Letters containing short stories from
Pte. Kenneth James Wells 14559924.
Letter 1: Counterfeit Money.
.....Mile stone 36 on the Mawchi Rd, now the Japanese were making there escape through this area which leads into Siam, some 90 miles of it. Now the Mawchi Road winds through jungle and mountains, you would never see the likes of, It was like a lost world the jungle was so thick in places that it turned day into night, birds of all colours, some very beautiful, butterflies as big as birds, spiders as big as your hand. I was leading scout of a six man patrol from B Company.
.....We patrolled down this road and at mile stone 36, I noticed a slight wisp of smoke rising through the jungle. I crept forward and spotted a party of 20 Japs. They had no guards out which was unusual, our patrol closed up, we decided to open up because the Japs wouldn’t give up without a fight. During the fire fight one escaped he high tailed it through the jungle. Now they had been cooking a large pig on a spit they hade constructed, it looked delicious, but what drew our attention was the bundles of money, thousands upon thousands of Rupee notes, there was a small fortune there.
.....We gathered up as much as we could carry leaving the rest with the dead Japs. When we returned to base we immediately reported what had discovered and declared the money handing it. Each note was signed for by each member of the patrol. The Company Officer said if the money was not claimed it was rightfully ours. It was a full five weeks before we heard that the money was counterfeit. Why did it take so long to work that out?
Letter 2: WW III
.....Several months after the war had ended and we were stationed at Rangoon waiting for Troopships to take us home. Who should turn up, the War Minister. He said no Troopships were available; they were being used to bring the thousands of prisoners of war home. That was a not so because it was common knowledge that they were too ill to travel. They were so thin and had to be built up as they were too undernourished, diseased and weak due to the ill treatment at the hands of the Japanese.
.....The War Minster nearly had a riot on his hands. In the end the authorities had to arrange our leave in Calcutta, for this they had to ship us there in smaller boats because there were thousands of us. I was extremely lucky to be in a party of a hundred that went to Calcutta Race Course, a beautiful place.
.....Calcutta at the time was swamped with Yanks they were everywhere, Calcutta was a stop gap for them returning from the Pacific theatre of war. It was our first night out at a large Servicemen’s Club. The place was packed with Yanks and quite a few British Servicemen. Every time our boys went to the bar for drinks they were met with “you God Dam Limeys” and remarks about who won the war the Yanks or the Brit's and then it happened World War III, all hell broke loose; Military Police came from all directions. British and American Police waded in with batons. The next morning some of us were up before the Camp Commandant, he said, “you are a bloody disgrace”. He reminded me of Terry Thomas* with his big moustache. Before he dismissed us he said “who got the worst of it?”
* Actor and comedian, died 08 January 1990.
Pte. Kenneth James Wells