Pte. Henry Blake affidavit regarding
identification of Japanese guards at Funatsu

Nagoya #3 Funatsu Main

Source: RG 331 Box 940

MD/JAG/FS/JO/298 (1K)



I, Henry BLAKE, with permanent address at 15 Barnton Street, Stirling, c/o Morrison, make oath and say as follows:

1. Whilst serving as a Private in the 2nd Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders I was taken prisoner by the Japanese as Singapore on 15th February, 1942, and after spending various periods of captivity at prisoner of war camps in Singapore and Siam, I was sent to Japan in May, 1944. I arrived at Funatsu Camp in June, 1944, and remained in this camp as a prisoner of war until the cessation of hostilities with Japan.

2. There is now produced and shown to me as a folder of photographs marked exhibit "A" containing 7 photographs of Japanese bearing numbers 1 to 7 respectively. [Goup 1 to 4; Group 5-7]

(a.) I recognise No. 1 of these photographs as that of a Guard who was known by the nickname "THE BULL" and who was permanently of the staff at Funatsu. He was a brutal type and frequently kicked prisoners of war. On two or three occasions I, personally, was kicked by him for not saluting or not getting out of his way in time. In July, 1945, three American prisoners of war had been caught stealing a handful of rice from the store near to the factory where they were employed. The "BULL" made the three prisoners strip naked, climb up a ladder and kneel on the rungs of the ladder. The men had to remain in that position for five or six hours. While they were on the ladder he took a split bamboo cane and struck them on the legs, above the knees, until the skin lifted. They were then put into the guard room.
(b) I recognize No. 2 of the photographs as that of Sergeant YAMASAKI, who was Guncha in charge of the camp. He was the most brutal of the Japanese at this camp.
About January, 1945, I was working in a party about to leave camp, and was being paraded near to the camp office, when I saw an American prisoner of was being brutally beaten by YAMASAKI in the office. He was assaulting the man with a steel rod. This treatment went on for six or seven minutes. We were marched away while the prisoner was still being beaten up. On returning to the camp, I saw the prisoner being carried from the guard room to the hospital.

About six weeks before Japan capitulated, an American prisoner names MANN attempted an escape. He was brought to the camp by two civilian police after being away for 36 hours. He was bleeding when he was brought in. Lieutenant FURUSHIMA struck him on the head with a stool immediately [after] he was brought in. The Lieutenant left soon afterwards, and YAMASAK was in charge. On two nights I saw MANN being taken from the guard room to a water tank situated outside the camp gates, where he was tied to the wooden structure holding up the tank. His hands were strapped above his head. YAMASAKI and others then beat him with sticks until he appeared to become unconscious. His flesh was black and blue because of this treatment. While I can speak to seeing YAMASAKI beating MANN, I cannot give the names of the others involved. On several mornings I heard MANN screaming in the guard room as if he were being beaten up. After fifteen day he died. I saw his body being brought out and being put into a box.

YAMASAKI took a leading part in all brutalities inflicted on MANN.

In April or May, 1945, an American soldier, Private ROLAND, broke into the camp stores and stole a quantity of cigarettes. Immediately after the theft was discovered, a search was made of the camp nad this soldier was found to be in possession of the stolen cigarettes. The whole camp was paraded, approximately 150 Americans and 205 British soldiers, and ROLAND was paraded in front of the soldiers, without any covering on the upper part of his body. YAMASAKI took off his belt and gave it to the first American in the line, and instructed him to strike ROLAND on the back with the belt. The belt was then passed to all the American soldiers and each man struck a blow at ROLAND. When it came to the British soldiers, Lieutenant ORROCK approached YAMASAKI and told him that the British soldiers would not infliect any punishment on ROLAND. YAMASAKI struck ORROCK several blows on the face with his fist, and the British soldiers were returned to their billets.

(c) I recognize No. 3 of the photographs as that of the medical sergeant at Funatsu camp. I do not know his name. On many occasions I have been kicked by him, and I think every other prisoner in the camp had similar treatment. He was the most feared man in camp. He only allowed our medical officer CHRISTISSON a certain number of men to remain off duty sick at one time. This resulted, on many occasions, in the medical officer having to put men to work who were unfit. One man, Sapper GUNTRIP [Guntrip, Percy Gordon, died 16 Feb 1945, Driver, 288 Field Coy, 2070427, Bedford England], was obviously very ill yet he was sent to work a the factory, and he collapsed at work and died. Several other prisoners, to my knowledge, died because the were physically unfit to undertake the work which they were forced to do in spite of their physical condition.

(d) I recognise No. 4 of these photographs as that of the camp store man. I do not know his name. I found him reasonably fair in his dealings with the prisoners.

(e) I recognise No. 5 of these photographs as that of a camp guard. I do not know his name. Apart from seeing him occasionally kicking the prisoners, I cannot say anything more about him.

(f) I recognise No. 6 of these photographs as that of a civilian guard at the camp. I do not know his name, and cannot say anything against him.

(g) I recognise No. 7 of these photographs as that of a civilian guard at the camp. I do not know his name, and cannot say anything more about him.
(h) About the end of 1944, an American Private named PRIEST [Priest, Leroy, PFC, 60th CAC], who was said to have wandered out of the camp, was lying in the guard room. The Japanese guards said that he was confined to the guard room without protection from the cold. I later saw him crippling [hobbling] about the camp. His toes had been amputated in the hospital by that time. It was well known in the camp that his toes were amputated as a result of frost bite received while in the guard room.

(i) I had knowledge of two American Privates [Freeman, Clarence A., USN and Horpling-Hoefling, Delbert Leon, USN] being caught stealing Red Cross supplies, and that, as a result of being detained in the guard room without adequate protection from the cold, both men lost toes through frost bite. I do not know who was responsible for them being in the guard room under these conditions.

SWORN by the above-named Henry BLAKE
at Police Headquarters, STIRLING,
this Thirty-first day of January, 1947.
/s/ Henry Blake

/S/ Robt Mahoney
Justice of the Peace
for the County of Stirling