|Japanese internment card|
The terrain the railway crossed made its construction very difficult. Hellfire Pass in the Tenasserim Hills was a particularly difficult section of the line to build due to it being the largest rock cutting on the railway, coupled with its general remoteness and the lack of proper construction tools during building. The most famous portion of the railway is Bridge 277, 'the bridge over the River Kwai', which was built over a stretch of river.
About 180,000 Asian labourers and 60,000 Allied prisoners of war (POWs) worked on the Burma Railway. Of these, around 90,000 Asian labourers and 16,000 Allied POWs died as a direct result of the project. The dead POWs included 6,318 British personnel, 2,815 Australians, 2,490 Dutch, about 356 Americans and a smaller number of Canadians and New Zealanders.
One of them was Leendert Arend Jan Bos who died on June 19, 1943, around 15:00 in a hospital in the Thai POW Camp at Tha Makham Village in Kanchanaburi County in Thailand. He had suffered from beri-beri due to a vitamin B1 shortage. Leendert Bos is buried on the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.
|A monument in Numansdorp remembering L. Bos and others|
See also: GaHetNa.nl, The Building of Hellfire Pass, erelijst.nl, 4en5mei.nl.