Pte. Robert Clarke (British) affidavit regarding
identification of Japanese guards at Funatsu

Nagoya #3 Funatsu Main

Source: RG 331 Box 940
Notation for clarity or fact added by Center For Research in

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



I, Robert CLARKE, Pte., No. 2979160, attached to the Garrison Military Police, Maryhill Barracks, Maryhill Road, Glasgow [Scotland], with permanent home address at Bridge Street, Glasgow, make oath and say as follows:
While serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Argyl & Sutherland Highlanders at Singapore, I was captured on 15th February, 1942, by the Japanese and became a prisoner of war in Changi Prisoner of War Camp. On 11th August, 1944, I was transferred to the Japanese Prisoner of War Camp at Funatsu, Japan, where I remained until the cessation of hostilities.

(a) I knew Pte. James S. MANN, an American soldier who was also a prisoner of war at Funatsu. About the end of July, 1945, I learned that he had been placed in the guardroom by the Japanese guards. It appeared that MANN had walked out of the camp and the Japanese guards probably thought that he was trying to escape. For some time prior to this incident, MANN had been in very poor health. Like many other prisoners of war he was extremely thin and had been receiving treatment form our own Medical Officer, so far as I can remember, for dysentery, malaria, and malnutition. I do not think he knew what he was doing when he walked out of the camp.

The first I knew of this incident was about 6 p.m. one day in July, 1945, when I returned from working outside the camp and saw Pte. MANN standing outside the Japanese guardroom. Around him were two or three Japanese guards. One of those guards was a civilian engineer who had a piece of wood in his hand and which he was using to strike MANN on the head and body. At that time, MANN was bleeding from a wound in his face, probably caused by one of the blows struck by this civilian engineer guard. MANN was repeatedly falling to the ground and each time he did so, the civilian engineer guard and the others pulled him to his feet and then went on striking him repeatedly with their fists and kicking him on the legs. I was able to observe this ill-treatment of MANN for approximately 5 minutes as I was one of the work party which had come into the camp and had been halted immediately outside the guardroom gate.

During this period, the civilian engineer guard was the chief culprit in assaulting Pte. Mann. As the work party of which I was a member, was marched away, the ill-treatment of MANN was being continued.

From what I learned from others, the ill-treatment of MANN had started some time before I appeared on the scene and continued for some time after I had left. I was aware that MANN was kept in close confinement in the guardroom from then onwards.

About a week later, about 11 p.m., I was on fire picket duty and stationed 20/25 years from the guardroom when I heard Pte. MANN screaming and shouting as if he were in terrible pain. I could hear him shouting, Why dont you shoot me? MANN continued to scream, moan and shout the same phrase for the four hours I was on fire picket duty. During that time and while MANN was screaming, I heard the civilian engineer guard, whose photograph I identify, and the senior private soldier Japanese guard, nicknamed The Bull [Picture] swearing at him in Japanese.

I hear their voices repeatedly during the time that MANN was shouting and I was convinced that they were ill-treating him but I could not see anything. I do not know when the ill-treatment ceased but it was still taking place when I went off fire picket duty about 2.30 or 3 a.m. Even after I reached my own quarters, some distance away, I could still hear faint screams coming from the guardhouse and presumed that MANN was still being ill-treated.

A few days later I learned that Pte. MANN had died and I was satisfied that his death had been caused or accelerated by the ill-treatment meted out to him by the civilian engineer guard, the guard nicknamed The Bull as well as other Japanese guards.

(b) I knew Sergeant YAMANAKA, [Yamasaki] [Picture] the Japanese in charge of the medical affairs of the camp. At that time he would be about 30 years of age, 5'8" on height and heavily built. I can recall that in 1945, Sergeant McPhee of the 2nd Argulls, also a prisoner of war in the camp, was sick and had been off work for quite a time. He was emaciated, in very poor health and I think he was suffering from beri-beri. At that time he was in an extremely weak condition and definitely unfit for work.

It appears that Sergeant YAMANAKA found McPhee smoking, which was considered to be a crime in the camp, and because of this, YAMANAKA sent Sergeant McPhee to do heavy plate lifting work in the foundry situated outside the camp. McPhee was absolutely unfit to handle the lead plates which was the type of work allocated to him. He was compelled to work in the foundry along with the other prisoners of war, from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Although his condition did not improve, YAMANAKA insisted that he continue at this work and so far as I cam remember, he was still doing foundry work at the cessation of hostilities.

I was aware that YAMANAKA repeatedly made sick men work in the foundry.

There would be approximately 300 prisoners of war in the camp, almost everyone of whom was in poor health, suffering from malnutrition, dysentery and beri-beri, for which medical supplies were required. At no time did I see any medical supplies given out to the prisoner of war. Many of them were suffering from ulcers [skin ulcers from infected scratches or cuts] but the only medical treatment they received was from their own British and American medical officers who did a very good jon without equipment and medical supplies.

(c) I knew Pte. Leroy Priest, an American prisoner of war in the camp. I can recall that in November or December, 1944, he wandered out of the camp, was recaptured and taken to the guardroom. I did not actually see him beaten up or ill-treated by the Japanese but I later learned he had been confined in the guardroom without adequate protection from the cold and that as a result of his exposure, his toes had to be amputated.

(d) I knew Pte. FREEMAN and Pte. HORPLING [Freeman, Clarence A., USN and Horpling is Hoefling, Delbert Leon, USN], American prisoners of war who, during the winter of 1944/45 were caught stealing Red Cross supplies and were confined in the guardroom without proper protection from the cold. I later learned that both men had lost some toes as a result of frostbite.

(e) In June or July, 1945, some cigarettes were stolen from a Japanese store which was usually under the charge of a guard known to me as TAKIBIAS [Picture]. As a result, the Japanese guards ordered all the prisoners to parade and stand at attention for about one and a half hours, while their clothing and persons were searched by the guards.

I learned that the Japanese guards had beaten up some of the American prisoners of war regarding this incident, but I did not see the ill-treatment taking place. I also learned that Pte. ROLAND [Roland Lee R., PFC, 19016700, CAC, 60th CA, Btry L], an American prisoner of war, confessed to the theft of the cigarettes. He was paraded in front of the American N.C.Os. And stripped to the waist. Each of these N.C.Os., about twenty or more, was issued with a belt and compelled to strike Pte. ROLAND with it, one after the other. One of the guards supervising this ill-treatment of ROLAND was The Bull. Apparently he was dissatisfied with the way in which one of the American N.C.Os. Was striking ROLAND. He stepped forward, struck the American N.C.O. a blow on the face with his hand, took the strap from him and proceeded to strike Pte. ROLAND two severe blows on the body with this belt, by way of demonstrating to the Americans how the belt was to be used.

After that episode, ROLAND was taken to the guardroom where he was confined for several days.

(f) I remained at Funatsu camp until the cessation of hostilities and during the time I was there, I repeatedly saw Japanese guards assaulting American, British and Dutch prisoners of war, by slapping their faces, kicking them on the legs with their booted feet or striking them with the butts of their rifles. Such ill-treatment occurred on many occasions for no reason whatsoever and on several occasions for what was deemed to be offences, such as failing to salute or bow to the Japanese guards.

Early in January, 1945, five other British prisoners of war and I were paraded in front of the guardroom by the Japanese guard known as The Bull for stealing small pieces of coke from the works outside the camp. We had taken the coke to make a fire in our bungalow as it was extremely cold at that time and there were about five or six feet of snow. We were only allotted a small quantity of coal for this fire which could only be used from 6 to 8 in the evening. The Bull searched us and found pieces of coke on each of us. He thereupon slapped us on he face and marched us to another part of the camp where he made us stand to attention for one and a half hours.

On several other occasions The Bull struck me on the face with his hands but I cannot recall whether or not he had any reason for doing so.

About the end of 1944 or the beginning of 1945, there was a very heavy fall of snow. In some places it reached a depth of 10 feet. On one occasion while the snow was still on the ground, the storeman, known as TAKIBIAS, ordered two Americans and myself to take a barrow to the ration store near the works, situated about 200 yards from the camp. When we got to this store, we filled the barrow with the rations for the camp.

On the way back we found that the barrow was too heavy for us to pull through the snow and whenever we stopped for a rest because of the load, TAKIBIAS immediately beat the three of us on he legs with a cane. Each of us was marked by the blows and apart from that we were all exhaustged and in a very weak condition. As a matter of fact we were on the sick list and supposed to be doing sick duties in the camp. TAKIBIAS continued to beat us until we eventually managed to pull the barrow into the camp. By this time we were all in a state of exhaustion and collapse.

On Saturday, 25th January, 1947, I called at the Central Police Office, Turnbull Street, Glasgow, where I was shown a number of photographs. I identified exhibit No. 1 as the photograph of the Civilian Engineer guard [Mizuno TATSUO] [Picture] referred to in Section (a) of this affidavit.

I also identified exhibit No. 2 [Hiroshi TANAKA] as the senior private soldier among the Japanese guards known to me by the name of The Bull as referred to in sections (a), (e) and (f) of the foregoing affidavit.

I also identified exhibit No. 3, consisting of front and profile photographs, as those of Japanese storeman and guard known to me as TAKIBIAS and referred to in sections (e) and (f) of the foregoing affidavit.

When these photographs were shown to me, the names and personal details of all the persons portrayed were permanently obscured.

I have read over the foregoing which is a true statement made and signed by me at the Central Police Office, Turnbull Street, Glasgow, on 25th January, 1947, in the presence of James Finlay Langmuir, one of his Majestys Justices of the Peace for the City of Glasgow.
Signed /s/ R. Clarke

All of which is true as the deponent shall answer to God.

Signed /s/ J. F. Langmuir
Stipendiary Magistrate of
the City of Glasgow and
Justice of the Peace for
the County of said City.