FEPOW Memorial Church



British Australian Indian Nurses American Dutch Canadian New Zealand South African Italian Civilians Forgotten Workers


Dutch Forces                                                                                                                        

It is believed that some 42000 members of the KNIL (Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger), including nearly 4000 Marines, were taken prisoner. The mortality rate appears to have been around 20%, lower than US, British and Commonwealth rates.

Theories abound as to why this might have been the case but it is clear that they were more acclimatised to the geographical conditions of the area in which they were captive. They also knew the flora and fauna better and were able to exploit these when food and medical supplies ran short. Their medical staff knew the worst effects of malnutrition and tropical diseases and were able to show great creativity in dealing with them. For example there are several reports of large scale yeast fermentation to provide extra vitamins and combat the worst effects of avitaminosis.

See: http://tweedewereldoorlog-azie.pagina.nl/         and for further reading