Railways of Death
The Sumatra Railway has taken a backseat to the Thailand - Burma Railway for a number of reasons which include the many books and films which have been centred on Thailand and Burma, plus the numbers of PoWs involved in the railways construction.
Although the numbers of PoWs who worked and died on the Sumatra Railway are not so high, they still died working under horrific conditions for the Japanese.
At the turn of the century little was known about the Sumatra Railway and then our Yahoo group ‘The FEPOW Community’ had the good fortune to have Capt. George Duffy join us. George was captured 10th September 1942 when the German ship ‘Michael’ attacked and sunk the ‘MS American Leader’, taking 47 of the crew as prisoners. They were handed over to the Japanese at Tanjong Priok in early November 1942. Many of the crew were later transferred to work on the Sumatra Railway, including Capt. George Duffy.
It was then my intention to add the Sumatra Railway to the Roll of Honour, but it has taken over 20 years to do so.
I have included a lot of information from George’s book ‘Ambushed under the Southern Cross’ (signed to me from George). These pages are in remembrance of Capt. George Duffy and all those who worked and died on the Sumatra Railway.
God Bless you George.
History by Capt. George Duffy
Full Sumatra Railway Roll - Compiled by Ronnie Taylor
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