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Capt James Francis Dawson "Honcho" Mills
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Birth: 1915, England
Death: Jul. 3, 1945

500 Australian & British POW left Sandakan No. 1 Camp on 1 June 1945 to begin the 3rd Death March. 150 men who were to ill to walk remained behind in the camp.
About a month after the march left, a Javanese coolie observed a very thin, tall, hooked nose, receding red long haired and bearded POW in the Punishment cage. The Punishment cage was very similar to Esau, with one notable difference - it had barbed wire sides.
This POW wore a peaked cap, long khaki pants, black boots and a khaki shirt with Officers insignia.
A Formosan civilian, who had been investigating the disappearance of a pig from the camp sty, had discovered small pieces of pork in a cup and plate which had been hidden under one of the huts. The cup and plate were traced back to this POW who had stolen and killed the pig and shared it with the other starving POWs.
The Javanese coolie observed this POW again next morning, sitting on a chair outside the office of the Japanese Camp Commander. He was smoking a cigarette and flanked by two Japanese guards.
Approximately 20 minutes later, the coolie again observed the POW. This time he was dressed only in a loin cloth, was very weak and was being helped along a track by the two guards. The Camp Commander followed behind carrying a hammer.
They stopped in front of a large wooden cross, and one guard supported the POW, while the Camp Commander, who had to stand on a stool, drove a long nail into one of his outstretched hands.
The other guard was ordered to stuff a rag into his mouth to stop his screams, while the Commander continued the same treatment on his other hand. Both feet were then nailed to another horizontal board. Finally a 20 cm nail was driven through the centre of his forehead.
One of the guards was sent back to the Commanders office, and returned with a tray.
The Jap Commander then took a knife from the tray and cut two pieces of flesh from the abdomen which were placed on the tray. He then donned rubber gloves and slit the POW's torso from neck to navel, removing the liver and heart, which was cut into two pieces. These were also placed on the tray along with more flesh that was sliced from the thighs, arms and abdomen.
After about 30 minutes two other POW were ordered to pick up the tray and take it back to the Commanders office. The contents were eaten that night by Japanese Officers in a ritualistic Japanese ceremony.
The remainder of the body was left hanging on the cross to decompose until the middle of July, when faggots were placed around the cross, which was then saturated in kerosene and set alight.
This was done so that there would be absolutely no evidence as to what had happened, as under Japanese orders, none of the POW were to survive.

The incident described in the above has been widely researched, especially by Australian 8th Division Historian Lynette Silvers and the conclusions reached is that the P.O.W. concerned was Captain James Francis Dawson Mills, son of Francis and Annie Mills of England.

73787 Captain James Mills Royal Artillery 77 H.A.A. Regiment was captured in Java and arrived at Sandakan between 8 - 18 April 1943 as part of E Force.
His Japanese POW Number was 2203 and he was Murdered at Sandakan No 2 POW Camp.

{Further information on this story, and the reasoning as to why the victim is believed to be Captain James Mills can be accessed through reading Ms. Silver's book. "Sandakan, A Conspiracy of Silence."









 
 
Burial:
Cremated, Other.
Specifically: Remembered on Column 2 Singapore Memorial at Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore.
 
Created by: Muriel Butler
Record added: Jul 25, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39866328
Capt James Francis Dawson Honcho Mills
Added by: Muriel Butler
 
 
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- virginia
 Added: Oct. 2, 2012

- SerenityNow
 Added: Jul. 21, 2012
GOD BLESS YOU SIR.
- maggyislove God bless you!! till we all meet again
 Added: Aug. 12, 2011
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