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Saturday, 24 June 2006                                          27 June 2006
The Hon Secretary                                               President 1/19 RNSWR Association
1/19 RNSWR Association
                                                                Dear Roger,
Dear Bob,
                                                                I have been without a computer for over a week.
I was deeply moved by the letter                                All sorts of problems that finally were resolved
from Greg Douglas in support of Major Reg                       when the cable connections were finally replaced.
Newton, MC and Bar. So much so that I am                        I have therefore been slow to respond to your
compelled to write and add my support to the                    letter. I’d like to have done that by hand but am
sentiments expressed in Greg’s wonderful letter. I              on the move (to country on military matters) so I
wish I could have such a stalwart to support me                 am emailing instead.
should I ever need one.
                                                                In a word thank you for your kind letter. I am
From what I have discerned, although only a                     beginning to realize that in some little way my
recent member of 1/19 Battalion Association Reg                 work has made a bit of a difference. That is
has been a real contributor to the association, not             important for the Korean Vets who have never
a fair-weather member, but a real there in your                 really entered the Australian consciousness so far
face member, so ably supported by his charming                  as military history is concerned.
wife Joy. I care little for the innuendo by the
gutless few and their stupid, asinine and                       “Grim Glory” now on my bookshelves is an
unsuccessful attempts to sabotage the launch of                 impressive piece of work. That episode in history
the 3rd Edition of The Grim Glory. Not because I                has not had its due attention either.
am the editor but because of my inordinate belief               Congratulations    to   the     team   for   that
in a sense of fair play as so ably expressed by                 comprehensive history – as for the editor I could
Greg Douglas.                                                   not find adequate words to praise him
It is of interest to me that their “claim” that they            Sincerely
allegedly “cherish and love these wonderful old
men” (I have heard that phrase from at least one
of them) that at the moment of seeing a dream                   Olwyn Green OAM
that these same “wonderful old men” have so long
looked forward to, and they were incapable of
delivering over so many years, and which was                    6 July 2006
about to be realised that they would seek to
intervene and hope to prevent it from happening                 Dear Bob
with scurrilous innuendo and no real evidence.
                                                                Please find enclosed details of the passing of
Their actions say a lot, or is that a little, about their       NX29377 Neil Oswald Scott of 2/19 Battalion AIF
character and version of “love and cherish” and of              and the eulogy I presented at his funeral service.
fair play.                                                      I hope this service is satisfactory to the ex-
                                                                members of the 2/19 Battalion AIF with whom I
I don’t care, in truth, what the outcome may be,                am proud to have served as a member of the
Reg and Joy have put in some hard yards and                     Australian Army Medical Corps - attached to the
devotion in their demonstrable care over many                   Battalion for medical duties January to May 1942
years for the men, and their families, of 2/19                  and subsequent POW camps at Selerang,
Battalion, AIF.                                                 Roberts Barracks, The Square Incident, Ponds
                                                                Party of ‘F’ Force, Thailand, Sime Road ‘P’ Party
I stand with Greg Douglas, and state quite                      and ‘X’ Party Jurong, and Changi Jail.
unequivocally that Reg and Joy, will always be
welcome at my home and be invited to share                      With Best Wishes to All
whatever my table has to offer. I would be proud                Sincerely
to be seen in their company.
Strangely enough from what I have observed                      Ron (Scotty) Hassett
none of his accusers have been members of the
defence forces, or worn a uniform, and some of                  Bundaberg QLD 4670
them take a commercial advantage of those who
                                                                Editor’s Note:
To Greg Douglas I say I would be proud to shake                 Ron – I know I speak on behalf of all of us – that
your hand and call you friend and hope that some                we are indebted to you (and Val) for the
day I will.                                                     outstanding commitment and service you have
Yours Sincerely,                                                provided and continue to provide.

Peter McGuinness , MBE, RFD, ED
Lieutenant Colonel (Retd)
Coningham, TAS, 7054

26 July 2006                                                       24 July 2006

Dear Second Generation families of the                             The Hon Secretary
Dads who were POWs in Japan & who
worked in the Aso Mines.                                           Dear Bob
My name is Marilyn Caruana (email
mazc@tpg.com.au) I am the 2nd daughter of John                     Sincere thanks for publishing the photo in Issue 2
William Hall, Dad is now 87 years old.                             Volume 5 of my brother Roy Cotton. Still can’t believe
After reading the article written by Chris Reed in the             how well the tiny aged photo reproduced.
Australian on the 4th July 06, he has written about our
Dads’ working conditions during the time they were                 Made one boo boo when I wrote requesting the names
incarcerated as POWs, working in dreadful and                      of the others – I sent my brother Jack’s number.
dangerous conditions in a mine where the Japanese                  Promptly corrected !
would not send their men because of the danger.
My Dad has spoken about conditions of constant rock                Yes, I had two calls – one when I was asleep and call
falls, it was hot, wearing only loin cloths for protection,        answered by my other half as I was just out of hospital
working 12 hour shifts on very little food, not seeing             from surgery and was being protected. The caller was
daylight for days. These men endured much cruelty,                 to ring back…but didn’t.
degradation, and humiliation.
Germany accepted their obligation to acknowledge the               Second call from Bill Dempsey of Leeton: the soldier
forced slave labour they inflicted on their prisoners              behind Roy (standing) was the late Bill Gavel and the
during the war. Japan has failed to acknowledge,                   photo was taken at Wallgrove. It was great to have a
apologise or pay for work our Dads did.                            chat with Bill. Thanks to you and the Journal am
The Geneva Convention requires prisoners to be paid                learning more, sorting out fact from half remembered
for forced labour. I have written to Mr Taro Aso who is            conversations and memory flashes.
the foreign minister of Japan and shortly will be
contending for the top job of prime minister, he has
                                                                   With Best Wishes
failed to reply to my letter. I asked him to at least
recognise what happened in his father’s mine during
that time, his father made a lot of money out of using             Shirley Drum
these men as slaves. Mr Aso managed this mine until
                                                                   YAMBA NSW 2464
he went into politics. He has obviously demonstrated he
is an arrogant man as he has never shown any sign of
                                                                   P.S. Enclosed donation for “the kitty” !!
wanting to recognise the responsibility.
If as second generation children we write to Mr Aso
expressing how we feel for our Dads he may be forced               --------------------------------------------------------------------------
to at least recognise this responsibility, I must stress           25 July 2006
that any monetary gain is secondary. An apology would
be very humiliating for them but very satisfying to the ex         Bob
POWs. Our chances may be slim.
Our fathers have earned at least a letter, so please               Bill and I would like to thank you and the Committee
write to Mr Aso expressing how you feel, the                       members for the safe delivery of our “The Grim Glory”
Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the UK POW                     books. They were certainly worth waiting for – not going
Association may become involved, which would be                    without saying all the stress that you and your band of
great.                                                             workers have been through.
My Dad still has the occasional nightmare about being
inflicted with such cruelty, I would love for him to be free       Thank you all once again and no doubt they will be a
of these, if there was some recognition maybe this                 cherished memento of our daughter’s grandfather.
would be enough to put his mind at peace.
Jack is usually a happy old fellow, initially he never             Regards
wanted to talk about what happened during the
war. He would say "it was war and its over now". He                Marion & Bill McLay
has talked more about his experiences in later years               FIGTREE NSW 2525
although his memory has faded a little.                            --------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please respond on behalf of these gallant old men to:

Mr Taro Aso
Foreign Minister
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Gaimusho)
2-2-1 Kasumigaseki
Tokyo 100-8919

Yours sincerely
Marilyn Caruana

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