The JEATH War Museum  

            The museum was established to collect and to display documents, graphic images, photographs, and a number of equipment relating to the construction of "The Death Railway" from Kanchanaburi to Myanmar during World War II. According to the empirical evidence, during World War II, Japan forced the prisoners of war to build the railway from Nong Pladuk Village to the west of Kanchanaburi (the Thailand-Myanmar borderline). These prisoners of war are from England, Australia, Holland, and the United States of America.

After the war, the museum was built to commemorate the 16,000 prisoners of war who were forced to work and died during the construction of the notorious "The Death Railway". The word “JEATH” stands for Japan (J, as the country that led the construction of the railway), England (E), America (A), Australia (A), Thailand (T, as the country in which the construction of the railway took place) and Holland (H). The letter E, A, and H represent the countries which the prisoners of war came from.

 

            As previously mentioned, the museum was built to collect and to display documents, graphic images, photographs, and some equipment relating to the construction of "The Death Railway" from Nong Pladuk Village in Ratchaburi Province past Kanchanaburi to Myanmar at the borderline in Amphoe Sangkhlaburi. In the past, the railway stretched for approximately 263 kilometers within Thailand boundary and 152 kilometers within Myanmar; totally 415 kilometers. Firstly constructed on 16th September 2485 B.E., the constructed railway (in Thailand) met another track from Myanmar at Amphoe Sangkhlaburi. After that, The Imperial Japanese Army celebrated the completion of The Death Railway on 25th December 2486 B.E. During the construction, Japanese forces forced a number of 30,000 prisoners of war who were from Australia, England, Netherland, etc and also hired a number of about 100,000 workers from China, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India to build the railway track. Due to the brutal environment around the construction site, the prisoners of war must live their lives in extremely horrible condition; they faced sickness, malnutrition and exhaustion. Besides, there was very little or no medical treatment available; many prisoners suffered abjectly to death. In order to complete the construction in the limited time, about 16,000 prisoners of war lost their lives after being forced to work all day and night. It is said that “for every sleeper laid on the railway track, a life of the prisoner of war was sacrificed”.