Resources About the Lost Battalion

The Thailand-Burma Railway Centre (TBRC) is a museum and historical research institution dedicated to preserving the memory of Allied POWs and Asian laborers that worked and perished during the construction of the Railway.  The Centre, located in Kanchanaburi (Thailand), maintains a comprehensive database of POWs that worked on the railway, with details on camp locations and the history of POWs during that period.  TBRC accepts requests from families of POWs for research.

TBRC logoThe Museum is entirely privately funded and relies upon revenue generated from both local and international visitors together with private donations. At the start of the pandemic, the Thai government immediately refused entry to international travelers. As a result, the Museum suffered a sudden massive reduction in its income. The monthly operating costs, during the lockdown, remain substantial despite all efforts to keep outgoings to a minimum.

For well over a year now, the Museum has stayed afloat by drawing upon its own financial reserves together with a small income generated from local visitors. Due to an increase in the numbers of COVID cases in Kanchanaburi during the last few months those visitor numbers have basically "dried up".

Currently, there is no sign that a significant number of international visitors will be allowed to return any time soon. The Museum has international bookings planned to go ahead as soon as the 'travel corridor' opens. In the meantime, the Museum needs to continue to support itself, financially, maybe for another year or more.

This Museum is unique and it represents the huge dedication, passion, and ongoing work of three men, Rod Beattie, Terry Manttan, and Andrew Snow. It is an international treasure and an invaluable resource to families of former POWs.  As an institution, it continues to offer support, comfort, and information to so many people from all parts of the world. It has given a 'voice', on the ground, to those Far East Prisoners of War who were silenced for so long. We simply cannot let this Museum die because of a virus, please consider supporting the TBRC Museum and Research Centre during this challenging time.

There are currently two ways to contribute:

Resources About the Lost Battalion

Originally comprised of POW camp survivors (including those from the USS Houston) that met each year in August to commemorate the fallen and fortify their lifelong friendships. Descendants of the POW’s (Lost Battalion Association, Next Generation) carry on the tradition of the annual meeting.

For information on the LBA, please contact Terry Shields or Susan Ficklin, Co-Presidents.

Memoirs and Accounts of the Lost Battalion and the USS Houston


Allen, Hollis. The Lost Battalion

Memoir of 1st Lieutenant Hollis G. Allen, one of the 28 commissioned officers of the 2nd Battalion, 131st Field Artillery. Jacksboro, TX. Leigh McGee, 1963. 


Charles, H. Robert. Last Man Out: Surviving the Burma-Thailand Death Railway: A Memoir

Memoir recounting the unimaginable brutality of the camps and the inspiring courage of the men from U.S. Marine H. Robert Charles, a survivor of the USS Houston.  An extraordinary account of the role of Dutch doctor Henri Hekking in aiding the survival of the Lost Battalion and USS Houston men in POW camps. Austin, TX. Eakin Press, 1988.


Crager, Kelly E. Hell Under the Rising Sun: Texan POWs and the Building of the Burma-Thailand Death Railway

Grueling yet inspiring account of building the Thai-Burma railway; includes interviews with Texan POWs. College Station, TX. Texas A&M University Press, 2008.

Prisioners of the Japanese

Daws, Gavan. Prisoners of the Japanese: POWs of World War II in the Pacific

Australian writer Gavan Daws with a superb body of research that covers the story of the Lost Battalion POW’s along with those of Bataan and Wake Island. New York, NY. William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1994.

The Bamboo Express

Dunn, Benjamin. The Bamboo Express

A true account by a Lost Battalion soldier of HQ Battery who was imprisoned by the Japanese. Chicago, IL. Adams Press, 1979.

Prision of War

Fillmore, Clyde. Prisoner of War

A personal account from 1st Lieutenant Fillmore, Lost Battalion survivor, about his experiences in prison camps and building the “Death Railway”. Quanah, Wichita Falls TX. Nortex Offset Publications, Inc, 1973.

Foo A Japanese American prisoner

Fujita, Frank ‘Foo’; Falk, Stanley L., and Wear, Robert. Foo: A Japanese-American Prisoner of the Rising Sun

Fujita, Frank ‘Foo’; Falk, Stanley L., and Wear, Robert. Foo: A Japanese-American Prisoner of the Rising Sun.  Denton, TX. University of North Texas Press, 1993. Denton, TX. University of North Texas Press, 1993.

Eddie Fung

Fung, Eddie. The Adventures of Eddie Fung: Chinatown Kid, Texas Cowboy, Prisoner of War

A second-generation Chinese American born and raised in San Francisco's Chinatown reinvents himself as a Texas cowboy before going overseas with the U.S. Army. Eddie was a member of the Lost Battalion’s F Battery. Seattle, WA. University of Washington Press, 2007.

Ship of Ghosts

Hornfischer, James D. Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR’s Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of Her Survival

Brings to life the terror of nighttime naval battles until their luck ran out during a daring action in Sunda Strait.  Survivors of the battle ended up in prison camps with the men of the Lost Battalion. New York, NY. Bantam Books, 2006.

Building the Death Railway

La Forte, Robert S. and Ronald E. Marcello. Building the Death Railway: The Ordeal of American POWs in Burma, 1942-1945

22 interviews with American survivors, beginning with their capture and ending with their liberation. Wilmington, DE. Scholarly Resources, Inc., 1993.

Lost Battalion Survivor

Monday, Travis. W.F. Matthews, Lost Battalion Survivor: The True Story of a God-and-Country American

Biography of PFC W. F. Matthews, member of the Lost Battalion’s E Battery. San Angelo, TX. Lulu Enterprises, 2004. Reference:

Chaplain on the River Kwai

Nussbaum, Chaim. Chaplain on the River Kwai: Story of a Prisoner of War

Portrait of life among allied prisoners of war in Japanese camps, from his diary, his is the saga of a rabbi's struggle to provide hope and comfort to men of all faiths. New York, NY. Shapolsky Publishers, 1988.

A Thousand Cups of Rice

Thompson, Kyle. 1,000 Cups of Rice: Surviving the Death Railway

Personal account of how the author, as a teenage soldier from rural Texas, became a member the "Lost Battalion" to build the Thai-Burma railway. Kyle Thompson was a member of Headquarters Battery. Burnet, TX. Eakin Press, 1994.

The Thai-Burma Railway

Beattie, Rod. The Thai-Burma Railway: The True Story of the Bridge on the River Kwai

Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Thai-Burma Railway Centre, 2015.

The Burma-Siam Railway1

Robert Hardie. The Burma-Siam Railway. The Secret Diary of Dr. Roberr Hardie, 1942-1945

Robert Hardie was a British POW captured in Singapore in early 1942. Barnsley, UK. Pen and Sword Books, 1988.


Kreefft, Otto. Burma Railway: a visual recollection. Bangkok, Thailand

Sukhumvit Printing Co. Ltd. for the Burma-Thailand Railway (2008).

With Only the Will to Live

La Forte, Robert S, Ronald E. Marcello, and Richard L. Himmel, With Only the Will to Live: Accounts of Americans in Japanese Prison Camps 1941-1945

Accounts of 52 individuals from interviews with survivors of captivity covers every stage of their ordeal. Wilmington, DE. Scholarly Resources, Inc., 1994.

The Railway Man

Lomax, Eric. The Railway Man: A POW's Searing Account of War, Brutality and Forgiveness

Memoir of a British soldier who bravely moved beyond bitterness drawing on an extraordinary will to extend forgiveness.  Basis for the movie by the same name (The Railway Man) featuring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. New York, NY. W.W. Norton & Co, 1995.

To the River Kwai

Stewart, John. To the River Kwai: Two Journeys – 1943, 1979

Memoir from secret notes kept in 1943 during the building of the Thai-Burma Railway. London, Great Britain. Bloomsbury Publishing, Ltd., 1988.

The Bridge Over the River Kwai

Boulle, Pierre. The Bridge Over the River Kwai: A Novel (1954)

A fictional account of the Death Railway construction and basis for the popular 1957 movie directed by David Lean. Novato, CA. Presidio Press; Reprint edition, 2007.

Additional Reading, Recommended by the Thai-Burma Railway Centre, Kanchanaburi Thailand

Bamboo Doctor, Stanley S Pavillard, Macmillan & Co., London , UK , 1960. An account of one man's fight against death and disease in the camps of the railway.
Into the Smother , Ray Parkin, Hogarth Press, London , UK , 1963. A journal of the Thailand-Burma Railway by a survivor of the sinking of HMAS Perth.
Kura , Cornel Lumiere, Jacaranda Press, Brisbane , Australia , 1966. A story of the hardships and suffering on the railway, by a Dutch interpreter.
Railroad of Death , John Coast , The Aiglon Press Ltd., London , UK , 1946. A British junior officer's account of working on the railway.
Slaves of The Son Of Heaven , Roy H. Whitecross, Dymocks Book Arcade, Sydney , Australia , 1951. A very descriptive account of experiences as a PoW in Burma , on the railway and in Japan.
The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop , E.E. Dunlop, Penguin Books, 1986. ISBN 0 14 012861. The extensive war diaries of this legendary Australian surgeon of the railway.
The Will To Survive , Douglas McLaggan, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, NSW, Australia , 1995. ISBN 0 86417 706 2. A story written from the diary of a young Australian private who was a member of 'F Force'.
POW Art and Photography: A Life For Every Sleeper , Hugh Clarke, Allen & Unwin, Sydney , Australia , 1986. ISBN 0 04 909023 2. A pictorial record of the Thailand-Burma Railway. Wartime and present.
Burma Railway Artist , Jack Chalker, Penguin Books, 1994. ISBN 0 67 090583 6. The war drawings of a celebrated artist.
Changi Photographer , Tim Bowden, ABC Books, Sydney , Australia , 1984. ISBN 0 64 297559 0. George Aspinall's photographic record of captivity.
The Burma-Siam Railway , Robert Hardie, Imperial War Museum , London UK , 1983. ISBN 0 901627 26 7. The secret diary of a POW medical officer of the Federated Malay States Volunteer Force. Contains many illustrations and paintings.
To the Kwai and Back , Ronald Searle, Collins Publishers, London , UK , 1986. ISBN 0 87113 073 4. The pictorial story of a British soldier's experiences of the war - mostly as a POW.
River Kwai Railway , Clifford Kinvig, Brassey's, London , UK , 1992. ISBN 0 08 03744 5. An excellent, comprehensive evaluation of the railway episode.
The Blue Haze , Lelsie G. Hall, self-published, 1995. ISBN 0 9588934 0 3. Incorporating a history of 'A Force' - Groups 3 & 5, Thailand-Burma Railway.