Tamajao 241 by Ernest Warwick

Book extracts

Chapter 1

...The ropes used to tie the young British soldier to the tree didn't seem to hurt anymore. Blood from his mouth had run down his neck on to his chest, drying fast in the hot tropical sun of Singapore. His fair hair was matted in dried blood from a wound on one side of his head caused by a blow from a rifle butt, although that didn't seem to worry him either. It was the ants, the bloody red ants crawling around his legs, upwards across his chest, up his neck to feast on his dried blood...

...Following the bloody massacre at Alexander Hospital, where staff and patients had been bayoneted to death, Allied prisoners of war were experiencing and witnessing numerous atrocities carried out by the occupying Japanese force against the local inhabitants and Allied prisoners of war. Rape and looting were commonplace...

Chapter 2

...Days and nights blurred into one. The young British soldier had lived his life a million times over, his brain somewhat confused in the darkness. Twenty-eight days later, he was still in his metal tomb. Despite this, his strong constitution, determination and will to survive had kept him sane, while deep in his heart lurked a bitter hatred for his cruel captors...

Chapter 3

...Despite sickness, starvation and cruelty, the Japanese were unable to crush the spirit of the POW's or their determination to survive. It was late August 1942...

Chapter 4

...Before sleep overtook him, Ed Warton pondered hard. He had travelled a fast road from a young civilian to soldier and to Japanese prisoner of war. Now a trained killer, deep in his heart he knew there was much to do. He was no longer afraid. Suddenly he was asleep...

Chapter 6

...They stood together, proud and defiant, as Sergeant Yamanoto and Korean Kaneshiro set to work with pickaxe handles. They did not whimper or cry out in pain. In a few short minutes it was all over. Crushed and broken, their young bodies lay dead in the midday sun...

Chapter 8

...A hail of bullets cut down those who had surged forward. Several fell dead, and a number of wounded were screaming and rolling in pain and agony...

Chapter 9

...Carrying their sick comrades somehow, and stumbling, falling and dragging one foot behind the other the weary, exhausted and bedraggled column of prisoners approached the entrance of what, unbeknown to them at the time, proved to be their ultimate destination...

Chapter 10

...Their was a shout from a Jap machine gunner perched high up on a bank of earth. As the prisoners of war looked down the valley across the broad river, in the distance they could see what appeared to be a dark wall rapidly approaching...

Chapter 11

...Suddenly, it dawned on them that the dreaded disease had arrived. "I'll tell you what it is mate" announced Bluey Johnson "It's cholera. Bloody oath, that's what it is!"  The shocked burial party looked hard at each other. No one spoke. Each man had despair in his eyes...

Chapter 14

...The Emperor and his warlords were not only guilty of starting the war in the Far East. Through their brutal representatives during the construction of the Burma to Siam railway, they were wholly guilty of one of the greatest atrocities committed against mankind in World War 2...

Chapter 19

...That night Morrie dreamed he was back home in Westcliff near Southend. He strode briskly from Preston Road through into Hamlet Court Road...He continued past the Westcliff swimming baths...unexpectedly the magic scene faded from sight. The morning became bright tropical moonlight. In the river were his mates Ed and Bill dragging a dead Jap soldier...