Collection MS 1249 - A brief sketch of the fate of 3000 Indian pows in New Guinea

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AU PMB MS 1249

Title

A brief sketch of the fate of 3000 Indian pows in New Guinea

Date(s)

  • 1943-1945 (Creation)

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1 reel; 35mm microfilm
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Captain Singh, of the Dogra regiment, relates that the Indians "left Singapore on 5 May 1943 in seven parties each consisting of about 600 - three of the parties went to New Britain and the other four came to New Guinea", ie. Wewak.

Professor Hank Nelson gave the PMB a cover note on Singh's 'Brief Sketch', as follows: "Singh wrote another brief account of his time in New Guinea as a prisoner of war of the Japanese, 'The Experiences of an Indian Prisoner of War in New Guinea", The Infantry Journal, Vol.1, No.1, July 1949, pp.56-62. In the journal article he notes that the 'irony of fate reached its climax' when of the eleven Indians who survived with the Japanese until the end of the War, nine were put on an aircraft to fly them out of New Guinea and it crashed, killing all nine. Singh, who was not on the flight, was then the only survivor. From the 3,000 Indians originally landed in the Sepik in May 1943 another 191 had survived, liberated by advancing Australians before the end of the War. One of these men, Sepoy Bachan Singh, provided evidence for the Tokyo War Crimes Trials."

Professor Nelson adds that “a copy of Chint Singh’s reminiscences written in Wewak is in the UPNG Library and (I think) the Australian War Memorial.”

The document is a roneoed typescript, 61ppp., dated 4 Nov 1945. It was passed to the PMB by Professor Donald Denoon, who worked at the University of Papua New Guinea. At the time, the author was unable to be contacted. The author's son, Narinder Parmar, has since been identified.

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Available for reference, however copyright remains with Narinder Parmar of Wollongong, NSW, son of Chint Singh.

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Pacific Manuscripts Bureau

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Access this title at PMB Member Libraries or by purchasing it directly from the Bureau: http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/pambu/accessing.php

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ms1249

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