Leslie Mansell and Yukika Souma
|Leslie Mansell - former Thai-Burma Railway, Japan
At the age of 19 Leslie was sent to work on the Thai-Burma Railway,
where he was paid $30 a month. He remembers that his guards were more
'good chaps' than evil ones.
|On one occasion Leslie was treated badly and the camp
commander Colonel Yanagida listened to what had happened through an
interpreter and apologised to him. Leslie was later sent to Japan.
"In Osaka the guards got angry over very petty things but when I was
transferred to Nagoya, I never saw the guards strike anyone. Once
the war was over, I left all the past behind because it was more important
to move into the future." He visited Japan in March 2000. "Japanese
people listened to me more than the British people had ever done.
They were very friendly and I felt completely at ease with them. We
even gave each other big hugs! The trip was too short and I wish we
could have stayed two more weeks!"