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PLAQUE NO. 33 ... NAM TOK

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The plaque is located near the ticket box and telephone booth at the quiet little railway station at Nam Tok. The station is located approximately 2km from the original main P.O.W. camp and hospital.

In 1942 Nam Tok was a base camp on the Burma-Thailand Railway. It soon became a large hospital for thousands of sick and dying prisoners brought fromdistant northern labour camps further along the line. British, Australian and Dutch doctors used the most primitive and improvised equipment and medicines. They fought to save the lives of thousands of starved, overworked and exhausted Asian labourers and Prisoners of War. Local Thais, including those in the Free Thailand Organization, risked their lives to smuggle medicines, equipment and food past Japanese and Korean guards and thus saved many lives.

At Wang Pho (Wampo) today the railway clings to the cliff face above the Kwai Noi River as it passes over the longest viaduct of the railway. This viaduct was rapidly constructed during March and April 1943 and cost the lives of hundreds of POW's.

  TOTAL DEATHS
Asian Labourers 2000,000 +/- 80,000+/-
British P.O.W. 30,000 6,540
Dutch P.O.W. 18,000 2,830
Australian P.O.W. 13,000 2,710
American P.O.W. 700+/- 356 (Buried in U.S.A)
Japanese and Korean 15,000 1,000

Construction time for the railway was 17 month. Period of effective use was 21 months ending in June 1945. The railway line was dismantled by the British after the war as it was unsafe. It was later relaid along the section from The Bridge on the River Kwai to Nam Tok, a distance of 130kms. It is along this section that todays tourists can relive the feelings of the war

 



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