Charles Richard Trick - Life and Times

1944 Diary


  1. Very quiet day. A holiday and a hot bath is all out of the ordinary. Pretty well finished the parcel. It’s sure been great and very much appreciated.

  2. Just another day. Worked as usual. Roll call in the morning is outside now and we nearly freeze. It’s cold in bed too.

  3. Rations a bit better today. My Red Cross parcel is nearly gone. I’ve sure enjoyed it.

  4. They put stoves up today but no fire in them yet so they aren’t much good. Very cold today.

  5. Still no fire and rations pretty light. We have had no fish since Dec 30. If rations were steady it would be much better. One day they are good and next day small.

  6. Rations small. Nothing exciting.

  7. Terribly cold today and still no fire. We freeze eating our meals. Hot bath at nite. It snowed last nite.

  8. Well we have 3 fires in each hut tonite. They are lighted at 5:30 in the evening and put out at 8:30. Not much but better than nothing.

  9. Very cold all the time. We have nothing for our hands to keep them warm so we have to make mitts out of our blankets. They took the names of those who didn’t have shoes at work yesterday. Some of the boys have worked ever since we have been here in nothing but running shoes. Pretty cold working on ice and snow in running shoes. Rations better today.

  10. Well a few personal parcels came in today to excite the camp a bit. We were all glad to hear of them being in.

  11. The parcels were released today. They contain clothes and toilet articles. No food or tobacco. Bread came in the first since Xmas. Some tobacco parcels also came.

  12. More parcels today. Rations fair.

  13. Today is a holiday. More parcels came in and quite a few were given out. A lot of tobacco. I smoked my first Sweet Cap in over 2 years and had my first chew of gum. I haven’t go a parcel yet. A lot of the parcels have things missing. Its too bad when things are taken out of personal parcels. We spent the day freezing. No fires till evening. Had a hot bath.

  14. More parcels today. But none given out. We had to pay for our cigarettes we were given … Rations poor. The soup is just hot water.

  15. Rations still poor. A few parcels came in. None given out.

  16. 7 parcels came in. Rations still poor.

  17. 4 parcels today.

  18. An order was issued today that there will be no more fires. So I guess we freeze. 8 parcels came in.

  19. We didn’t work today on account of a fire at work. No parcels. Very cold all day. Sgt Allen died. Rations very small.

  20. Still no work. Funeral services. Also arm injection. We just about freeze.

  21. Went to work after dinner. Very cold and rations very small.

  22. We have no mess hall so we have to come in for dinner. Very cold. Rations up a bit. Allowed to buy 3 cig per man at nite. The first since Xmas. No parcels in or released lately.

  23. Things much the same. Very tiring walking all the way in from work for dinner.

  24. Rations terrible small today. We had to walk in from work for dinner and all we got was ¾ bowl of soup with 2 spoonfuls of veg in it and less than a cup of mashed potatoes. We all feel very hungry tonite and have been weak all day. When we first started getting beans we got a cup full. Slowly its been getting less until now its just a half cup. Things are getting grim. It’s a year ago today since we landed in this camp and at that time I was in a lot better health than today. I never thought a main could get so weak. A year ago we were getting twice as much to eat. Each had 7 blankets and could keep warm. Now we have 5 and nearly freeze. There is a lot of good clothes came in the parcels but its nearly 2 weeks since they released any. We have had no letters lately. Mail came from home to Japan over 2 months ago and so far no one has a letter. If we could just get what is ?? own and from our own folks things would be much better. I had better stop for tonite.

  25. Well things were much better today. The parcels were released and I got 1000 cigs from Mother. After over 2 years with nothing but buts to smoke its an awful lot. I’m really thankful. Also the fires were started again. It rained today and we all got wet.

  26. Rations small today. No fires at nite. 35 parcels came in.

  27. Today is a holiday and we nearly freeze. Hot bath in the afternoon. I weigh 59kgs. No parcels. Rations good. No fires.

  28. Just another day. Rations good we had spaghetti for dinner. No fires or parcels.

  29. Nothing much. No parcels and very cold.

  30. Very cold and rations slim.

  31. Rations a bit better. Chow Fan (?) for supper. Also beans and fish.

February 1944

  1. Two men died this morning from Berri Berri and Pneumonia. This cold and no fires is making a lot of men sick.

  2. Rations better. Another man died last nite. 1539 letters came in. Some were given out. None for me.

  3. Rations fair. Funeral service after dinner. Very cold. Still coming in for dinner. More letters given out.

  4. Rations pretty low. No veg in the soup to speak of. Warmer. Rain and snow last nite. I got 5 letters tonite but there all old. The latest was April 1943.

  5. Rations very slim. If they get much smaller I don’t know what will do. There is so little coal that they can’t cook the meals very good and the rice is raw.

  6. Today was a heck of a day. We went to work today on a small cup of mashed potatoes and ¾ bowl of soup. Dinner the rice was small and raw because of no fuel. Supper was a bit better because we got a small piece of fish. A report was turned in that men were loafing on the job and w had to stand for ¾ of an hour at attention when we came in from work in the cold and were threatened with a ration cut. I am all in and getting weaker every day. We had 15 minutes to eat at noon.

  7. Meals not so good today but we got 7 oranges at nite. A lot of men getting sick lately. Burch went to hospital today with pneumonia.

  8. Meals very good today. We had a fair ration of rice and beansprout soup 3 times. Very cold and every day men play out at work and have to be brought in on a cart.

  9. Meals a bit better today. Bread today and they fried it at nite. Very good.

  10. Today is a holiday and they released the parcels in stores. Some are lovely. Meals good. Battered fish for supper. We had to lay our kits out before ranks but didn’t inspect them. No bath.

  11. Another holiday today. We had a kit inspection and they took some of our clothes away. Fuel is so scarce we can’t even get any hot water to drink. They are burning pieces of cardboard. Meals smaller.

  12. Back to work. Still no fuel and no hot water. Meals a bit better although not cooked very well.

  13. Rations smaller still no hot water or fuel.

  14. Rations real small. Supper was just a small half ration of rice ½ cup of beans and ¾ bowl of soup. Another man died today. It’s getting bad and if rations don’t pick up it will get worse.

  15. A bit colder today. Rations not so good. Everything is gradually getting smaller.

  16. Had fish for supper tonite. 6 days since the last. Issued with 6 cigarettes. No bread today a bit of poor coal came in.

  17. Very cold. Rations up a bit. Bread came in.

  18. Today is a holiday and I was in bed all day to try and keep warm. Rations poor. Supper was ¾ bowl of thing soup and ½ cup beans. The best thing was a cup of hot water in the afternoon. 50 parcels came in.

  19. Another man died this morning . That is 7 in less than 2 months. It’s no wonder this morning we went to work with 4 inches of wet snow on the ground. A lot of men have no boots just canvas shoes with the soles half off. Our feet were soaking wet. We still can’t even get a cup of hot water to drink in camp. The rations are really getting bad. The soup is getting thinner and thinner. At noon today I had 4 pieces of carrot and 3 of radish in mine and we all got the same. We don’t even get fish now. Maybe once a week. Its tough when there are Red Cross rations and boots in camp and we can’t have them. A very cold nite.

  20. A cold day and rations small.

  21. Very cold. Nothing new. Rations worse.

  22. We had to work on a breakfast consisting of ¾ bowl of thin soup and a small cup of mashed potatoes. It’s sure grim. 37 more parcels came in. Stan got one.

  23. Worked hard all day on very small meals. Our last day of walking in at noon.

  24. Today is a holiday and rations were better. We got a cup of Red Cross cocoa at nite with sugar in it. I weigh 55 Kgs have lost 4 kgs in a month. Another man died. They released about 90 parcels.

  25. We started eating out at work and its terrible. The mess hall is open and all the smoke and coal dust blows in on our food which is stone cold. It is also very crowded.

  26. A bit warmer today. Rations not bad except the same small breakfast. Got 2 oranges for supper.

  27. A very nice day. Fish for supper. 33 parcels came in.

  28. Rations poor. Br 1 cup rice, ½ cup beans, ¾ bowl thin soup. Dinner: 1 cup potatoes, ¾ bowl of thin soup. Supper: same as breakfast.

  29. A nice day. Rations a bit better. Supposed to be a hot bath at nite but all it was was about a foot of warm water thick with mud. Our last bath was Jan 27.

March 1944

  1. We didn’t go to work today but it wasn’t a holiday. We spent all day getting the place cleaned up for an inspection tomorrow. Rations poor and not even a cup of hot water to drink.

  2. Rations slim. Big inspection. Red Cross clothes came in.

  3. Rations terrible today. All we had for dinner was a bowl of soup.

  4. Rations a bit better today. Had a hot drink for supper.

  5. Today was a terrible day. Snow and sleet all day. Everyone got their feet wet. Our boots are all worn out and yet there are lots in stores. They ran out of fuel in the kitchen and dinner didn’t come out till 1 o’clock and then the rice was raw and also raw for supper. Breakfast was less than a cup of potatoes with quite a few rotten ones in them and ¾ bowl soup.

  6. Another blue Monday. Dinner was 1 cup mashed potatoes and ¾ bowl of thin very thin soup. Supper was a bit better and we sure needed it.

  7. We got soaked coming in from work. It sure rained and everyone got their feet soaking wet. My boots were full of water and we have no place to dry them. The soles are worn off my boots.

  8. Just another day. Wet and damp. Sgt Webster died. Rations terrible.

  9. Today is a holiday and a nice day. The first time my feet have been dry for a week. Had PT before breakfast. Coal came in.

  10. Wet and showery all day. We all have wet feet. A lot going to hospital with pneumonia. More veg in our soups lately. That helps some.

  11. A very nice day. Rations fair.

  12. Nothin new. Rations fair.

  13. Rations terrible. Dinner was just a bowl of soup. A lot of men sick and in hospital. No wonder. our feet are never dry. We eat our dinner in an open building and the floor is wet all the time. We have hardly and socks and yet there are socks in stores here in camp. No parcels have come in for over 2 weeks and the last bunch that came in are not given out yet. Its too bad we can’t get them as they are 2 years old already.

  14. A terrible day. Wet and drizzling. The mess hall is terribly damp and cold. There was trouble at noon somebody was supposed to have stole some rice so we had to sit in the mess hall and were not allowed to eat until 3 o’clock. We nearly froze and a lot of men got sick eating such a cold meal. There are a lot of men sick. Nearly 10% of the camp are in hospital. They released the parcels at nite and we had a hot bath. Rations poor. All we had was a cup of mashed potatoes and ¾ bowl of soup for breakfast and we didn’t eat again for 9 hrs.

  15. A nice day and rations were small but we had a pretty good supper ¾ bowl soup, ½ cup beans 1 cup spinach and 2 small slices bread.

  16. Rations pretty fair. Rice 3 times today. No potatoes in so we get a plate of rice instead of ½ plate potatoes. At nite we got ½ can of bully per man. S/Sgt Cole died and there will be a lot more if something isn’t done soon.

  17. S/Sgt Ellis died this morning. It’s really getting bad. All the boys are getting very weak. We haven’t had any ?? for about a week. Just red rice and its no good. However a load of barley cam in today. We had a bully beef stew at nite. 181 12oz cans. It was lovely. There is still salt, sugar, cocoa boots and clothing in stores. A lot more went to hospital today.

  18. Today is a holiday and a good thing is was. It poured rain all day. Meals were pretty good.

  19. We woke up this morning with about 6 inches of snow on the ground. We didn’t go to work till noon and it was just melting nicely then. All I have to wear is a pair of ankle running shoes and walking in ??. I got my feet soaked 2. Fires at nite.

  20. Rainy and wet all day but rations were better the last few days. If they keep up it will be OK.

  21. Rations down again but still better than when potatoes were in. We got 1 cigarette at nite. Very wet and a lot sick men. S/Sgt Ellis funeral.

  22. A nice day. 317 letters came in and 3 parcels. Got a raise in pay and 3 cigarettes.

  23. Today is a holiday. Got weighed. I’m 56kgs. Had hot bath. Got 3 letters from Mother and 2 from Helen. All over a year old. Meals pretty good. No veg in so no soup for supper.

  24. They released about 20 pair of boots tonite and I was lucky. I got a pair a real Godsend. Meals pretty good.

  25. A nice day. Rations good. Another man died today.

  26. Rations fairly good. We had an onion patty for supper that was really good.

  27. A warm day. Rations smaller. 17 on a bucket at noon. Two days ago it was 12. One day we eat good and the next we don’t.

  28. Rained all day and we got soaked. Rations pretty good.

  29. Nothin new. Rations fair. A lot of spinach soup.

  30. A nice day. Rations good.

  31. Nothing new.

April 1944

1 A real warm day. Rations good. There is no veg so we got beans.

2 A wet day. Somebody stole a water bottle so we had to stand in the rain after work. The result was that we can’t take water bottles out anymore so we don’t have any more tea. They won’t give us any hot water in camp. That is a luxury here. No canteen has been in for quite a while and lately when it has come in all it was ?? tea. We bought it and now we can’t use it. They increased our pay and we can’t spend our money.

3 Today is a holiday and a nice day. No 11 sec moved out today.

4 A nice day. Rations fair. The lost bottle was found so we can take out our bottles tomorrow.

5 Nothing new. Rations not so good. Spaghetti for dinner.

6 Rations good and a nice day. Worked hard. No smokes. Just the butts we pick up.

7 Rained coming in tonite. Rations not too bad. Spaghetti for dinner. Good Friday.

8 Rained all day. Rations not so good.

9 Easter Sunday and a rotten day. Raining and cold. Everyone is wet and rations terrible. ¾ plate of Correan (?) corn for supper with ¾ of a bowl of what was supposed to be soup. Not half a cup of veg in it and the rest hot water. Breakfast and Dinner was much the same.

10 Not a holiday. Rations fair. They brought in a bunch of pickled turnip tops on the back of a truck and shovelled them off with a shovel. We had some for supper. They were terrible and full of stones and gravel. We also had 3 bitter oranges for supper.

11 Rations not bad. 2 more bitter oranges for supper. Released 100 pair leather boots which is a good thing.

12 Warm day. Issued with tooth brush and powder.

13 A holiday today. Rev 6:30. There is to be a broadcast home soon. We drew cards but I wasn’t lucky. It’s been months since we wrote home. I still have the last letter we were allowed to write, Nov25/43 and it never went.

14 A nice day but rations small. I scored a chance to send a message on the broadcast.

15 Cooler and rations smaller. All we had for supper was 1 ½ cups rice and ¾ bowl of thin soup with half a cup of spinach in it. Pretty small after working all day. The rations lately have been getting smaller and smaller. Private Skein died at 07:30 tonite.

16 A nice day. Rations a bit better.

17 Ration terrible. Our biggest meal was at noon and all we got was 1 ½ cups of rice and ¾ bowl of thin soup. We got a cup of cocoa at nite. Broadcast for tomorrow cancelled.

18 A holiday and Skein’s funeral. Red Cross clothes issued. All winter clothes, the summer clothes are still in stores. They started fingerprinting today.

19 Rained all day. Rations fair. We had to turn in a summer shirt if we got Red Cross pyjamas. We got issued winter clothing in the spring and they take away our summer clothes.

20 Rations terrible, small, all we got for supper was 1 cup of rice and ¾ bowl of soup and 3 small fish. My soup had 4 slices of turnip in it. Weather fine. We sign for Red Cross clothing.

21 We had a slight rice increase beginning today. No more barley so now we get mostly Corean corn and a little white rice. There was no veg in so rations were terrible small. Supper consisted of 1 ½ cups of rice and ¾ bowl of soup which had 3 spoonfuls of bean curd in it and 1 spoonful of fish eggs. We had 17 men on a bucket at noon. We also got paid. I drew 1.30 and 2.70 bonus but we have to pay half for medical supplies.

22 Well we wrote home tonite. Rations small. One man in our section was beaten up by some of the Japanese staff and they had to take him to hospital.

23 Rations awful small. Very hungry.

24 Big inspection today so we had a dandy soup at noon. Solid veg and thickening. Supper was 1 ½ cups rice and ¾ bowl of watery spinach soup. Very hungry.

25 Rations small. Got finger printed.

26 Fish came in but they put it in the soup. Rations gradually slipping. 19 men on a bucket at noon.

27 Very small rations today. We got less beans and rice today than we have for months. We haven’t had a bath since Mar 23rd. Very dirty and the fleas are terrible. Big inspection today. Medical. There are 2200 Red Cross food parcels at Shinagawa. The quarter master saw them yesterday. Rev 0600 hrs today.

28 Rained all day. Everyone got wet. Rations up a bit. We got a little meat in the soup at noon and a small piece of fish for supper. Oranges came in.

29 Sgt Emo died today from pneumonia. We got 2 ½ oranges for supper.

30 A few more letters were given out tonite. A small piece of fried fish for supper.

May 1944

  1. Red Cross food parcels and supplies came in tonite. We got 2 ½ oranges per man.

  2. Today is a holiday and a great day. Slept all morning. Concert after dinner, also T.B. Niedle (?). We got shaving cream, soap, razors, etc. Not enough to go around, some things between 3 men. Some between 5 men. Also 11 cigs each. After supper a cup of sweet cocoa and 2 Red Cross food parcels between 5 men. Rations were small all day. We hear Capt Reid is leaving us.

  3. After roll call this morning Capt Reid said Good-bye to us all, an American Major took his place. Meals changed now. Breakfast 3 cups of beans and soup. Dinner 1 ½ cups rice and soup. Supper same as breakfast. Not so hungry.

  4. A few more letters came in. Meals same as yesterday.

  5. We were issued with rain capes tonite.

  6. After we came in from work we had to do 15 minutes drill. Rations fair.

  7. Nothing new. Fish came in but it was rotten so they threw it out.

  8. Nothing new.

  9. Just another day. Fish for supper.

  10. Issued each section 12 winter hats and 6 winter shirts.

  11. A holiday. Hot bath. Rations fair.

  12. Nothing new.

  13. Fish for supper.

  14. Rations good.

  15. A few Red Cross medical supplies came in. Fish for supper.

  16. Rations pretty good. Canteen in.

  17. Bed down today with my leg. Red Cross medical supplies released. Fish.

  18. We got a vitamin pill each tonite.

  19. Still not working. Battered fish for supper. Rice small.

  20. Rations terrible small yesterday and today.

  21. Rations very small. 5 days ago we had 13 men on a bucket of rice. Today it was 19. Very hungry. Another needle at nite.

  22. Rations small but good today. Supper: rice and soup. A piece of fish the size of my thumb. 18 strawberries and about 4 spoonfuls of sugar. Pay day.

  23. 5 apples for supper.

  24. Hot bath at factory.

  25. A holiday today. Weigh 60.2kgs. Canteen in. Rations fair.

  26. Another bath at factory.

  27. Rained all day. Still getting vitamin pills at nite.

  28. Nothing happens. Rations fair.

  29. 50 eggs came in to be divided between 460 men, so they put them in the soup.

  30. We were able to buy 5 cigs tonite.

  31. A nice day and rations good.

June 1944

  1. Issued 4 cigarettes.

  2. We had to turn in greatcoats.

  3. Issued with new tin dishes and our old ones were taken away.

  4. Nothing new. Rations good.

  5. Rations down a bit.

  6. 10 tunics and 10 pants issued per section, the first working clothes since we came here.

  7. 15 pair of clogs per section and we were able to buy 100 cigs each.

  8. A holiday and we had to turn in our winter clothes. So we had to wash them.

  9. Nothing new. Rations slimmer. The fleas so bad we can’t sleep.

  10. Rations very small.

  11. Nothing new.

  12. Capt Reid came back today also a search by police. They searched our kits. Rations slim. We got potatoes instead of rice for breakfast.

  13. Rations very slim. Fish came in the day before yesterday but we haven’t got it yet. The boys are all very tired. We don’t get much sleep now for fleas. Some men are bitten very bad by them.

  14. Nothing new. Everyone is filthy dirty and we can’t even get a cold bath.

  15. Air raid siren we this evening. Fish for supper.

  16. Issued with soap, tooth brush and powder.

  17. A few pair of Red Cross slacks issued as work pants. Rations real small.

  18. Fish for supper.

  19. Canteen at nite. Everyone got a free box of fish powder. Vitamin pills stopped.

  20. Nothing new. Rations smaller.

  21. Able to buy 5 cigs tonite.

  22. Today is a holiday. We had to turn in our Hong Kong mess tins and dishes. I weighed 62kg. The camp average is down.

  23. Nothing new.

  24. Rations up a bit. No veg in so we get potatoes in our soup.

  25. Nothin new. Veg came in so rations will drop.

  26. We get real soggy rice from now on, just like porridge.

  27. A lot of men sick from the soggy rice.

  28. Today is a holiday. We had a kit inspection and a YMCA man gave us a talk. More of a service. He was very good. Issued with dishes for a stool test.

  29. No work this morning on account of stool tests. Went to work at noon.

  30. We hear of a cut in rations tomorrow, also a soap issue.

July 1944

  1. A cut in rations today. We got cherries for supper. Rations small and we can’t sleep for mosquitoes and fleas.

  2. Nothing new except today is a holiday. Cherries for dinner.

  3. Rations smaller.

  4. Air raid precautions today. Rations small.

  5. Rations smaller every day. We got some flea powder today.

  6. We bought 5 pks cigs tonite. 44 lbs of fish came in for 460 men. Rations small.

  7. Rations very slim and we’re all very hungry. Breakfast is 2 small potatoes, ¾ cup beans and ¾ bowl soup. Dinner, 1 ½ cups rice and ¾ bowl of soup. Supper, 1 ½ cups rice and a bowl of soup. We get fish about once a week and meat about once a week. They brought in some horse bones for the soup tonite. The reason our dinner ration of soup is small is because the wagon that brings it our spills 2 to 3 buckets a day.

  8. Rations very small. Cucumber soup 3 times today. We got issued with 2 pks cigs, tooth powder, soap, towel and G String. Our first towel since coming to Japan.

  9. We got issued with paper to write home. Rations slim.

  10. Big inspection at factory today. So we ate a bit better. Real thick soups.

  11. Rice up a bit today.

  12. Hot bath at factory. Wrote a post card to Helen.

  13. A holiday today. I weighed 62.3kgs. Camp average down. Very warm. Rations good.

  14. Very warm. Rations fair.

  15. Rice rations good but the soup is thin and just cucumbers.

  16. Rations pretty good. A very hot day.

  17. Very warm today. Fried fish for supper. The first for a long long time.

  18. Still very warm. Rations fair. We are allowed to smoke outside now.

  19. Very hot. Fleas and mosquitoes very bad. Rations good. Sweet beans for supper.

  20. A bit cooler. Pay day. We were able to buy 3 pks cigs at nite. Fried fish for supper.

  21. Showery today. Sweet beans for supper.

  22. Cool and showery. Rations good. Fish and a slice of tomatoe for supper.

  23. Very cool. Rations good. Sliced tomatoe for supper.

  24. Nice day. Rations fairly good. Nothing new.

  25. Nothing new. Rations fair.

  26. Showery today. Fish for supper.

  27. Today is a holiday. That is we didn’t go to the factory. We spent a lot of the day getting ready and cleaning up for a big inspection tomorrow. Hot bath.

  28. An inspection today. We sure ate good. We had more rice than we have had for weeks. At noon we had a bowl of spaghetti besides a bowl of rice.

  29. Rations good. 3 pks cigs at nite. Went in with fever.

  30. Came out of hospital. Rations fair. Feel rotten.

  31. Nothing new. Still feel rotten.

August 1944

  1. Nothing new. We came in from work very dirty and couldn’t get a bath, no water or very little. I don’t know why. Potatoes came in.

  2. A small issue of fish powder and sea salt at nite. Also a bath. One of our guards made some of our men run today in the heat for punishment. One of the boys fainted or passed out.

  3. Rations good. Nothing new.

  4. The air raid sirens went at supper time. Very warm nite and fleas are bad.

  5. Some of the boys got slapped in our section on Roll call this morning because they weren’t standing just right. It’s pretty hard to stand right after working in the daytime and fighting fleas all night.

  6. Went to work as usual. Nothing new. We never get any news. We have had no papers since last May. We got ¾ lb tea at nite.

  7. Nothing new. Rations good. Beans with a little sugar in for supper.

  8. Showery today. Nothing new.

  9. Very warm. Rations good. The last 3 days the work party has been dismissed as soon as we get to camp. Our regular head guard was away. Before nearly every nite we had to stand out on the parade square for something. It’s a real treat.

  10. Today is a holiday and very warm. We got weighed. I weigh 59.8kgs, got ½ bar of soap issued. Rations good. We had a small piece of bread for supper.

  11. Very hot. Nothing new. We start getting vitamin pills again. A cut in rice.

  12. Rations not bad. We get no rice for breakfast, ¾ ration at noon and ¾ ration at nite. We had a bean fritter for supper.

  13. Nothing new. A whole lot of cucumbers came in.

  14. Very hot. Were able to buy 2 pks of curry each. The fleas are so bad we can’t sleep.

  15. We fell in as usual this morning to go to work and after waiting for half and hour on the parade square we were dismissed and told today was a holiday. Bought 3 pks cigs.

  16. We got an extra vitamin pill tonite. 12 bags of sugar came in.

  17. Rations up a bit. We have to have off all mustaches. The camp sure smells bad. The toilet causes it. The toilet is full of maggots.

  18. Nothing new. Rations small. 19 men a bucket of rice at noon. Yesterday it was 17.

  19. Nothing new. Rations fair.

  20. Pay day. Fried fish for supper.

  21. Nothing new.

  22. We were able to buy 4 pks cigs.

  23. Nothing new.

  24. Today is a holiday. I weigh 60.8kgs. Rations good.

  25. Showery. Rations just fair. Small supper. A bowl of spaghetti and 3 spoonfuls of raw cucumber.

  26. Nothing new. Sweet beans for supper.

  27. We were able to buy a small cake at nite. The first for months.

  28. Nothing new. Rations good.

  29. 3 pkgs cigs at nite.

  30. Very warm. Rations down a bit.

  31. Nothing new.

September 1944

  1. Nothing new.

  2. An inspection today. Rations good. We got a pear each for supper.

  3. Rations good. A bean patty for supper.

  4. Nothing new.

  5. Today is a holiday. I weigh 60.4kgs. We got 9 vitamin pills. Letters came in. The first for months.

  6. The mail was given out tonite. I wasn’t lucky.

  7. Showery all day. Rations good.

  8. Rained all day. The work party is down because some men have no boots. A lot of men are working in practically bare feet. There are still a lot of Red Cross boots in stores.

  9. Nothing new. Rations good.

  10. Rations not so good. The army arrived in camp today. We got 3 pks cigs.

  11. The army took over the guard here this morning .The first time since Aug 1 1943. Fried fish for supper. Our first for a week.

  12. Rained all day. The floor of the mess hall was just a lake. The roof leaks all over our food.

  13. We can’t smoke after roll call at nite since the army took over the camp. Nothing happened today.

  14. Today is a holiday. Ration fair. I weigh 61.5kgs. We had a church service in the afternoon conducted by a Japanese Christian minister. Some letters came in and were given out.

  15. Nothing new. Rations fairly good but the rice is so musty we can hardly eat it.

  16. Nothing new. Rained all day.

  17. A lot of boys are vomiting and passing worms. Nothing much new. Another one of our boys was nearly killed today, a load of steel dropped on him. They don’t use the ambulance when one our boys are hurt. We have to use a 2 wheeled cart.

  18. Nothing new.

  19. Air raid alarm today. Rations terribly small. Yesterday we had 21 buckets of rice for the work party and today only 17.

  20. They issued some of the boys who had no boots some straw ones today. All they are is a straw pad about 8 inches long and they tie with straw to the big toe and ankle. The top of the foot is all exposed. Some of the boys got pretty well crippled up and one had to be brought in on a cart. 3 decks cigs.

  21. Nothing new.

  22. Some canteen supplies came in.

  23. We got a few thing tonite. Tea, pepper and fish powder.

  24. We each had to carry a bundle of wood in from work tonite for fuel and then after getting here we had to stand while they searched us. We got an apple for supper.

  25. Nothing new. Showery.

  26. Nothing new.

  27. A nice day.

  28. Well today is a holiday such as they are here. We got up the same time as usual and spent all morning scrubbing dirty clothes with no soap then before our clothes were dry we had to bring them in (we couldn’t hang them outside) and get ready for an inspection. We had to make up our beds and tidy and wash them. Then the inspection never came off. We got weighed. I weigh 61.5kgs. We go our eyes tested. Had a hot bath with no soap. At 4 o’clock till 5 o’clock a Japanese minister gave us a sermon. Rations fair.

  29. A big speech at the factory today. The boys didn’t start work till 2:30 after dinner.

  30. The guard changed today.

October 1944

    1. Rained all day. One of our boys got beaten up by Japanese workers today.

    2. Nothing new.

    3. Inspection today. Cool but I had a shower.

    4. Rained all day. Rations gradually getting smaller.

    5. Still raining. We got a can of seaweed salt at nite.

    6. They took away another blanket today. When we first came here we had 7 now we have 4. Raining all day. The mess hall floor is just like a lake. The roof leaks badly.

    7. Rained very hard all day. We came back to camp soaked right through at noon. We had to wade in water over our boot tops.

    8. Today there was no work. It rained all morning but cleared up after dinner. I spent all day sewing and washing.

    9. A nice day. Rations slim. A few parcels came in. Had a tooth pulled. Thanksgiving.

    10. Rations up a bit. We got 2 pks cigs and 10 chestnuts and 10 vitamin pills.

    11. Cool today. Hot bath at factory.

    12. Today is a holiday, cold and miserable. They took away a shirt and pants. We haven’t got many clothes for the cold weather. Got weighed: 61.5kgs. All we get is rice and greens 3 times a day. Everybody is swelling up with beri beri. Three bags of sweet potatoes came in yesterday but I guess we won’t see any of them.

    13. Cool. Nothing new. Rations small.

    14. Have to get ready for a big inspection.

    15. We had to get up at 3.15AM today for a kit inspection. Cool and rations small. Those who didn’t have winter pants and jacket were issued them tonite. Inspection tomorrow.

    16. Inspection went off OK. Had potatoe soup for supper instead of greens. Also meat in the soup for dinner.

    17. We got checked for hair cuts tonite and had to stay up till 11 o’clock to get it cut. Rations fairly good. 10 messages home to be sent from here.

    18. Not much new. Every day someone gets slapped.

    19. Parcels released. Rations good.

    20. We were allowed to buy 2 pks cigs tonite. Tobacco is practically none. Not even any butts. Had to pay 20 cents for hospital. We had to bow for about 15 minutes in the evening.

    21. Showery all day. Rations fair.

    22. Two of the boys got hammered around today. One for having the ear flaps of his cap pulled down and the other fellow has beri beri bad and he couldn’t keep up with the work party coming home when they had to run, so one of the guards knocked him down and kicked him. It’s cold now and we have no great coats only four blankets. One of the boys had pneumonia. About 180 pair of Red Cross Boots came in.

    23. They lent out 25 pair of boots. They have to turn them back in on the 26th. We had fish for supper but it was so rotten I couldn’t eat it.

    24. Air raid practices all day both in camp and at the factory. Black out at nite.

    25. We got our great coats back tonite. Also a tooth brush and tooth powder.

    26. Today is a holiday. A lot of new boots were issued. I weigh 60.5kgs, lost 1 kg. Everyone lost weight. Church service in afternoon. I had a fever.

    27. I didn’t go to work today. In with fever. It rained hard all day.

    28. Back to work. They threw out a lot of potatoes today because they were rotten. In the last 2 days we have had 2 clear soups.

    29. A nice day and rations good. 3 apples each at nite.

    30. Nothing new. Rations good.

    31. Two pks cigs each. Nothing new.

November 1944

  1. Air raid today. The sirens went and were all rushed in from the factory after dinner. However it was cancelled at 5PM. A few letters were given out.

  2. About 100 more letters came in. Rations pretty good these days.

  3. Today is a holiday. Hot bath. I weigh 62.6kgs. Rained all day.

  4. Nothing new. Mail was given out.

  5. Sgt Major Todd was killed today at the factory. A load of planks fell on him. Also and air raid this morning. We had to run to camp just before dinner and back to work after dinner. Some more mail came in today and I got a letter just over a year old.

  6. Sgt Major Todd’s funeral today. Also more mail. We had the smallest dinner today that we have had for a long long time. 20 men on a bucket of rice and 19 on a bucket of soup. Quite a few cases of mumps. Four this morning.

  7. Air raid again today. We ran in from the factory about 2 o’clock and didn’t go back. I got 2 letters from Helen. More mumps.

  8. We got 3 oranges for supper. Also fried fish. The other 2 meals were really small. Cold and wet. More mail given out.

  9. A holiday. I weigh 62kgs. Had hot bath. Soap came in. We haven’t had any for months. Spent the day sewing my winter pants.

  10. Rations pretty slim. Our rice for breakfast was full of steel shavings and glass. We couldn’t eat it.

  11. Today is Armistice day. But in no way was it observed here. Rations fair. 3 oranges for supper.

  12. Nothing new. Rations fair.

  13. Nice day. Nothing new.

  14. A few letters came in. None given out.

  15. I got a letter from Mother.

  16. A good day today. Supper, rice soup, 2 fish fired and a small patty. After supper a bar of soap and 2 pks cigs.

  17. Some socks, powdered soap and mail came in. Rations fair.

  18. Very cold today. Stan and I started sleeping together to try to keep warm. Some mail given out.

  19. A little warmer. A few canteen supplies came in.

  20. Rations pretty slim. The rice is gradually getting smaller and soup is getting thinner.

  21. Big inspection today. Meals much better.

  22. Canteen supplies released. Tea, cocoa, curry, etc. Church services in evening.

  23. Today is a holiday. I weigh 61kgs. Had a hot bath. We have to turn in our dish bags, so now we have nothing to cover our dishes.

  24. A big day. Air raid started at noon and continued till 3:30. Then we came in to camp. We have no air raid shelters. We get under the tables in the mess hall. 1401 parcels (Red Cross) came in. Quite a lot of excitement. There are 464 men in camp.

  25. Nothin new. Rations rotten. Every day the same. Breakfast 2 boiled potatoes as big as an egg. ½ cup of rice and green soup. Dinner- rice and green soup. Supper- rice and green soup.

  26. Nothing new.

  27. Air raid today and we got to camp about 3 PM.

  28. A lot of cigarettes came in. About 30,000. We were told that tomorrow we are to move to new hut.

  29. After we came in from work we moved to the new hut. Everyone is in one hut now. I have a top bunk about 10 ft off the floor.

  30. We had 2 air raids last nite and we were up quite a bit. We lined up to go to work but didn’t go. Very cold all day.

December 1944

  1. Nothing new. Showery. Rations pretty small.

  2. A nice day but rations very small. No Red Cross parcels yet. W have very little to eat and nothing to smoke and yet there are 1400 Red Cross parcels here in camp and they won’t give them out. We moved to new mess hall after dinner. Very crowded and cold but dry.

  3. Air raid today. Came in at 3.30.

  4. Nothing new. Nice day. Started getting barley.

  5. A few cows guts came in. Nice day.

  6. The guts were rotten so they threw them out. We got tea, curry, etc in the canteen at nite.

  7. Air raid tonite just at supper time. We had to eat in the dark.

  8. Nearly 100 men got orders to move to another camp.

  9. We got 2 pks cigs and pay.

  10. No veg in so we had bean soup for breakfast and beans for supper. Quite a treat. From rice and greens. 23 men left for H.G. (?) camp.

  11. 73 men left for Shen-a gawa camp. We have air raids nearly every nite.

  12. Nothing new.

  13. Came in from work at 4 PM on account of air raid. Got 1 bottle vitamin pills per man.

  14. Very cold now and only 4 blankets each. The Japanese guard is using our Red Cross blankets. Air raids every nite.

  15. Cold. Nothing new.

  16. Very cold.

  17. Still very cold and no holiday till 21. Everybody smells it’s so long since we had a bath.

  18. Nothing new. Rations rotten. Rice and greens is all we get.

  19. Nothing new.

  20. Warmer. Rice and greens.

  21. A holiday. I weigh 60.8kgs. Had a hot bath. Also got coffee, cigs, pepper and curry from factory. Class C.

  22. Nice day.

  23. Bread in for Xmas. Canteen in.

  24. Oranges and potatoes came in. A great evening. Came in from work as usual. Had a Red Cross salt issue at supper time. The salt has been in stores since March 1943. After supper we had a church service. After Roll Call we got a Red Cross parcel each and sang Christmas carols

  25. Christmas Day

Breakfast: Rice and meat soup
Dinner: Bread, soup, oranges(4) and duff
Supper: Rice, soup, boiled fish and sweet beans

We had a very nice day. A concert in the afternoon at which the Japanese took pictures.

  1. Back to work.

  2. Air raid at noon. We hear of Smith’s death at Shin a gawa. That is 2 deaths in less than a week.

  3. Air raid in PM.

  4. Enjoying Red Cross parcel.

  5. 3 air raids last nite.

  6. We worked until noon at factory. Came to camp after dinner and cleaned up camp. A lot of rotten sweet potatoes came in.