- Odate during the Second World War -
POW Camp Index
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during the Second World War 1939-1945.
- Reader Stanley. Able Sea. This page is new, as yet no names have been submitted.
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Did you know? We also have a section on The Great War. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.
Able Sea. Stanley Reader SS Empire MarchMy father's ship, SS Empire March, was sunk in the South Atlantic by the German raider Michelle. The surviving crew were rescued by the raider and off loaded at Singapore. The crew were transferred to Changi prison where they stayed for six months. In mid 1943 my father, Stanley Reader, was taken by "hell" ship to Japan and eventually landed in Hakodate. After a short time he was moved to the cement plant at Kamiiso just outside Hakodate. The camp closed in mid 1944 and all POWs were sent to the coal mine at Bibai POW camp until liberation in September that year.
I visited both camps in 2013. The cement factory at Kamiiso still operates and the staff made great efforts to take us around the site and where the camp had been situated. The ground is bare. The Bibai camp is now a Japanese Defence Force anti missile battery base. During the visit in May we waded through 2 feet of snow to visit the desolate camp site. Only some mounds and foundations remain.David Reader
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