Cowra Voices storytelling app was launched at the 75th anniversary of the Cowra Breakout in August 2019. Gordon Rolls was asked to speak about the Cowra POW Campsite, which is location number nine on the app. 


This audio interview with Gordon Rolls was recorded on 19 September 2018  in Cowra by Nikkei Australia’s Mayu Kanamori and Masako Fukui. This interview was recorded for the Cowra Voices geolocative storytelling app, created in 2019, and launched to coincide with the 75th Anniversary of the Cowra Breakout. For more information, please refer to the Overview in this archive.

Gordon Rolls  00:31

My name’s Gordon Rolls. I am the President of Cowra Breakout Association.

Mayu Kanamori  00:36

Do want to tell us a little bit more about yourself. We were born and bred in Cowra or?

Gordon Rolls  00:40

No, I was actually born in Sydney. I did two years of correspondence at home when I was like start going to school. Then I did four years at primary school at Forbes. Then went to All Saints College at Bathurst, and did just over two years at All Saints College at Bathurst. Left school when I was 14, and started working in the wool shed shearing –  like with a shearing, helping skirt wool on the table with Dad. And been there ever since, and still there to this day. So, and I still enjoy it. There’s no question about that, still enjoy it. But it’s a bit dry at the moment, which is a bit of a worry, but we’ve seen other droughts and we’ve managed to get through them. So but it’s just one of those things. We don’t know how long this will go for.

Masako Fukui  01:32

Is it really bad?

Gordon Rolls  01:33

It is bad, yes. Feed wise, it’s bad. There’s a lot of feed – hay except to being transported from Victoria, South Australia, up through here, up to Queensland. There’s been a lot of trucks going through and hay’s starting to get very, very scarce now to buy. They will be cutting more hay down at South Australia area. But the price is just going very expensive too.

Masako Fukui  02:01

Everything’s gonna go up.

Gordon Rolls 02:02

Oh of course it will. Yes, yeah,  everything will go up. Yes. It has gone up here and yeah, the freight’s there. There’s a subsidy on the freight – 50 percent on the freight. But there’s nothing much really else. There’s no subsidy on the hay whatsoever you buy. And you’ve got to be careful what you’re buying, because there’s a lot of rubbish down there too, that they will try and sell to you too.

Mayu Kanamori  02:22

Okay, so before we talk about the POW camp, can you just tell us about the Breakout Association?

Gordon Rolls  02:34

Well, I joined the Breakout Association, possibly about 25 years ago. I saw an article in the Cowra paper. That anyone did know anything about the –  oh actually was also in the Grenfell Record, which is a Grenfell local paper, about anyone knowing any information about the Cowra Breakout Association with the contact name, and I contacted that, and joined up. And I’ve met other people here in Cowra. And away as well. And it’s been a very interesting thing for the some of the stories that we know of and who we have met over the years. And it’s been a very interesting thing, that way.

Mayu Kanamori  03:13

Tell us your story, your Dad’s story. And your story.

Gordon Rolls  03:17

Well, on the 5th of August 1944, it was a bitterly cold night. It was a full moon. And it was a big, heavy frost –  it was –  Dad reckoned you swear it would’ve snowed, that’s how white it was the next morning. And at about – Dad was on duty in Broadway, where all the guards used to be. And somewhere between half past one and quarter to two, he noticed a Japanese prisoner come out of one of the huts. Crouching to the ground hiding in the shadows of the hut. And he was looking to try and find somebody. He went to another hut hiding again in the shadows. And eventually kept coming down towards where Dad was in Broadway.

Gordon Rolls  04:20

And he came towards Dad, shivering, crying out, trying to talk, trying to make himself like to be understood, because he couldn’t talk English and Dad couldn’t talk Japanese, so there was a bit of a – you know, a thing there, a barrier there. And he kept coming towards Dad with a – clutching a blanket with his hands above his head. And Dad yelled out to him, ‘what’s going on’? But the Japanese prisoner was still frightened, shivering. Just petrified, frightened as could be. And he eventually came closer and closer. And Dad fired two shots in the air, which was a signal of an incident happening or something happening, which was a signal that the camp had.

Gordon Rolls  05:19

And the Japanese prisoner came and climbed over the gate to where Dad was in Broadway. And by this time, the phone had rang a little sentry box in Broadway, where Dad was, that’s where Dad was in shelter sort of thing from the cold. And the Lieutenant from the headquarters asked what was going on. And Dad said, ‘I’ve got a Japanese prisoner here, shivering, frightened, yelling out, clutching a blanket. And he’s petrified’. And he said, ‘well hold on to him, and we’ll come down’. And the Lieutenant and two quarter guards came down to where Dad was, where the Japanese prisoner was. They couldn’t understand him.

Gordon Rolls  06:02

And they sort of looked into the camp to wonder what was going on because it was just dead silence. And as I looked in, they saw the doors open, and the Japanese came out of the huts in big mobs. They run onto the barbed wire fence in Broadway, threw blankets over it. They had baseball gloves on, they used blankets, etc, to protect themselves from the barbed wire. They came over the fence into Broadway. And the Lieutenant said, there’s – ‘we’ve got three rifles, and four men, and we’re outnumbered, we can’t do anything. So run for your lives’. And that was the order given, they ran south. The Japanese prisoner didn’t run with them, he stayed there, the other, the quarter guards, Dad and the other two quarter guards, and the Lieutenant ran south to the Broadway gates. The gates were open, and as they shut those gates, the Japanese basically hit the gates at the same time.

Gordon Rolls  07:02

Now the Japanese prisoners that was in Broadway to come out to warn Dad of the breaking out, that’s basically, obviously, the strain was too great for him and he didn’t want to die. The Japanese people killed him. And that’s what happened there.

Gordon Rolls  07:17

Basically, that’s how he told me. He said, a lot of –  there were shots fired, they fired shots back. But as he said, ‘we only had three rounds each’. He said ‘I’d already fired two. So, I had another three rounds’, well that’s all he had left. And the other, probably the other quarter guys probably had gone five rounds each. So when the number of Japanese that would come into Broadway over the fence, they had no hope of stopping them anyway. So they just had to run for their lives and save themselves. And Dad also said that, because that was 40 years of age when this happened and he could run. There was some younger quarter guards that were in Broadway with him that night. And their opinion of it was that they could feel the Japanese breathing on the back of their necks, that’s how close they were to them. They said they ran down, down to get out otherwise they would have been killed.

Masako Fukui  08:08

So they were running away from the Japanese?

Gordon Rolls  08:10

Yes. Japanese went north, and they also went south. And – because they wanted to get out. That was what they were trying to do. And the Japanese made a promise that they wouldn’t touch any civilians in clothing. And they kept that promise. There was no question about that. But they would attack anybody in uniform, police or army, and they did attack them.

Mayu Kanamori  08:41

So can you tell me that – you know, in the circumstances which your father told you this? Were you a kid, when you grew up, did he tell this story to many other people?

Gordon Rolls  08:56

Well, when he –  he didn’t talk about it much. It was only later years that he did talk about it, but it was –  he never talked much after the Breakout that was – like I wasn’t born those days. But he kept it pretty much to himself. But when he did speak about it when I was older and explain things to him. Dad died on the 16th of November 1983 aged 79. I took him to the POW camp site about four or five years before he died, and just asked, you know, what was there, where was he, type of thing. But in those days, there was no markings of anything. So he said he had no idea because the fences were pulled down. Everything was pulled like – there was no diagram of anything, you know, and he sort of was lost to tell me where exactly everything was. But as he said there was, you know, 1,100 Japanese in the compound there which was overcrowded.

Masako Fukui  10:02

Why did you take him back there?

Gordon Rolls  10:05

Basically, he was talking about the Camp, but we talked about a few things. And I just thought I’d take him over there one day because in those days, well that time he’d gave his driver’s licence up. And I took him over there to see if he knew anything that he could enlighten us on. But there’s not much he could do. And his great coat, his army overcoat, he used to wear that when he was sowing, and possibly got thrown out about 1980 –  that he had at the camp that night.

Masako Fukui  10:42

He had it all those years?

Gordon Rolls  10:43

Yes, he wore it, it was a bit torn, had a couple of buttons still on it. And well, it’s like everything. We don’t realise what we’re thrown out over the years. And it would have been – admittedly it was dirty, it was torn, but it would’ve been history to have today.

Masako Fukui  10:59

Why do you think he wore it?

Gordon Rolls  11:02

Well, he mainly used it on the combine in the old days sowing wheat, and that keep warm, because they were big, thick, heavy coats and a very warm coat.

Masako Fukui  11:13

When you took him back, was it because you wanted to know more? Or was it because you wanted him to remember or?

Gordon Rolls  11:19

Well, he was talking about the Camp and the Japanese breaking, and things like that. And it was just something that  –  it interests me. So I thought of taking him back and see what he could tell me, but there’s not much he could tell me about it. I did take him up to the Japanese War Cemetery. And we looked at all the graves there, but we realised that there was more graves in the camp – sorry, in the War Cemetery, than what should’ve been there. And I asked him, well how come there’s so many graves because there was 230 odd Japanese prisoners died in the Breakout. And he didn’t know, he didn’t realise that they’d been brought in from other places. So that was a bit of a  – you know, something that he’d learned then too – you know, how the rest of them got there.

Gordon Rolls  12:15

Yeah, and that was –  mainly talked about a few other things. I asked him what happened to his 303 that he had. He said no, he left the Army in December 1944. I think it was the 29th of December. And he had to hand the 303 back in. He also spent some time at the Hay POW Camp. And he brought prisoners from Hay to Grenfell, and also took prisoners from Cowra back to Hay. And he also – they brought prisoners on the trains from Sydney up also, as a guard on the trains with them as well. But you know, the prisoners came in different ways and trucks and that, so it’s just one of those things that – hard to believe, you know, how they got around in those days.

Mayu Kanamori  13:08

Do you have children?

Gordon Rolls  13:10

Beg pardon?

Mayu Kanamori  13:10

Do you have children?

Gordon Rolls  13:11

Yeah I’ve got three children. Yes.

Mayu Kanamori  13:13

Do you relay your –  their grandfather’s story to them.

Gordon Rolls  13:17

Yeah, well, both my daughter’s know. And the grand –  my eldest daughter’s got three children. And we talk about that. I have brought them over and showed them the campsite and things like that. And they’re quite interested, what happens there. And they’ve been up to the War Cemeteries. And I’ve explained to them who was there now, what’s there. And I can remember Mr Murakami coming out a few years ago now, and he can’t speak English, except ‘thank you’. That’s the only word he can say. And he was a prisoner of the night of Broadway. And he got into Broadway. He couldn’t get out, as we spoke to him about it later, which was when he came out and saw us. And he laid in a trench because he said there was gunfire going backwards and forwards. And he said, ‘I laid in the trench and surrendered the next morning’. And he’s only a very short little man. But very fit, unbelievably fit for his age. Incredible. And he’s been here a number of times as well.

Masako Fukui  14:28

How did you feel, like how did you feel when he told you this story?

Gordon Rolls  14:33

Well, that’s a good question, honestly, because I really don’t know how old I was when he did tell me the story. I certainly listened to what he told me, and it surprised me what he did do. Because as I said, he was 40 year old at that age, where a lot of younger ones were, you know, only in their 20s. And usually Dad was a person that actually, when he said something, it was the truth. And I did believe what he told me. And when you look at all the books now and the history of things, and even the army files has been checked. And he was definitely in Broadway and definitely did fire the first two shots. And that is written in army files in notes. So there’s certainly proof there that that did happen. And when they did all the signage up at the campsite, there was a sign in Broadway now where Dad actually was at the sentry box with his name on it. And it gives a little story there that he fired the two shots and, when the Japanese broke and come into the Broadway.

Masako Fukui  15:50

Was your Dad scared, did he talk about how he was scared?

Gordon Rolls  15:55

Well, he said, when the Japanese run into Broadway, he said we run, there’s no question about that, because he said, ‘we wouldn’t have got out if we hadn’t’ve’. If the bottom gates had been locked, and someone down there couldn’t unlock them, he said, ‘we wouldn’t’ve been alive’. He said there was just no hope, because he said, ‘we wouldn’t have got out ourselves’.

Masako Fukui  16:16

And did your Dad ever talk to you about how he felt about the Japanese given that it was such, like this is the only sort of violence that occurred in Australian soil between the Japanese and the Australians?

Gordon Rolls  16:28

Well, he never actually criticised the Japanese. He, well, he said they didn’t do anything bad to him, you know. Some could speak English. But he had no problems with the Japanese people. And I don’t think he sort of really had any hatred towards them either. I just don’t well, he never ever mentioned that he did, put it that way. And, you know, as he said, he spoke about them, what they did and how they played baseball. And he said they’re very smart people, basically, that way. And he said, they played a lot of sports together, and as he said he never said anything bad about them.

Masako Fukui 17:19

They played sports together?

Gordon Rolls  17:21

No, not the Australians did. But the Japanese, the Japanese played sports all together. Like there’s no problems with themselves in the compound. So quite good that way.

Mayu Kanamori  17:32

So you’ve inherited this story from your Dad. And then you saw an ad, that said, does anyone have any information? And you answered that ad.

Gordon Rolls  17:46

Well see Dad died had died in that time anyway, see, so –

Mayu Kanamori  17:48

Okay, and then you’ve come to now become –

Gordon Rolls  17:55

President. Yes.

Mayu Kanamori  17:57

So can you tell me a little bit about your journey?

Gordon Rolls  18:02

Well, I became the President for the 70th anniversary. And there was a group of us went to Japan in April 2014. And we went to Tokyo, Hiroshima. I think that’s how you say it. Yokohama, and the war cemeteries, saw them over there. And we went to Joetsu, and met up with the Mayor at Joetsu and some of their Council staff who showed us about at Joetsu. Then we went on a train trip back down to – right to the bottom – Fukuoka, I think they call it. And we saw Seiki {Seij} down there and his wife, and had lunch with them. We went out to tea with them. And it was a 10 day trip all up.

Gordon Rolls  19:01

And we met a lot of people over there, lot of interesting people and we saw so many different things. So you know  –  we’re here – different places, everywhere we went there was a different place to go to or to meet with something, you know. And at Hiroshima, we went through the  – we saw with the building remaining, where the atomic bomb went off. We walked around the  – the gardens, the paths there, buildings, and we had an interview with Japanese in the building there on TV and etc what happened and I had to give a talk on what Dad did at the Campsite. And it was very interesting. Everything was interesting that we learnt over there and what we met and –  it’s amazing the amount of people we have met since then have come back since then, and they come up, walk up and shake your hand, how you going, and it’s a terrific feeling. And the friendship is unbelievable. It’s just a very strong friendship between both sides.

Masako Fukui  20:01

Does that surprise you, given the violence?

Gordon Rolls  20:05

Well, I think you’ve got to –  you know, these things happened and – I think you just –  it’s a part of life, it happened, and it’s just a big strong friendship that started up and it’s still growing, that’s the thing. And there’s been children, school kids from Cowra High School going to Japan, and vice versa, coming back here, doing the schooling here. And I just think it’s a terrific thing and it just – the friendship’s growing. It just keeps growing and growing. We’ve got contacts here all the time from Japan. And the Mayor and Deputy Mayor and General Manager, they went over to Japan. I think it was back in May, I think this year on a business trip with different things over there. And I think they’re there for about 10 days, too. And they just you know, saw the people that we normally see over there as well plus the other people that want to do the business with.

Masako Fukui  21:06

Was that your only time in Japan that time you went –

Gordon Rolls  21:09

That’s the only time I’ve been to Japan. I’m trying to get a few people to go back again and see the people we saw over there and just do it on a pleasure trip. Because the trip that we did in the 10 days in April 2014 was basically a business trip to organise things, and see what was happening. And well, I’d never been to Japan before. And Bill West, the Mayor of Cowra, he hadn’t been to Japan before. That was his first trip. And what we saw was just unbelievable. It’s incredible, what we saw, and the friendship we got there was just unbelievable. We got met by people over there who knew us that we were coming. And we’ve got met at Joetsu at the top of the excavator {escalator} thing, you call them, I think – by staff and that from Joetsu Council, you know, a beautiful reception.

Masako Fukui  22:04

Why is it so surprising for you, that you were met with such – ?

Gordon Rolls  22:08

Well, everybody knew that we were going. So obviously there’s a big communication thing. We were never left on our own. Like we were never left wondering what was going to happen next.  Everything was organised. And we had people to go and see, and do, and –  it was just an absolutely terrific educational trip as well. And it’s a trip that I’d like to go back again and do it slower. Because there’s so many interesting things over there, like Australia has gotten here as well to see.

Masako Fukui  22:40

What’s – why is it important for you to be part of Cowra Breakout Association and also to be President? What does it give you?

Gordon Rolls  22:50

Well, I get a lot of satisfaction out of the Camp, mainly because Dad was there that night, which is history. And there’s proof of it that he was there that night, and what he did do. And I can drive up there and sit in the park up there on the seat and just look over the Campsite. And it’s just amazing what happened there sort of 74 years ago at the moment, and what happened there, and the amount of people that were there. And it’s a lot of history that sort of – you’ll never forget it type of thing. And it’s also, we’ve got to remember that it was one of the biggest mass outbreak of prisoners in World War II that happened in the world. So there’s nowhere as big as this one here.

Mayu Kanamori  23:45

Can I ask you to say that again? It was fantastic. Because what you see, what you imagine but you said, there, there, like we’re here,or at the camp. These are people listening to, at the Camp. Can we just try that again?

Gordon Rolls  24:00

Yeah. Well, what you saw at the Camp – what happened at the Camp with the Japanese breaking out over the barbed wire fences into Broadway and the two other fences on the other side of the Camp, its history. It was the biggest –  prisoner of war camp breakout in the world. There’s no prison camp anywhere in the world that had that number of prisoners break out. And it took a few days, about nine days to round up the prisoners that got around everywhere. And some were quite unhappy to go back to Camp. Others were sort of looking to go back because they were hungry as well too.

Mayu Kanamori  24:51

Thank you.

Gordon Rolls  24:53

Did that answer that part of it for you?

Mayu Kanamori 24:56

It did.

Masako Fukui  24:56

I’m just wondering about the relationship with the Japanese people since after the war, and how you know, Cowra has fostered that sense of reconciliation which –

Gordon Rolls  25:09

Well, Lawrance Ryan will probably be a better one to answer that one honestly.

Masako Fukui  25:12

I know, but you are too.

Gordon Rolls  25:13

Yeah, well I’ve only – I’ll just say this now –  I’ve only just been – since I’ve become President of the Breakout – I probably got to meet more Japanese people. Where before I didn’t get into the contact side of the Japanese people. I did lay some wreaths in memory of Dad at the prison campsite, before I became a president and since I have become a president, I have laid wreaths on the Australian graves. And also I have done some wreath laying on the Japanese section also there. And it’s just, there’s a lot of people that come to these things and it’s, it’s just, it’s an amazing thing to be involved in, with the people that you meet and you get invitations down to the Japanese Embassy in Canberra with Mr Kosaka and had been on there for meals and lunches and teas down there, which is very interesting. And you meet all different people. And this year I went to the – we got an invitation to go down to the boat the Shirasu, the icebreaker. And we had tea on that, which was unbelievable too, it’s just unbelievable. I’ve never had a meal on a boat with so many people there. There was a lot of people there, Japanese people and Australians and –  and it was just a beautiful friendly feeling. It was unbelievable.

Gordon Rolls  27:20

You walked up the plank, gangway up to the boat. And then there was a Japanese sailor at a doorway, he’d tell you to go right. You go down a corridor and there’d be another sailor there to tell you to go left. So you got told where to go, and you went down a row steps down to the platform again, onto the boat itself. And it was a slightly misty rain – that night, not that it was wetting anybody much. But the helicopters from that boat were pushed outside on the deck and that’s where the meal and everything was, in where the helicopters were actually on that boat. And we were down at the Japanese Embassy this year, and just not long back, and they had ice down that the boat had broken, and they were chipping it off and breaking that ice into scotch glasses. So I ended up having a little scotch with that with a bit of frozen ice that could’ve been – who knows how old. Incredible.

Masako Fukui  28:28

That sounds nice –

Gordon Rolls  28:29

It was too, it was very nice.

Mayu Kanamori  28:30

That’s the Shirase.

Masako Fukui  28:34

I’ve been on that once too. It’s amazing.

Gordon Rolls  28:38

And I thought to myself –  the boat’s old, like but in immaculate condition. Didn’t matter where you went in the corridors and –  but all of the sailors, the staff and that were absolutely friendly as could be. It was just an absolute beautiful atmosphere. But to be on a boat tied up to the wharf there, and it was, it just, I could not believe it. It just opened my eyes up. I just couldn’t believe it.

Masako Fukui  29:10

Opened your eyes up to what?

Gordon Rolls  29:11

Oh, it’s just something I’ve never done before in my life. And I just – it was hard to – yeah, it was just amazing that that boat had been to different places of the world. Breaking ice. I think it broke ice one and a half metre thick I think, at three knots or five knots or something, something like that. Which –  fairly thick ice.

Gordon Rolls  29:38

I suppose it’s something that happened 74 years ago, the Breakout itself with the Japanese. And you know, the war’s over and the amount of friendship that’s developed with Cowra and Japan, which is an enormous thing. And I think it’s just a big friendship thing that it’s happened and  – there’s so much – there’s families of some of the prisoners here at Cowra, I’ve met their daughters at – oh wait on –  at Yokohama. We had lunch with them. And then at the 70th anniversary, one of the daughters came out to –  that weekend, that Breakout associate thing. And I – it’s amazing, like, that’s all they come out and talk about what they did, and their fathers were here and that and – and it’s an amazing friendship that’s developed from that with the Japanese and the Australians. And it’s a beautiful friendship.

Masako Fukui  30:56

Yes, it is.

Mayu Kanamori  30:59

Gordon, do you have any particular stories you want to tell other than your father’s story that you’ve told us? Any other stories to do with Cowra and peace and the Japanese, that you – or any one of these places like the Cemetery?

Gordon Rolls  31:15

Well, not really, I think I’ve sort of covered most that I can think of really. Because I mean, my friendship with the Japanese has all been through the Breakout Association. As I said, it’d be 25 years ago that I joined, but I didn’t know any of the Japanese people that were there. And we had meals and luncheons together and things like that with the Australians and that. And there was a lot of guards in those days. Which well, okay, they’ve all gone now. All the Australian guards have gone. Ron Ferguson was the last one to go. He blew the bugle. And as I said, there’s some Japanese prisoners still alive in Japan. And Mr Murakami’s one of them. You know, the last report when Mayor Bill West was over in Japan this year, that he hopes to come out, if his health’s still good, to come out next year for the 75th.

Masako Fukui  32:16

So what was it like meeting Mr Murakami?

Gordon Rolls  32:20

Very interesting. We had a very good talk to him actually, in Hiroshima. We sat down and went to tea with him. And we had Mami Yamada who can speak beautiful English, and she did the English to Japanese – like translations. And we asked Mr Murakami, who cooked the meals for you, the Japanese? And he said, ‘we cooked our own meals’. And we asked him, ‘well, what did yous have’? He said, ‘well, some of us could speak English. And whatever we wanted, we got.’ And they imported fresh fish from New Zealand for them. He said the meals that we had at Cowra, because Mr Murakami was at Hay prison camp and came to Cowra three weeks – three months before they broke here. He said that at Hay – and Cowra’s {Hay} a harder camp than Cowra. He said the guards were kinder here. The food was better. And he said we also got an extra blanket to keep warm at Cowra.

Gordon Rolls  33:36

We just asked him different things. And – yeah, and he’s a funny little man, there’s no doubt about him. He smokes like a chimney in Japan. He comes out to Australia for probably a week, and he won’t touch a cigarette. But when he goes back to Japan, the smokes follows him real quick. It’s unreal (laughter). To see him jump up there in April 2014, and I think he was about 93. He saw an ashtray on a table in one of the meal places where we’re going to have tea. He jumped up off the chair, grabbed a cigarette ashtray, sorry the ashtray, and sat over away from us and had a smoke, jumped up, put the ashtray back on the table, and came and sat down with us again. And he’s –  like to be what he’s been through, at his age – he’s only a short man, compared to me standing up. And – but he could tell some stories, there’s no doubt about that.

Masako Fukui  34:41

Any that you remember?

Gordon Rolls  34:43

Not really now. We did ask him a lot of questions about the Camp. But as he said he broke into Broadway and he said there was no way of him getting out. So he said, there was gunfire going both ways. And he said, ‘I laid in the gutter, in the trenches that was in there, and I surrendered the next day’.

Gordon Rolls  35:04

My name’s Gordon Rolls. I’m President of the Cowra Breakout Association. And my father’s name was Alfred James Rolls. And he was actually on –  in Broadway, the night of the Japanese broke on the 5th of August 1944. And he actually fired the two shots in the air. The first two shots fired that night was fired by my father when the Japanese broke.

Gordon Rolls  35:35

My father, Alfred James Rolls, fired the first two shots at the start of, or just before the Japanese actually broke out of the Camp. It was a signal of an alert of an incident going to happen.

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