‘All Men Push’ Towner Road POW Camp (1942)

'All men push'‘All Men Push!’

‘We have no motor transport, except one ambulance for emergency use, but from broken up cars and lorries, an enormous variety of trucks and carts have been constructed. All are fitted with steering gear and some have four – wheel brakes and ‘balbon’ tyres.’’

Source: ‘Down To Bedrock’ (the diary & secret notes of a Far East prisoner of war Chaplain) by Eric Cordingly,  Pg 71, permission by daughter Louise Reynolds

‘We often agreed amongst ourselves that being an ex – Japanese prisoner of war was like being a member of the most exclusive club. Amongst us there has always been a mutual dependence which is understood but never stated. The fact that we knew what each other had lived through was enough. Socially, we recalled humorous incidents, mostly stories that were at the expense of the Japanese; how so and so had outwitted a certain guard or got away with sneaking out of camp to trade at night. Just as it had in captivity, the ritual of humour offered escape. If unpleasant elements of the past were raised they would be discussed in a dispassionate manner, getting whatever it was off our chests and moving on quickly. There was never the need to talk of specific suffering, nor a call to enter into personal exchanges centring on pity or sentiment. That wasn’t our way; we remained crack – hardy men.’

Source: A Doctors War, by Dr Rowley Richards, pg 290, Harper Collins Publishers, 2006.