Stories from the Death Railway
The railway from Pekanbaru to Muaro has many tales of survival and sorrow under such brutal and inhospitable conditions. Here you can read about some of these stories.
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Ivan Pardoe was a New Zealander serving aboard the the British gunboat "Dragonfly". He survived the sinking of his ship and escaped to Padang on the west coast of Sumatra, only to be captured by the Japanese. He was a member of the Aceh (Atjeh) Party and then worked on the railway based at camp 14a, working on track maintenance and bridge building.
Dave Homewood interviewed the late WWII RNZAF pilot Ron Reid, at his home in Tauranga, NZ. Ron and many others were captured when Indonesia fell to the Japanese and following some time in prison camps in java, was shipped to Sumatra to work on the railway between Pekanbaru and Muaro.
Laurence Hurndell was a naval seaman, who grew up in Carterton, New Zealand. After his training he was drafted aboard the the British gunboat "Grasshopper". He survived being sunk and although he was injured he managed to escape to Sumatra. After his eventual capture he became a member of the Aceh (Atjeh) Party and also worked on the railway based at camp 14a first and then camps 8, 9, and 10.