| Fukuoka Branch Camp #24-B
(SUMITOMO KOGYO SENDRYU KOGYO-SHO)
Sumitomo Coal Company
Nagasaki-ken, Kita-Matsuura-gun, Emukae-machi, SENRYU (now part of Sasebo City)
(Alternate spellings: Sendryu, Sendyu - see note below)
Aerial (Mar. 1947; courtesy of Japan Map Archives)
Area map- western side north of Sasebo
15 Jan 1945: Established as Fukuoka #24 Senryu (Emukae)
16 Jan 1945: 150 Australian POWS and all Americans arrive from Awa Maru
5 Mar 1945: (approx date) British arrive ex Taiwan (Formosa) on Taiko Maru
Sep 1945: Rescue effected
Special thanks to Neil MacPherson for these photographs and identities
Americans - Front row: 3rd from left is George Detre; 6th from left is Aussie RAAF Flight Lt Jim Sutherland
Australians A to L (identity list)
Australian M to Z (identity list) - 2nd row, 1st man on left is American Dr. Julian Goodman
Modern picture of camp hill
Post-war picture of typical mine work
"While the miners in the photo are Japanese the conditions for the much bigger bodied Westerners crouching for long hours in the confined space while working can be imagined. I hope that the photo, which was supplied to me by the officials of Sumitomi Mining during my visit in 2002, can be used as part of the history of World War II, it is difficult for us survivors to adequately describe the conditions under which we worked, this photo does this very well."
Memorial plaque - Established in April 2004 by the town of Emukae and former POWs Neil MacPherson and Owen Heron, to remember the 267 Allied POWs who labored at the Senryu coal mine, and the 17 British and three Australian POWs who perished there. (Exact location)
See short biography on the passing of Flt Lt Sutherland
Special note on camp name:
Fukuoka Camp #24 was in a district called Senryu (which sounds like SEN-DYU when pronounced) and was the name of the train station there at the time; it's now called "Senryu-ga-taki" (taki=falls; there's a nearby waterfall), in Emukae-machi (machi=town), which is in Kita-Matsuura-gun (gun=county), which is in Fukuoka-ken (ken=prefecture).
Special Pages for all Fukuoka Camps - A must see!
The POWs worked as slaves for the Sumitomo Coal Mining Company; Emukae Mine
Awa Maru- carried the Australians & Americans from Singapore 26 Dec 1944
Taiko Maru- carried only British from Taiwan (Keelung) departing 27 Feb 1945- arrived 10 March 1945
British (revised and updated)
Australians & (1) Dutch
Original rosters - American, British, Australian, Dutch (PDF)
Original death roster; British, American, Australian (Awa Maru) rosters (PDF) - These rosters also show from which camp the men were transferred: British, from either Taiwan #1 or #3; Australian, from Thailand camps; American, from Thailand or Philippine camps.
FUK-24_Rosters_1946-02-16 - ORIGINALS
Additional rosters (RG 407 Box 102)
POW Shirt at Australian War Museum
POW Stanley Herron had all sign his shirt just before rescue. Additonal information provided by Neil MacPherson.
Contributed by WX16572 Neil O. MacPherson 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion
15th December 1944, saw 545 Australian prisoners from River Valley Road camp, under the leadership of Flt Lt Sutherland, board the Awa Maru in Singapore. All are survivors of A Force on the Death railway. After 11 days battened down under scorching decks we sailed for Japan on Boxing Day. On 15th January 1945 the prisoners staggered ashore at Moji, Kyushu - dirty, bedraggled & starved, but unbowed, it was mid winter, snow on the ground.
150 of the group travelled to Senryu Emukae, after several days of training by Jap miners we were classified fit to work in a Sumitomo owned coalmine.
Compared to the horrors, death, disease, squalid conditions and brutal treatment on the Burma railway, conditions at camp 24 were 5 star. Comfortable warm huts, 12 men to an airy room. Apart from petty harassment by the guards, insufficient food to sustain the long shift in cramped and hazardous conditions underground, the morale was excellent. The Jap miners were helpful in teaching us how to survive in this dangerous environment, and unlike other work areas, no punishments were handed out.
On the 16th August 1945 we were told “the war is over”. We took over the camp. Supplies dropped by US bombers helped make the next 5 weeks a pleasant memory. Hikes into the countryside, invitations from farmers, sharing their scarce food, prisoners in return sharing the bounties from the US planes.
See also this special page on MacPherson and Owen Heron
PHOTO: MacPherson with medals
|Grave site at Senryu - Photo
courtesy of Jennifer Bidwell: "My uncle, James Alistair McNab, died on
19 January 1945, and I understand that his remains/ashes were interred
at the Tomb at Sendryu before being removed to the British Commonwealth
Cemetery in Yokohama." See also this contribution, a letter of
condolence from Flight Lieutenant James Sutherland (RAAF) to