The workers were maltreated, malnourished and exhausted, and as a result it’s thought that in excess of 100,000 people died during the construction of the railway – showing precisely why it came to be known as the Death Railway.
How many British soldiers died building the Burma railway?
Between 180,000 and 250,000 civilian laborers and over 60,000 Allied prisoners of war were subjected to forced labour during its construction.
Prisoner of war workers and deaths on the Burma Railway, 1942–1945.
|Country of origin||UK, British India or crown colony|
|Number of deaths||6,904|
What happened to the Thai Burma Railway?
In the 1980s Australian ex-POWs returned to Thailand and reclaimed Hellfire Pass from the jungle which had swallowed it when the Burma-Thailand railway was demolished after World War II. The cutting soon became a site of memory for many Australians, particularly on Anzac Day.