Page 31 - Austin Roberts' Second World War
ISSUE : Issue 47
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1988/1/1
the camp we had had an area about two acres in the centre of it. It was perfect tamped- down sand. It's all sand there, anyway. The whole island is sand. You can take a square-mouthed shovel and dig down 20 feet. But they had traded--some of them had wristwatches and things like that--and they had traded them for band instruments, with the Japanese. Then, with permission from the camp commandant, got a little band started, and playing music. Then they de? cided they were going to put on a show, the Englishmen. Just about that time there was a Dutch submarine got captured, and the Dutch and the Polynesians were brought to our camp. And the Englishmen were delight? ed. They didn't care about the Dutchmen, didn't want any part of the Dutchmen. But the little Polynese ones, the men, oh, they could dress them up like women--you'd swear to God, you know. They got rope and made wigs, long wigs, and this and that, and dressed them up. Had to get permission from camp commandant, now, to put on this show. Some of the En? glishmen could talk fairly good Japanese. So they got to the guards, telling them they were going to put on this show, and how good it was going to be. But they need? ed stuff to paint (with), to make the scen? ery. Well, after a time--I don't know how they ever did it--but they got the guards to bring them bits of paint, any colour--it didn't matter what colour it was--bring any kind they could get, you know. A little bit of paint here, a little bit of paint there. By geez, they made scenery. And they put on a show that you wouldn't believe. An Eng? lish show, now, you know--Piccadilly and all this, and these "girls." (Who were really soldiers, as well.) Oh yeah, they were all soldiers. Anyway, they got this show ready. And the camp commandant wanted to see it first. So they put it on for just the camp commandant and some of the head staff. And the old camp commandant liked it so well, he had it 7 nights for the Japanese. They brought in Japanese women and everything to the camp to see it--the show, you know. It was re? ally- -you wouldn't believe--you wouldn't see a better show if you paid $100 to go to some theatre to see it. But it made things that much easier, you wouldn't believe. Sort of made a whole dif? ference in the attitude of the camp alto? gether. And at this time, you see, the Jap? anese were winning everywhere (in the war). They were beating everything that they came in contact with. (Was there no attempt on your part to es? cape?) There was nowhere to escape. Couldn't escape. And another thing, too. When we were in China first, before they took us to Japan, when we first went to North Point--they took all us NCOs, and they gave us each 30 men. You had a number, anyway. So they said, "Now, you're respon? sible for these men. If one of these men escape--one of those 30 men escape--we'11 shoot the other 29." CONTINUED NEXT PAGE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE OF' CAPE BRETON Joe's Vferehcxjse The Food Emporium Cape Breton's Niewest and Largest Restaurant SPECIALIZING IN AGED PRIME CUTS OF ROAST BEEF & STEAKS & ONE OF THE MOST UNIQUE SALAD BARS IN THE MARITIMES! {cabaret OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 'TIL 3 A.M. Live Entertainment Nightly 424 Charlotte Street 539-6686 539-0408 RESTAURANT LOUNGE BANQUET FACILITIES ARE AVAILABLE WE'RE PROUD TO SHARE... Scottish and Acadian Festivals Hiking trails, picnic and camping parks Museums and heritage The warmest waters north of the Carolinas! Cottage crafts and works of art The Cape Breton highlands National Park Fresh and salt water fishing Horse racing, canoeing, and other sports Fine accommodations, gift shops Restaurants Wildlife The Sunset Side ' I / '' of Cape Breton -T- Requests for Visitor's Guide, brochures, and general information may be made to: Inverness County Department of Recreation/Tourism P.O. Box 179. Port Hood, N.S. BOE 2W0 (902)787-2274
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