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Jeffery Basil Price survived the Burma Railroad

Jeffery Basil Price survived the Burma Railroad. He had been in the Territorials so was one of the first called up in the British Expeditionary Force. He was successfully evacuated from France south of Dunkirk. Unfortunately he arrived in Singapore just two weeks before the Japanese invaded. He put his

Survival down to two things. Firstly he could drive – he was given a Japanese driving licence and moved vehicles sometimes, always at gunpoint, but it did take him away from the relentless labour sometimes. Secondly he moved a lorry

One day to a village and was stood by his vehicle unguarded for a few moments when a native risked his own life to pass him a block of salt which he pocketed immediately. Passing it to his commanding officer they had a secret salt ration,

Salt being something they couldn’t replace in their bodies as they sweated it out. He believes it saved a lot of men’s lives, including his own. As the Japanese swept through South East Asia they rounded up railway spikes from various railroads and

Plantations to make the Burma Railroad. If you have checked out the history page of our website you will see we started as nail makers, the traditional industry of Halesowen. My uncle Jeff found himself knocking in nails on the Burma

Railroad that were in hessian bags labelled “Dogspikes B.B. Price Limited Halesowen” – oh the irony. Some years ago now a man reported in a local paper The Black Country Bugle that he’d survived the Burma Railroad and remembered

Knocking in track spikes made in Halesowen. My uncle wrote in and said if you think that’s irony we made them in our family business and I knocked them in too ! In the 80’s he went back to Burma with service friends and picked up, from the piles

Of lifted track spikes several examples he believed to be ours and brought them back. He’s no longer with us I’m afraid but he lived a good long life despite him not being expected to survive beyond his fifties because of the privations