Ban Pong
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Ban Pong-Sign

    Ban Pong


     Also Named:

Bahn Pong











Railway Line - 10b





Railway Line - 40b
















9th Railway Regiment










II Group

Aug 42 - Oct 43








First Transit camp for men from Singapore


Ban Pong, Thailand. c. September 1945. The railway station

Ban Pong Staion

The photo is available from

At the beginning the camp was the base camp for all the Railway parties and had the only prisoners hospital in Thailand for the early arrivals. The camp was on either side of the road and made up of atap huts, one side was permanent and the other for transit. The camp were always ankle deep in mud and in the rainy season brought with it excreta, it was like walking through treacle.

Water was supplied from a single well about a half mile down a lane which always had some form of Thai market near it.

The officers hut on the permenant side was not too crowded and had planks on the floor to stop the mud being walked onto the bedding shelf. The latrines was made of a deep trench with bamboo stretched across it, leaving a nine inch running gap.  Squating side by side to relieve oneself as there was no partitioning there was no privacy. Maggots from the trenches infested the whole area, after laying their eggs, the whole camp was plagued by their offspring, giant bluebottles. Dysentry and flies were rife in this camp, the hospital lay in the lowest part of the camp so it was often flooded.

The hospital was an atap hut and at times the patients were laying only inches above the flood water on their bamboo shelving. It was not uncommon for the doctor to visit the patients in wellington boots and then climb onto the shelving as the water was too deep to stand in. Mosquitoes took over the area at night and brought more illness to the already sick patients.

Information from Railway of Death by John Coast



November 1942

We left Singapore Station on 6th November 1942, bound for Siam (Thailand) in cattle trucks. We arrived after our 1200 mile journey, ranks were formed at Bam Pong and we were marched until open sided huts were reached, these huts were of bamboo and atap roof construction. The bamboo had been split and nearly hammered nearly  flat, each man had a space, six foot long by one foot six inches wide. Thai Chinese had a hut 20 yards to our right and eight feet away to our left was a similar hut occupied by British officers under the command of Lt. Col. Pine-Coffin. Contact with the Chinese was strictly forbidden. Respect for Lt. Col. Pine-Coffin grew as he faced up to the Japanese to look after his men.

We left Ban Pong in overloaded trucks, the road was flat with small trees dotted here and there, disembarking at Kanchanburi.

Information from Unknown to the Emperor by J.R. Hill



April 1943

‘F’ Force started to arrive at Ban Pong 25th April 1943, having realised the Japanese promise of a rest camp to be a lie, they bartered with the Thais for their now surplus baggage. ‘F’ Force stayed at Ban Pong for two weeks amongst the overflowing latrine trenches with fat green flies and mosquitoes, the bamboo huts were full of lice and bedbugs.

Two Korean guards took charge of them, Toyama was a Korean auxiliary who was very pale with smooth feminist skin. He worked himself into a frenzy with his voice reaching a high pitch before he lashed out. His alleged lover Lieutenant Fukuda was in charge of the Ban Pong camp, but he had no control over Toyama, who often carried a golf club in his right hand which he would use on the prisoners. Toyama was nicknamed, ‘Golfboy’ and ‘Niblick’.

The prisoners found out they were to travel on foot from Ban Pong, 200 miles up country, to work near the Burma border on the railway.

Captain Mudie had made a radio at Changi and took it with him, it was concealed it in a torch within the battery casing, the torch worked although only being lit by a small battery.

The commander of ‘F’ Force, Lieutenant Harris and his officers, left Ban Pong by truck. The goods left were stored in a building and Colonel Banno, who was to command ‘F’ Force promised they would be there on the prisoners return, this included some medicines, spare food and clothing brought from Singapore.

At 10am on May 7th, the medical officer Lietenant Houston with three majors left in a truck, whilst the prisoners started their journey on foot to Kanchanaburi.

Information from To the River Kwai by John Stewart




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