This picture is quite extraordinary and shows the Hornbeam line being created down a steep rock face. It is quite obvious that it is intolerably hot and that various sappers are seeking temporary shade in caves in the cliff face.
The work must have consumed very many calories. Not unsurprisingly their compo is being stored in a small cave on the left to keep it cool so presumably they were eating “on site”.
It is clear from comparing photographs of the troop at the beginning of their deployment with those at the end that they lost weight. Calorie intake did not match calories burned up in physical work.
One wonders whether thought had been given to the equation of “calories in to calories burned up” and the provision of the appropriate amount of compo to balance that equation.
There is a comment by Sid Pass that accompanies the photograph G12
“We were always hungry. ALWAYS”.
That alone suggests that there was something wrong with how they were being fed.
The prisoners lost weight on the Burma Railway through, amongst other things, starvation and overwork. (Webmaster)