“There was just time to pull the bolt out and chuck the ammunition...I’d still got my bayonet on my belt and we were taken prisoner. I thought they were going to kill me with my own bayonet because they didn’t half give me a hiding.
“I was left tied up in the middle of the hut, with a rope round my neck and over the beam...eventually I was taken outside and shouted at a few times and we were taken to a tea plantation...
“All we got was rice and it was rotten rice, sweepings off the granary floor. There were stones, maggots the lot. We had a detail to pick it out. There was a medical officer up there and he said ‘Just take the stones and twigs out, but leave the maggots, it’s all protein’...I’d still got half a tube of toothpaste which I doled out...people used to queue up and have a squidge.
“They got this little tramp steamer...we were packed down in the holds...the hatches, they were battened down, they used to lower a bucket of water down occasionally. It must have been half the people that got on board had died down there, so we had to get these rope slings and pullies and get all the corpses out...and burn them.
“We had to fall in on a square and we were packed solid...We had to swear a written oath of allegence...and we refused. A week we stood that. More and more people were dying...one of the MO’s...there was one chap who’d got appendicitis so he operated on him with part of a razor blade, using a stack of dead bodies as a table.
“We were taken aboard a tug and went to this liner...we realised then we were heading out of Japan.
“(In Nagasaki) we were marked down for the dockyard and sorted out there.‘You Army? You Navy? You Airforce?...You used to heights you now scaffolder’. It was coming up to Christmas and I had to write on the side of the ship in Japanese by the rivit holes. Well I’d got my piece of chalk on this particular day...so I drew a dish with a turkey on it and steam coming out of it and a pint pot...and put ‘Merry Christmas’. When I came down there was a reception committee...I did take a belting.
“I was knocked off the scaffolding and into the dry dock because I upset the forman...I had to work still. That’s why I was underground when the bomb went off. I was working on a lathe, one handed...”