Hiroshi Abe (right) with
former FEPOW, Ron Upton
|Hiroshi Abe - former lieutenant of a Railway Regiment
During the Pacific War I was a 23-year-old officer in one of the railway
regiments. At that time 7,000 British and Australian POWs, the "F"
Force, were sent from Singapore to the mountainous region near the
border where I was stationed, to build the Thai-Burma railway. Tropical
rainstorms, poor diet and lack of medicine led to widespread cholera,
malaria, dysentry, typhoid and malignant ulcers. The railway was completed
but tragically 3,200 men did not return to Singapore. I cannot deny
the fact that I am partly responsible for the deaths of many POWs
and I apologise sincerely for what we did during the war. During the
hard years of the war I learnt "Amapola" after hearing a British soldier
sing it, and I am very happy that through the efforts of Agape, I
can now meet FEPOWs every year and sing this song together with them.