Penny – Prisoners of War
Of the more than 30,000 Australian’s taken prisoner during the Second World War, some 22,000 were captured in 1942 when Japan swept through South East Asia and the Pacific. For POW’s in Japanese camps life was brutal. They suffered inhumaine treatment and abuse. Many were used as slave labour and more than one third died – either from starvation and disease or at the hands of their captors. By contrast, of the 8,600 Australian POW’s in other parts of the world, 8,335 survived to return home. While all prisoners endured hardships, the treatment of Australian POW’s inJapanese camps is one of the darkest periods in Australian military history.