Lt Thomas Clement Borrie
Affidavit regarding Fuk-04-Moji (YMCA)
Source: WO311/557 held at
the National Archives at Kew, London
Transcription by Stephen Hagen
Note to the Center regarding this document:
My own interest in this camp is due to my research in to the 48th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery, which surrendered in Java in March 1942. One contingent of this regiment under the command of Majors Graham and Busby left Java within a larger group as prisoners of war on the Yoshida Maru in October 1942. This group sailed to Singapore where they transferred to the Dia Nichi Maru and with the Singapore Maru continued their voyage to Moji in Japan. On arrival the sick and dying transferred to Fukuoka 4B Moji YMCA, whilst the remaining men of the regiment under the command of Majors Graham and Busby went on to Omine Machi on the island of Honshu.
Early 1943 a party of officers under Major Graham were transferred to Zentsuji. This left William Busby in command, who incidentally was awarded a Military Cross for gallantry in Java and a MBE for his work as senior POW at Omine Machi where he commanded the original 180 British POWs who had arrived in 1942 and the 280 American POWs who arrived later in 1944.
[attached are] two affidavits concerning Fukuoka 4B from Captain Berkeley RAMC and Lieutenant Borrie RA, both officers of the 48th LAA Regiment, both transcribed from the file WO311/557 held at the National Archives at Kew, London.
IN THE MATTER OF WAR CRIMES COMMITTED BY JAPANESE NATIONALS AND IN THE MATTEROF THE ILL-TREATMENT OF PRISONERS OF WAR AT FUKUOKA 4B, PRISONER OF WAR CAMP
I, Thomas Clement BORRIE, a Civil Servant, of F. 71 Du Cane Court, Balham High Road, S.W.17,in the Country of London,make oath and say as follows:
1. I was called up for the Army on 29th June, 1940, and was posted to the 46th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. I was subsequently commissioned on 19th June, 1941, and was eventually transferred to the 48th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment.
2. On 5th December, 1941, I left the United Kingdom for the Far East and arrived at Java on 3rd February, 1942. After service in Java and Sumatra I was taken prisoner on 8th March, 1942, at Bandoeng in Java.
3. After being detained in prison camps in Batavia for about 5 months I was sent from Tangjong Priok, the port of Batavia, in about October, 1942, to Moji in Japan.
4. I was one of a draft of about 800 British servicemen who made the journey in the "DAI NICHI MARU", a vessel of about 3,000 tons and in a very old and dilapidated condition.
5. Conditions on the ship were very bad owning to gross overcrowding and an almost complete lack of sanitary arrangements which caused dysentery to become rife.
6. The voyage lasted for about 8 weeks and during that time about 20 men died on board. A number of very sick men were disembarked en route at Formosa.
7. The only medical supplies on board were those which had been brought by British Medical Officers and were quite inadequate for the needs which arose.
8. No provision was made for sick men and we had to improvise a "sick bay" on one of the hatches for the very serious cases.
9. Food on board was very poor and consisted of indifferent vegetable or fish head soup and a meagre quantity of rice; we had two meals of this twice a day.
10. We arrived at Moji about early December, 1942. About three hundred of us who were sick men by this time were taken by lorries to Fukuoka 4B, Prisoner of War Camp situated about two miles from the docks.
11. The camp was regarded by the Japanese as a hospital. The medical officers were 6 American and 2 Australian doctors and 19 medical orderlies.
12. I was suffering from beri-beri and could not walk and was confined to "bed" which was a floor of the building.
13. The building was converted by the erection of four tiers of platforms which were about six feet above or below each other. There were about 300 prisoners in the building, all were very sick men and lying down cases. During the first three months of my stay about 140 men died. I kept a record of deaths among men from my Battery but handed it to a Flight Lieutenant D.R.P. FOOTE, R.A.F, who was senior officer in the camp and who has a complete record of deaths and other matters.
14. For the first year, there were a number of changes in the Camp Commandants and personnel but it was not until the arrival of a Captain SAITO as Camp Commandant that conditions became worse in the Camp.
15. Whereas certain improvements were made under his direction in camp buildings, etc., food became worse and discipline of the camp personnel deteriorated. By this I mean that beating of prisoners increased and I have on many occasions seen beatings take place in Saitos presence and he has made no attempt whatever to prevent them.
16. When I recovered from my illness I was, with other officers put to work on light gardening duties, etc. When Saito took over he directed that officers were to work on farming and other heavy duties which included carting refuse from the camp by hand, emptying latrines of the camp, also to continually manure the farm land with human excrete.
17. After a while I was put in charge of a party of men engaged on making tunnels into a hill side for air raid shelters. The work was carried out under very dangerous conditions owning to insufficient materials to support the tunnels and with no expert supervision to guide us in our work in which we were totally inexperienced. Some of these tunnels were 70 feet into the hillside and falls of rock and earth were daily occurrences.
18. I came into close contact with Saito each day as I was the only officer who could understand a little Japanese, and was able to observe that he had a fanatical outlook as regards the prisoners whom he seemed to regard with aversion and his chief object seemed to be to make the men work as hard as possible.
19. Saito was responsible for the misdirection of Red Cross parcels in that he took a large number for his own use. I have seen him receive parcels at his house and also give some to other Japanese. He also allowed the camp staff to take parcels for their own use.
20. I describe Saito as aged about 42 years, height 5 feet 4 inches, stout build; he had a round fat face and shaved daily which is unusual for a Japanese to do; he had a swarthy complexion.
21. Just before the arrival of Saito at the camp, a Japanese medical orderly named INOUYE joined the camp staff. INOUYE was aged about 30, height about 5 ft 6 in., slim build, good looking for a Japanese; he had very good teeth, and was well proportioned physically. He was supposed to have been a chemist in private life and had been a pilot in the Japanese Army.
22. INOUYE was the worst Japanese in the Camp on account of his uncontrollable temper which he vented on the prisoners. I have seen him beat men for no apparent reason and cases in particular are in respect to a Dutchman named Van Helden, whose arm he broke by throwing the Dutchman over his head on to the ground because the man was slow at work. I saw this incident.
23. In the case of a Sgt. Bill BRAY, of the American Army, INOUYE severely beat him up with a stick until Bray was insensible. Bray was very ill at the time and INOUYE accused him of malingering which was quite untrue. He was beaten up by INOUYE and others on many occasions which I have witnessed.
24. In the case of a man named George SPENCER, I know that INOUYE attacked him and broke one of the mans ribs. I did not see the incident but heard of it from other prisoners and Spencer himself who was one of my men.
25. A man named POWELL was another victim of INOUYE who injured the man about the head; again I did not see it happen but Powell and others told me about it.
26. I do not recollect men named SULLIVAN or LEWIS being in the Camp but there were so many I have forgotten a number of their names.
27. I do not remember a man named KOSSACK, but think this may have been a Dutchman I knew as De Kock, who I know had an arm broken I do not know who was responsible as I did not see the incident.
28. A Captain A. BERKELEY of the 48th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment was a prisoner at the camp and was appointed senior British Medical Officer.
29. I witnessed an occasion when INOUYE knocked him to the ground, when Berkeley was standing to attention. Berkeleys head struck the ground and he sustained severe concussion. In my opinion he was never the same man afterwards as a result of his injury. The incident happened after Berkeley had given medical aid to a Lieutenant Mitchell who had been struck by another guard named HIWAITORI, who we nicknamed "Skin and Bones". I witnessed the attack on Mitchell who was struck across the mouth with the edge of a plate. INOUYE took exception to Berkeley attending to Mitchells injuries.
30. In addition to the people I have named, I have seen INOUYE on numerous occasions beating up other prisoners with a Kendo stick, pick helve and an iron drill used in tunnelling.
31. A case in point being Gunner CHICK of the 48th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, whom he beat into insensibility.
32. I also witnessed him beat up two Americans, one named COLES of the U.S. Navy, and the other was in the U.S. Army, I think his name was KINDER.
33. I saw INOUYE beat them up with a pick helve over a period of about 2 hours. When they became unconscious they were revived by the guards throwing buckets of cold water over them. The men were unable to walk afterwards and I saw them dragged to the guardhouse. I later heard they had stolen some sugar from the docks and INOUYE had found this out.
34. I have seen him also throw men down stairs on numerous occasions. He was able to perform many of these acts on account of his knowledge of ju-jitsu at which he was an expert.
35. He has beaten me up on several occasions but fortunately without serious consequences to myself.
36. While I was at the Camp a man named MALONEY broke his back while with a working party and of course became bedridden, the lower half of his body being paralysed. I visited him daily and saw him gradually get worse. He eventually died and in my opinion this was not due to any lack of skill or effort on the part of the camp British doctors headed by Captain Berkeley but on account of their not having the necessary medical supplies and equipment to treat him, and also to lack of suitable food.
37. Similarly a man named CARPENTER died from a serious illness and his death could have been prevented in my opinion had the necessary medical attention and proper diet been available.
38. At one time the Japanese Medical Officer by the name of Lieutenant MIKAWA endeavoured to give all the assistance in his power to the prisoners and to co-operate with the British and American doctors. He was subsequently transferred at the instigation of Saito for his humane treatment of prisoners. I heard this from Sergeant SASAKI, who was the Doctors assistant and was also transferred.
39. I left this camp on about 15th September, 1945, and returned to this Country. I was demoblized in March, 1946.
SWORN at 46, Parliament Street, S.W.1,In the country of London, this 8th day of January, 1947. }}(Signed) T.C. Borrie.
(Signed) C. Browett Seager.
A Commissioner for Oaths.