William James McGrath
POW Camp Descriptions
Sendai No. 2 B
Source: War Crimes and Trials. Affidavits and sworn statements. William James McGrath
Australian War Memorial File AWM54 - 1010/4/100
Special thanks: Transcribed by Faye Powell
On this tenth day of October, On Thousand Ninehundred and Fortyseven, I, William James McGrath of Bridge Hotel, Weston Rd, ROZELLE, in the State of NEW SOUTH Wales, make oath and say as follows:
1. I was a member of the Royal Naval Yard Police, Royal Navy, stationed at HONG KONG, Number 57. Rank Constable. [2009 Note: W J McGrath was an Australian enlisted in the RAN and sent for service with Royal Navy]
2. I was taken prisoner at HONG KONG on the Twentyfifth of December 1941, and confined in SHAN SHUI PO P.O.W. Camp HONG KONG. I remained there until late in 1943, and was taken to JAPAN. I cannot remember the name of the ship I sailed in, on arrival in JAPAN I was taken to SENDAI No. 2B P.O.W. Camp YOSHIMA, JAPAN. I remained a prisoner in the above camp until my release in August 1945. [2009 Note : McGrath was in Hong Kong 6th Transport Draft on the Naura Maru]
3. While a P.O.W. in SENDAI No. 2B Camp I was forced to work in a Coal Mine, I am unable to recall the name of this mine, I had no previous experience of mining, and had never worked in a mine. The work I consider was very dangerous for inexperienced men, and conditions were very bad with no safety precautions. Coal dust was almost unbearable and ventilation non existent: The use of explosives by inexperienced men constantly endangered the lives of those working underground. We were told each day the number of trucks of coal to be got out, and were forced to remain in the mine until the stated number were produced irrespective of the hours worked. On several occasions after attention by Medical Officer when suffering from dysentery, I was ordered by the Japanese Medical Officer to go down the mine and work, and I was then forced to go. Early in 1945 when working in the mine I was struck by some trucks that had broken away on a steep incline, one truck struck me in the stomach and crushed me along the side of the tunnel, I was knocked out for some time and unable to continue working, I was refused permission to go to the surface and see the Medical Officer. My mate working with me on this day was a man by the name of Pelly MURPHY, he had his leg broken and was badly knocked about, and he was taken to the surface and received medical attention. Medical supplies were very limited and medical attention very often refused. We worked in gangs of five in the mine, with one Japanese guard to each gang.
4. TAKAO KARINO This man is known to me and I recognize from the two photographs shown to me. He was known as Karino San [Mr. Karino], and was in charge of the ration store. He frequently cut down our rations, although rations were in the store he refused to give us the scale we were entitled to. In May 1945 after I had been detailed to look after Leo NOVAK a Canadian who had gone out of his mind. We were passing the Camp Commandants Office one day when NOVAK went to enter the office asking for cigarettes, I prevented him from doing so and was leading him away, when TAKAO Karino came up and abused me in broken English, he then struck me in the mouth with his fist and beat me on the head and face with his fist for some time, my face was cut and my head ached for some time after. I was refused Medical attention.
Sworn by the abovenamed deponent )
William James McGRATH at FOREST LODGE )
On the Tenth Day of October, ) Signature of W J McGrath
One Thousand Ninehundred and ) SIGNATURE OF DEPONENT
BEFORE ME Signature of James H Ferguson J.P.
A JUSTICE OF THE PEACE