Contents:


January 1943

  1. Very quiet day. Fair scoff. No news. Once again we all wonder what this year will bring. Armistice we hope.

  1. Nothing happened in the last week. We got a few articles from the canteen today. Also big ?? in ??

  1. Sunday. 27 men out to isolation.

  2. Word of leaving here.

  3. Throat + ?? swab today.

  4. I’m A Cat for draft. RCross parcels in camp.

  5. Throat swab today. Mail in ?? for me.

  6. Very quiet. Nothing new. Had a hell of a dream of Davy last nite.

  7. Inspection rectum and throat swab today also soap issue. tooth pulled.

  8. Discharged from hospital and had rectum and throat swab. Also dissentry needle. We fell in for rehearsal of draft.

  9. Another rehearsal and kits searched.

  10. Left on draft. Sailed at 1PM our last sight of Hong Kong on Taluta (?) Maru a lovely passenger boat.

  11. On the Pacific again. Dave and I are ?? together. Joe is in the hold. Bill didn’t come. We were lucky we have a pretty good place those in the hold are crowded. The grub isn’t very good. Potatoes and rice. They gave us a bag of biscuits and 5 decks of cigarettes

  12. We have the portholes open today. Nothing much new. We land tomorrow.

  13. In sight of land at 01:00 hrs and dissembarked at 4 AM. We were given 5 buns and 9 decks of cigarettes by Japs. We leave Agasaki at 11PM by train for Tokyo.

  14. Travelled all day and see a lot of Japan. We sure eat good, very crowded.

  15. We arrive Tokyo 7AM and change train and ride an electric train for about 10 miles then we march to our new home. It’s brand new but awfully cold. We sign a paper not to escape. It seems funny to see ice again.

  16. We get a lot of barley beer. It’s better than rice. Under strict discipline.

  17. It’s sure cold here and we are hungry.

  18. Cold and damp. I have a heavy cold.

  19. A rifle died last nite.

  20. Started working today at Shipbuilding. All dressed like cons.

  21. Working today again.

  22. Sunday. Working again and it snowed 2” last nite.

February 1943

  1. Still working at factory.

  2. Had a bath tonite after work. Can’t get enough to eat.

  1. Today is Sunday and St. Valentines day. We’ve worked every day except the 4th(?). We held Dave Hendry’s (?) funeral …?? Haven’t been feeling good lately due to cold.

  1. We saw the Hidaka Maru (?) launched today. Quite a sight. We had last Thurs off. Nothing much ever happens.

  1. Big medical today we are not working. Heard last nite we are going to be able to ??.

  2. We hear Hong Kong has fallen.

  3. Today is Sunday. Late going out but we are working as usual.

March 1943

  1. Went to hospital with dissentry.

  1. Red Cross supplies came in today.

  1. Wrote Helen today.

  1. Discharged from hospital.


April 1943

  1. Went to work

  1. Word of 1 1/2 million letters at Tokio

15 No work party. Had hair cut.

  1. Launched boat and weighed 61K.

25 Easter Sunday and we went to work also 18 months since we left home.

  1. Off today. Mail came yesterday 10 letters and they are from Eng. None from Canada sure disappointed.

May 1943

  1. Sunday and Mother’s Day

  1. Red Cross rations in again.

  2. Tooth out

  1. Red Cross sugar and cocoa released.

  1. The biggest day since leaving home. I got 3 letters. 2 from Helen and 1 from Mother. Everybody is well. Thank God.

June 1943

  1. Received 8 more letters tonite. 1 from Mother and 7 from Helen. Boy they are great.

  1. The day of the message broadcast. Ed Curry spoke and mentioned me.

  1. My Birthday and for a present I got a letter from Helen.

  1. Mother’s Birthday

July 1943

  1. Had pictures taken

August 1943

  1. Dave comes from hospital

September 1943

  1. Hong Kong news

  1. A two year anniversary

21 Dad’s birthday


October 1943

  1. 4 years in the army today and I got 2 letters from Helen over a year old.

(The following is the last entry in small diary until Sep 45- no idea why there are two entries for 4 Oct 43, one in each diary)

4 Well its our 2nd wedding anniversary and no place … to celebrate with the … doesn’t seem that long

(Transcription from larger black diary begins here)

4 Today is a holiday. Washed clothes and had hot bath. Rations small as usual.

Breakfast 2 small potatoes, 3/4 bowl of thin soup.

Dinner loose plate of rice and 3/4 bowl of thin soup.

Supper 3/4 plate rice and same soup. Fleas real bad.

15. Nothing new. Rations small. Went to bed real hungry.

16. Another day. Fish for supper.

17. We have to strip to the waist at Roll Call in the morning. Very cold. A few men have pneumonia.

18. As usual very hungry.

19. Nothing new

20. Just another day.

21. Rations small. I've got 3/4 bowl of boiled sea moss for supper that very few could eat & those that did were sick. Were allowed to buy 2 beers (buns?)

22. Helen's birthday. Hot bath at nights. Today's rations Br (2 small boiled potatoes -scratched out --) 1 slice of bread, 3/4 cup beans, 3/4 soup. Dinner Plates of rice and 3/4 soup. Supper. 1 slice bread, 3/4 cup of beans, 3/4 cup vegetables.

23. Cold today, no towel rub this morning. Hate the winter coming on as we haven't many clothes.

24. Had a small piece of boiled pumpkin for supper.

25. 2 years today since we left home. Roll call inside.

26. Very hungry. Bought 1/4 lb of tea at nite.

27. Had T.B. arm measurement at nite.

28. Meals up a bit today. Today is a holiday - our first one for 2 weeks. Got weighed. I weigh 56 kgs. Lost 2 Kgs in one month. Our daily routine up to today is: rev. 0530. Roll Call 0540. Breakfast 0600. Work 0650. Dinner 1150. Supper 1800. Roll Call 2000. Lights out. 2100. Tomorrow our routine changes. Spent the day sewing my clothes for winter.

29. Meals better today. Routine change. Rev. 0600. Roll Call 0610. Br. 0630. Work 0700. Dr. 1100 sp. 1800 Roll Call 1930.Lights out 2030.

30. We got our pictures back that were taken July 8th. They caused a lot of laughs.

31. Hallowe'en today and cold. Very cold at nite. We have 5 thin ones. Last week we had 7.

November 1943

1. Very cold and rations very small. Went to bed cold & hungry. A few letters came in. None for me tonite.

2. A little warmer today & rations up a bit. I got a letter from Helen dated Oct. 4-19-42. Our wedding anniversary.

3. Today is a holiday. Had fire drill in morning & hot bath in afternoon. Spent the rest of the time sewing & reading my letter. Helen has sent 3 or 4 parcels up to a year ago but so far haven't seen any. Oranges came in at nite.

4. We got 6 oranges for supper tonite which helped fill a hole.

5. Rations terribly small. We are getting dizzy spells. Went to bed very hungry. Got paid 95 ?. They take 20% of our wages for medical supplies. There is very little to buy anyway.

6. A nice day & rations up a bit.

7. Colder today. We got an apple & an orange on the work party.

8. A pretty tough day. Made 3 trips to camp. Rations small. Went to bed very hungry. We're always hungry anyway.

9. Today is the worst day we've had since coming to Japan & doing (?) time before regarding rations. Br - Bowl of soup. Dinner - Plate of rice, 3/4 bowl tin soup. Supper - cup of rice, 3/4 cup of veg. Very small to work on & I feel very week. If we would only get our Red Cross rations it would help a lot.

10. Rations small. Bread twice. 2 pieces per meal.

11. Today is Armistice day and a holiday. 25 yrs ago Armistice was signed & I can now realize how much it meant to the whole world. I pray every nite for another one soon. I've had fire and Air Raid practice this morning and a hot bath in the afternoon.

12. Nothing new. Rations small.

13. Rations very small. We go to work on a bowl of soup now. Find it hard to sleep I'm so hungry. On hut guard last nite.

14. Tough going on these rations.

15. Just soup for dinner today and Air raid practice in afternoon. Got an orange each at nite.

16. Not much new. Rations terribly small. A very thin soup was all we had for breakfast. Its cold now & hard to keep warm on these rations. We are all hoping for Red Cross parcels soon. We have been prisoners 23 months now & have only had 1 parcel. Raining tonite.

17. Rations a bit better. Red Cross rations came in. Goodness knows when we will get them. We still have some of the last bunch that came in in the 8th of May in stores.

18. Today is a holiday that we didn't go to work at the factory. We spent all day getting read for an inspection. Rations were very small & after supper we had to stand outside for about an hour. Went to bed with hunger cramps. Hot bath in the afternoon.

19. A big inspections so rations are a bit better. Rev. 0430. Breakfast 0445. Fall in at 0600 & had to run till most of the guys dropped. Mail came in.

20. Rations better today. Got a letter from Mother & a picture of the family. Buns & apples came in today.

21. Just another day. Had to work all morning on a bowl of soup.

22. Got an apple at nite.

23. Very hungry.

24. Rations slightly better. We got 3/4 cup of sugar at nite for supper.

25. A holiday. We had to run before breakfast till most of the guys dropped. Got weighed. I weigh 56 kgs. Spent the day making a pack sack. Had a hot drink at nite.

26. Rations a bit better. Had spaghetti, bread, beans & doughnuts for supper.

27. Rations poor again always the way we get a bit extra one meals & have to suffer for it the next. Got a pair of socks today. The first Japanese issue I've had.

28. Another hungry day.

29. Rations about the same, Just soup for dinner. It seems funny when were so hungry & there is Red Cross rations in stores.

30. No smokes & very little to eat. We haven't had any cigarettes for months. All we get is the butts we pick up.

December 1943

1. Nothing new. Meals, letters.

2. We got a slight increase in rice today, not much but it will help. Also a soap issue.

3. Meals pretty fair. I've got issued 1 can M & V between 2 men.

4. Just a bowl of soup for breakfast but we got ?; cup of sugar with our supper.

5. Meals not so good today. We came in from work at 0330. It is sure cold now & we can't keep warm at nite. I hope we get our 2 blankets back.

6. Nothing new.

7. I got 3 letters today. 2 from Helen & 1 from Lillian. My first word of Eric. All dated Aug/42.

8. If rations were as good every day as they were today it wouldn't be bad. Bread was supposed to come in but it didn't so they gave up spaghetti instead a real good day & tomorrow is a holiday.

9. A holiday & rations small. We got 4 oranges in the afternoon. A miserable cold day. Spent the day sewing.

10. Rations were small but tasty today. Had a spoonful of marmalade for supper from the peels we turned in. An inspection today.

11. No smokes as yet. Our last change to buy tobacco was Oct.12.

12. Nothing new. Very cold & hungry.

13. Very cold last nite. We can't even get warm at nite now. We haven't enough blankets. Bing & I are going to sleep together tonite.

14. We had a bully stew tonite for supper & it sure was good. They are saving ? can per man for Xmas. We were informed tonite that we work Xmas day.

15. Rations not so bad. We got 2 small fish for supper. Supper at 5.30 now.

16. Just soup for breakfast today.

17. Big inspection today. Rations small & very hungry. Everyone is dirty. No bath since Nov.18.

18. We got some good news today. Xmas is a holiday. The Xmas menu is published & it sounds good. The 23rd is a holiday & hot bath. We got 2 cigs tonite. The first for months.

19. Very quiet day. Rations fair bit as usual hungry. Took our measurements tonite.

20. Rations very poor today. Just soup at noon. No fish for 3 days. No veg in the soup at noon. It looks as if we have to go short in order to eat on Xmas.

21. Well rations were better today. We had a dandy supper, a big bang of rice, fried veg & 6 small fish. It was real good.

22. We had bread today for breakfast & supper - just 2 slices per meals. Very small but tasty. Sgt Goodnuf died this morning.

23. Today is a holiday & we had a funeral service for Sgt. Goodnuf & also a bath. We were last section & it was just mud. Canteen came in at nite. Weighed 57.4 kgs.

24. Worked as usual at factory. At nite there was plenty of excitement. We got 3 pkgs cigs, 3 cookies, 9 oranges, 1 lb of Red Cross sugar. Red Cross parcels were issued. ? of one each. Stan Baty & I split one. As usual there wasn't enough to give every man one each. Cocoa was issued at 10 o'clock. The parcels are great - real coffee & cigarettes. There was a church service & Christmas Carols. Lights out at 11 o'clock & we all went to bed real happy.


Christmas Day

25. Menu

Breakfast: Bread, Beef Stew, 5 oranges, Cocoa

Dinner: Rice, Bully Stew, Cocoa

Supper: Bread, Soup, Fried Fish, Pudding with Chocolate Sauce

We were issued with a Red Cross parcel between 5 men & 2 sticks of Candy. Everybody is real happy. Rev was at 0700 and everything went fine until the afternoon when we had to turn in 12 oz of meat each. However its a grand day and I only hope those at home are enjoying it as much as we are. I would sure like to be there today. However I hope next year will be different.

  1. Back to grim reality. Meals pretty good & a lovely piece of fried fish for supper.

  2. Just another day. A poor soup was all we had for dinner.

  3. Worked on clean up gano today. Had fried fish again for supper. I am really enjoying the parcel especially the coffee and cigarettes.

  4. A big improvement in the meals today.

  5. Meals very good today. We had a good ?? of fried mashed potatoes and soup for breakfast.

  6. The last day of 43. We quit work early today and came in from work at 2:30. Got 5 oranges each at nite. Very quiet for New Years Eve.

 

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