Ban Pong Staion
The photo is available from http://www.awm.gov.au
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