Conditions of INNOSHIMA Compound- Gibbs Report And War Crimes
This compound was established on 27th November 1942. Major Wright
and one hundred other British POWS arrived from the JAVA POW
Camps. One hundred Britishers arrived from the HONG KONG POW
camps on 15th November of the following year.Security precautions
for the camp were assigned to a non-commissioned officer and
15 others who were dispatched from the FUKUYAMA regiment upon
the establishment of the camp. Security measures for the camp
and the escorting of prisoners of war to and from work was handled
by the men from the FUKUYAMA regiment
In late November of 1943, the soldiers were withdrawn when factories
took over the guard duties. This continued until the end of the
Food was provided by the army from 27th November 1942 to 30th
November 1943. The main courses were rice and barley (7.05 grams).
Bread was also provided with the rations of flour. As for side
dishes, meat was supplied in large quantities by the army. Although
only in small quantities, eggs were also obtained every month.
However, due to the gradual decrease in meat provisions, a plan
was formed to raise pigs in the compound. From 1st November 1943,
it was decided that food would be obtained from the factories
so it was distributed by the factory ration boards. Because rations
for the army were stopped, hardly any meat rations were obtainable,
therefore pigs raised in the compound were slaughtered to supplement
the meat rations.
Although only in small quantities fish was obtained from the
factory ration board. This consisted mainly of frozen fish. Necessary
quantities of vegetables were obtained until May 1944, but from
June these were hardly obtainable from their places of production
due to weather conditions and the change in the staple food of
the country. A satisfactory amount was hardly obtainable until
December. Therefore the vegetable ration was supplemented by
obtaining dehydrated vegetables from other prefectures (sources).
The staple food allowance was changed to 710 grams of rations
obtained from the factories. Meals in the compound were taken
to each individual's room in a military fashion. While working
at the factory meals were prepared at the compound, delivered
before meal time and distributed by the person in charge.
Under military regulations, clothing was issued only in cases
when it was worn and not usable. Working clothes were obtained
from the factories. Working clothes, underwear and caps were
provided. Repairs were done by two shoe makers, one tailor and
a carpenter at the factory. One prisoner of war was assigned
to laundry duties for the entire group.
Daily schedule for the prisoners
(mainly with regard to men working at the factories)
Reveille - 05.30 am; morning roll call - 05.40 am; breakfast
- 06.00 am; leave the compound 0.06.30 am; arrival at the place
of work - 07.00; rest period - 10.00 am (thirty minutes); leave
working area - 17.00 pm; arrive at compound - 17.20 pm; evening
roll call - immediately after return. The evening schedule included
a bath, dinner and sleep (bath once in two days).
POWs were free after evening roll call.
Types of work
a) Installation of ships, steel plates, selection and transportation
b) Arrangement of planed lumber.
c) Transporting of lumber and metal equipment (with trucks) and
the maintenance of railways.
d) Arrangement of iron materials.
e) Cleaning of the interior of the factory.
f) Cleaning of the ships interior and exterior and the unloading
g) Electrical work.
Establishment of air raid
A small number were established at first for the use
of prisoners of war, but later six more were built for their
a) One horizontal cave for air raid shelter on the hill outside
of the compound.
b) One horizontal cave (for prisoner of war usage) beside the
mess hall in the factory.
c) One horizontal cave in the working area at the factory.
d) Five shelters in various places in the vicinity of the working
Work was usually suspended with the sounding of an alarm. In
cases when air raids were anticipated all members were assembled
in the mess hall and were ordered into the air raid shelters.
Articles of food were received on four occasions (from the
Red Cross), clothing twice (from the Red Cross) and medical supplies
three times (from the Red Cross)
The army was responsible for sanitation and medical supplies
were obtained from the army hospital or from local merchants.
The medical officer was responsible for the FUKUYAMA regiment
and the INNOSHIMA prisoner of war compound. The majority of the
patients became ill enroute from JAVA and were suffering from
malnutrition (colitis?) and many were stretcher cases. These
were immediately hospitalised and given treatment at the INNOSHIMA
hospital. However, eight persons died within one month after
arrival due to malnutrition (colitis was
the standard term used by the Japanese for death by malnutrition)
and one died of heart failure due to beriberi. Later, three died
of acute pneumonia and one from "colitis".
Stoves were installed in the rooms from December to February.
Supplies were in abundance and the health conditions of the prisoners
of war were thoroughly maintained when provisions were under
army regulations. However, with the factories taking over the
distribution of rations and food and with the condition of the
country becoming critical due to the weather in May and June
of 1943, main courses were satisfactory but side dishes, such
as green vegetables were hardly obtainable and prisoners of war
suffered from loss of weight. Efforts were made to obtain materials
but results were meagre for all the work done.
Musical instruments, balls, ping-pong equipment and other
miscellaneous articles were obtained with relief funds. Also,
an electric phonograph was obtained and broadcasts were made
to the rooms of the prisoners. Entertainment was permitted on
all occasions. Swimming was permitted in the summer on the beach
east of the compound. The distance from the compound to the mess
hall at the working area was about one kilometre.