to perpetuate the memory and history of our dead

17c. Nong Pladuk

The rail line that connected Singapore and Bangkok in the 1930s, ran due west out of Bangkok to Nong Pladuk. Here it took a hard left turn through Ban Pong and then straight south. The TBR actually begins in Nong Pladuk where the new track was laid as a hard right curve heading northwest towards Kanchanaburi.

Today, Nong Pladuk remains an active maintenance and repair facility. One of the main issues for the mainly British POWs who was assigned to the Nong Pladuk work camp was its proximity to that large rail yards which was a target for Allied bombers. Dozens of them were killed or injured in those bombing raids.

There are a number of stacks of discarded rails and wooden sleepers near the Nong Pladuk station. Whether or not there date to the POW era is unknown. They are indeed the older type of rail that was bolted together in 10m sections, but their actual age and origin is not clear.

Some of these rails have nearly obscured markings that do not seem to match any of those found in other portions of the railway.

A number of POW accounts mention how close the initial POW camp was to the rail yard. This proved to be a problem when in 1944-45 the Allied bombers targeted this marshaling yard multiple times. Hundreds of POWs were KIA or WIA in one such raid. The British officers entreated the camp commander to allow them to move the housing area farther from the rails.

Below are a series of aerial recon photos from that era. They depict the original camp and the aftermath of the bombs that fell short into the camp. A later photo shows the newer second camp built farther to the north. I have rotated and labeled that image to place it in its proper orientation.

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