ON REFLECTION:Yesterday’s commemoration service for WWII prisoners of Imperial Japan offered one veteran the chance to talk about the kindness of Taiwanese civilians
Date: Nov 16, 2015
By: Jonathan Chin / Staff reporter
Military families, 95-year-old British veteran Ken Pett and a number of international
dignitaries yesterday commemorated a day of remembrance at the site of the former Kinkaseki prisoner of war (POW) camp in New Taipei City’s Jinguashi (金瓜石).
Of 14 POW camps Imperial Japan established in Taiwan during World War II, Kinkaseki was the most notorious. More than 1,100 POWs were forced to work in a copper mine at Jinguashi enduring starvation, rampant disease and constant abuse from guards, according to the Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society.
Pett, an enlisted man in the British Army’s 80th Anti-Tank Regiment, was captured during the Battle of Singapore and said he endured inhuman conditions while on a ship transporting him to Taiwan.
“I remember most of the brutality of the guards,” Pett said, adding that he believes in commemorating fallen comrades at the site of the former camp, because honoring his friends is “the right thing to do, and no one else can do it, if not me.” [FULL STORY]