Tom was one of thousands of Allied prisoners who built a rail link between Bangkok and Rangoon.
“I spent 12 months building the railway in horrible conditions, with horrible food and the accommodation was horrible,” he explains.
“We used to get rice and a spoonful of sugar for breakfast at the crack of dawn then they would bring out rice in containers slung onto bamboo poles at lunch time. Then we would get back to work until we'd finish the task of the day - anything from building an embankment, to building a cutting, to building a bridge or series of bridges.
“As you finished a section you moved onto another section and started working to meet up with a camp further down or higher up the railway.
“If anyone misbehaved they had what they called a metre stick. It was a metre-length of bamboo which varied from 1-2 inches in diameter and if you misbehaved you got beatings with it - that was a daily occurrence and there was no respite from it.”
Whilst in captivity there were various illnesses and diseases that afflicted the thousands of prisoners, such as Cholera, Dysentery, Malaria, Beriberi, leg ulcers and amputations.