UK soldier’’s account of Japanese World War Two massacre auctioned

August 12th, 2008 - 5:27 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Aug.12 (ANI): A British soldier’’s harrowing account of a merciless massacre that took place during World War Two has been auctioned off for 320 pounds, 65 years after the event.
Private Arthur Haines was in a Singapore military hospital with malaria when invading Japanese troops stormed the building and killed more than 200 people.
Although his life was spared, the soldier witnessed the gruesome killings of his comrades, doctors and nurses who were either bayoneted, shot or suffocated to death.
After being taken prisoner, Haines, 24, managed to jot down the bloody episode on a four page letter.
According to The Telegraph, in it he wrote of the moment a private waved the white flag to Japanese troops only to be fatally bayoneted. Others who desperately pointed to the Red Cross to the marauding enemy were also dispatched in similar fashion while one captain played dead in order to survive.
And the soldier wrote of hearing the piercing screams of a group of his captured colleagues who were taken into a courtyard and systematically killed.
The document, along with Pte Haines” other wartime mementoes such as his medals and photographs, were handed down to his daughter who sold it off to auctioneers Wooley and Wallis.
Lucy Grazier, of auctioneers Woolley and Wallis in Salisbury, Wilts, said: “It is a very emotive collection which includes this harrowing, hand-written account. Some of the details are quite shocking and brutal.
“Pt Haines” daughter didn”t have anyone to pass her father’’s war collection onto so she came to us. She was quite emotional after reading the document for the last time.”
Pte Haines, from Alderbury, Wilts, was working at a grocers shop when he was called up to the Wiltshire Regiment in 1940.
He was later transferred to the Royal Norfolk Regiment that was sent to the Far East at the end of 1941 to defend Singapore.
After arriving on January 13, 1942, he caught malaria and was admitted to the British Military Hospital, also known as the Alexandra Hospital, in Singapore.
At the time members of the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Queen Alexandra Nursing Sisters served as hospital staff, treating some 900 wounded soldiers.
More than 200 soldiers and medical staff were killed in the 24-hour massacre.
Pt Haines was one of about 700 taken prisoner and spent the next three-and-a-half years in a prisoner-of-war camp in Thailand. He died in 1996. A private collector has bought his war collection. (ANI)

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