My Tai Chi teacher Chee Soo, English name Clifford Gibbs, escaped from a POW camp in Burmah Central with the help of a Gurkha on April 1st 1945 and made it back behind Allied lines on 9th May 1945 captured by an American Guerilla patrol in the Shan mountains. They were nearly shot by the Americans because they both looked Japanese but thanks to Clifford's cheerful cockney accent they were recognized as British soldiers. He was a troop commander and Sergeant in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Tank Regiment and had received the military medal in Libya when his unit were posted to Burmah and he was captured defending an oil refinery at YenanYaung in 1942 and spent three years in the Japanese POW camp. He was starved and tortured by the Japanese and kept in solitary confinement away from his comrades and tried to escape five times and engaged in sabotage of the Japanese telecommunications. He was eventually sentenced to firing squad on three successive days then postponed due to Allied bombing raids so he decided to escape along with a Gurkha. They survived in the jungle for twenty days because the Gurkha was familiar with the plants and herbs that were edible in that region and if it wasn't for his knowledge they would not have made it out alive, and for that, I will be eternally grateful to the Gurkhas.
Chris Simpson

Similar Posts