred from one camp to another, their personal accounts will follow them. In case of transfer from one Detaining Power to another, the monies which are their property and are not in the currency of the Detaining Power will follow them. They shall be given certificates for any other monies standing to the credit of their accounts.

The Parties to the conflict concerned may agree to notify to each other at specific intervals through the Protecting Power, the amount of the accounts of the prisoners of war. On the termination of captivity, through the release of a prisoner of war or his repatriation, the Detaining Power shall give him a statement, signed by an authorized officer of that Power, showing the credit balance then due to him.

The Detaining Power shall also send through the Protecting Power to the government upon which the prisoner of war depends, lists giving all appropriate particulars of all prisoners of war whose captivity has been terminated by repatriation, release, escape, death or any other means, and showing the amount of their credit balances. Such lists shall be certified on each sheet by an authorized representative of the Detaining Power.

Any of the above provisions of this Article may be varied by mutual agreement between any two Parties to the conflict. The Power on which the prisoner of war depends shall be responsible for settling with him any credit balance due to him from the Detaining Power on the termination of his captivity.

Advances of pay, issued to prisoners of war in conformity with Article 60, shall be considered as made on behalf of the Power on which they depend. Such advances of pay, as well as all payments made by the said Power under Article 63, third paragraph, and Article 68, shall form the subject of arrangements between the Powers concerned, at the close of hostilities.

Any claim by a prisoner of war for compensation in respect of any injury or other disability arising out of work shall be referred to the Power on which he depends, through the Protecting Power. In accordance with Article 54, the Detaining Power will, in all cases, provide the prisoner of war concerned with a statement showing the nature of the injury or disability, the circumstances in which it arose and particulars of medical or hospital treatment given for it. This statement will be signed by a responsible officer of the Detaining Power and the medical particulars certified by a medical officer.

Any claim by a prisoner of war for compensation in respect of personal effects, monies or valuables impounded by the Detaining Power under Article 18 and not forthcoming on his repatriation, or in respect of loss alleged to be due to the fault of the Detaining Power or any of its servants, shall likewise be referred to the Power on which he depends. Nevertheless, any such personal effects required for use by the prisoners of war whilst in captivity shall be replaced at the expense of the Detaining Power.

The Detaining Power will, in all cases, provide the prisoner of war with a statement, signed by a responsible officer, showing all available information regarding the reasons why such effects, monies or valuables have not been restored to him. A copy of this statement will be forwarded to the Power on which he depends through the Central Prisoners of War Agency provided for in Article Immediately upon prisoners of war falling into its power, the Detaining Power shall inform them and the Powers on which they depend, through the Protecting Power, of the measures taken to carry out the provisions of the present Section.

They shall likewise inform the parties concerned of any subsequent modifications of such measures. Immediately upon capture, or not more than one week after arrival at a camp, even if it is a transit camp, likewise in case of sickness or transfer to hospital or another camp, every prisoner of war shall be enabled to write direct to his family, on the one hand, and to the Central Prisoners of War Agency provided for in Article , on the other hand, a card similar, if possible, to the model annexed to the present Convention, informing his relatives of his capture, address and state of health.

The said cards shall be forwarded as rapidly as possible and may not be delayed in any manner. Prisoners of war shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards. If the Detaining Power deems it necessary to limit the number of letters and cards sent by each prisoner of war, the said number shall not be less than two letters and four cards monthly, exclusive of the capture cards provided for in Article 70, and conforming as closely as possible to the models annexed to the present Convention.

Further limitations may be imposed only if the Protecting Power is satisfied that it would be in the interests of the prisoners of war concerned to do so owing to difficulties of translation caused by the Detaining Power's inability to find sufficient qualified linguists to carry out the necessary censorship.

If limitations must be placed on the correspondence addressed to prisoners of war, they may be ordered only by the Power on which the prisoners depend, possibly at the request of the Detaining Power. Such letters and cards must be conveyed by the most rapid method at the disposal of the Detaining Power; they may not be delayed or retained for disciplinary reasons. Prisoners of war who have been without news for a long period, or who are unable to receive news from their next of kin or to give them news by the ordinary postal route, as well as those who are at a great distance from their s, shall be permitted to send telegrams, the fees being charged against the prisoners of war's accounts with the Detaining Power or paid in the currency at their disposal.

They shall likewise benefit by this measure in cases of urgency. As a general rule, the correspondence of prisoners of war shall be written in their native language. The Parties to the conflict may allow correspondence in other languages. Sacks containing prisoner of war mail must be securely sealed and labelled so as clearly to indicate their contents, and must be addressed to offices of destination. The core international human rights instruments. Universal human rights instruments. The International Bill of Human Rights. Turn on more accessible mode. Turn off more accessible mode.

Article 2 In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them. Article 3 In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions: 1.

Prisoners of War ยท George Washington's Mount Vernon

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons: a Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; b Taking of hostages; c Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment; d The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for. Article 4 A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy: 1. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions: a That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; b That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; c That of carrying arms openly; d That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

The following shall likewise be treated as prisoners of war under the present Convention: 1. Article 5 The present Convention shall apply to the persons referred to in Article 4 from the time they fall into the power of the enemy and until their final release and repatriation. Article 6 In addition to the agreements expressly provided for in Articles 10, 23, 28, 33, 60, 65, 66, 67, 72, 73, 75, , , , , and , the High Contracting Parties may conclude other special agreements for all matters concerning which they may deem it suitable to make separate provision.

Article 7 Prisoners of war may in no circumstances renounce in part or in entirety the rights secured to them by the present Convention, and by the special agreements referred to in the foregoing Article, if such there be. Article 8 The present Convention shall be applied with the cooperation and under the scrutiny of the Protecting Powers whose duty it is to safeguard the interests of the Parties to the conflict.

Article 9 The provisions of the present Convention constitute no obstacle to the humanitarian activities which the International Committee of the Red Cross or any other impartial humanitarian organization may, subject to the consent of the Parties to the conflict concerned, undertake for the protection of prisoners of war and for their relief. Article 10 The High Contracting Parties may at any time agree to entrust to an organization which offers all guarantees of impartiality and efficacy the duties incumbent on the Protecting Powers by virtue of the present Convention.

Article 11 In cases where they deem it advisable in the interest of protected persons, particularly in cases of disagreement between the Parties to the conflict as to the application or interpretation of the provisions of the present Convention, the Protecting Powers shall lend their good offices with a view to settling the disagreement. Article 13 Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated.

Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited. Article 14 Prisoners of war are entitled in all circumstances to respect for their persons and their honour. Article 15 The Power detaining prisoners of war shall be bound to provide free of charge for their maintenance and for the medical attention required by their state of health. Article 16 Taking into consideration the provisions of the present Convention relating to rank and sex, and subject to any privileged treatment which may be accorded to them by reason of their state of health, age or professional qualifications, all prisoners of war shall be treated alike by the Detaining Power, without any adverse distinction based on race, nationality, religious belief or political opinions, or any other distinction founded on similar criteria.

The questioning of prisoners of war shall be carried out in a language which they understand. Article 18 All effects and articles of personal use, except arms, horses, military equipment and military documents shall remain in the possession of prisoners of war, likewise their metal helmets and gas masks and like articles issued for personal protection.

Article 19 Prisoners of war shall be evacuated, as soon as possible after their capture, to camps situated in an area far enough from the combat zone for them to be out of danger. Article 20 The evacuation of prisoners of war shall always be effected humanely and in conditions similar to those for the forces of the Detaining Power in their changes of station. Article 22 Prisoners of war may be interned only in premises located on land and affording every guarantee of hygiene and healthfulness.

Article 23 No prisoner of war may at any time be sent to or detained in areas where he may be exposed to the fire of the combat zone, nor may his presence be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations. Article 24 Transit or screening camps of a permanent kind shall be fitted out under conditions similar to those described in the present Section, and the prisoners therein shall have the same treatment as in other camps. Chapter II Quarters, food and clothing of prisoners of war Article 25 Prisoners of war shall be quartered under conditions as favourable as those for the forces of the Detaining Power who are billeted in the same area.

Article 26 The basic daily food rations shall be sufficient in quantity, quality and variety to keep prisoners of war in good health and to prevent loss of weight or the development of nutritional deficiencies. Adequate premises shall be provided for messing. Collective disciplinary measures affecting food are prohibited. Article 27 Clothing, underwear and footwear shall be supplied to prisoners of war in sufficient quantities by the Detaining Power, which shall make allowance for the climate of the region where the prisoners are detained.

Article 28 Canteens shall be installed in all camps, where prisoners of war may procure foodstuffs, soap and tobacco and ordinary articles in daily use. Chapter III Hygiene and medical attention Article 29 The Detaining Power shall be bound to take all sanitary measures necessary to ensure the cleanliness and healthfulness of camps and to prevent epidemics. Article 30 Every camp shall have an adequate infirmary where prisoners of war may have the attention they require, as well as appropriate diet. Article 31 Medical inspections of prisoners of war shall be held at least once a month.

Article 32 Prisoners of war who, though not attached to the medical service of their armed forces, are physicians, surgeons, dentists, nurses or medical orderlies, may be required by the Detaining Power to exercise their medical functions in the interests of prisoners of war dependent on the same Power.

Chapter IV Medical personnel and chaplains retained to assist prisoners of war Article 33 Members of the medical personnel and chaplains while retained by the Detaining Power with a view to assisting prisoners of war, shall not be considered as prisoners of war. They shall also benefit by the following facilities in the exercise of their medical or spiritual functions: a They shall be authorized to visit periodically prisoners of war situated in working detachments or in hospitals outside the camp. Chapter V Religious, intellectual and physical activities Article 34 Prisoners of war shall enjoy complete latitude in the exercise of their religious duties, including attendance at the service of their faith, on condition that they comply with the disciplinary routine prescribed by the military authorities.

Adequate premises shall be provided where religious services may be held. Article 35 Chaplains who fall into the hands of the enemy Power and who remain or are retained with a view to assisting prisoners of war, shall be allowed to minister to them and to exercise freely their ministry amongst prisoners of war of the same religion, in accordance with their religious conscience.

Article 36 Prisoners of war who are ministers of religion, without having officiated as chaplains to their own forces, shall be at liberty, whatever their denomination, to minister freely to the members of their community. Article 37 When prisoners of war have not the assistance of a retained chaplain or of a prisoner of war minister of their faith, a minister belonging to the prisoners' or a similar denomination, or in his absence a qualified layman, if such a course is feasible from a confessional point of view, shall be appointed, at the request of the prisoners concerned, to fill this office.

Article 38 While respecting the individual preferences of every prisoner, the Detaining Power shall encourage the practice of intellectual, educational, and recreational pursuits, sports and games amongst prisoners, and shall take the measures necessary to ensure the exercise thereof by providing them with adequate premises and necessary equipment. Chapter VI Discipline Article 39 Every prisoner of war camp shall be put under the immediate authority of a responsible commissioned officer belonging to the regular armed forces of the Detaining Power.

Article 40 The wearing of badges of rank and nationality, as well as of decorations, shall be permitted. Article 41 In every camp the text of the present Convention and its Annexes and the contents of any special agreement provided for in Article 6, shall be posted, in the prisoners' own language, at places where all may read them. Article 42 The use of weapons against prisoners of war, especially against those who are escaping or attempting to escape, shall constitute an extreme measure, which shall always be preceded by warnings appropriate to the circumstances.

Chapter VII Rank of prisoners of war Article 43 Upon the outbreak of hostilities, the Parties to the conflict shall communicate to one another the titles and ranks of all the persons mentioned in Article 4 of the present Convention, in order to ensure equality of treatment between prisoners of equivalent rank. This lead to the infamous Asgill Affair in which Washington threatened reprisal on a randomly selected British prisoner.

In , the British military negotiated a formal cartel for prisoner exchange with the Continental Army, with American officers recognized on equal terms with their British counterparts. Burrows argues that perhaps as many as or more American prisoners died during the conflict, vs. Bailey, , 8. George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. Series 4, Burgoyne to Gen.

Burrows , Edwin. New York: Basic Books, Cox, Caroline. Metzger, Charles.

POWs in American History: A Synopsis

The Prisoner in the American Revolution. Chicago: Loyola University Press, Sampson, Richard.

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