215th Meeting – November 2001
Medicine & Public Health in Chiang Mai during World War Two
A talk by Dr. Ted Brown
December 1938: Field Marshall Pibulsonggram became Prime Minister of Siam.
World War II began in
November 28th 1940: A border dispute with the French began when Thai soldiers advanced into the border area of Battambong and Srisophon along the Cambodian frontier and also into Champasak. Fighting was limited to a small-scale bombing of military installations near the Thai-Indo-Chinese frontier.
January 1941: Under Japanese mediation, a cease fire was declared to stop the fighting.
May 1941: The Tokyo
defining the new Thai-Cambodian border, ended hostilities between
1941: American missionaries in
Japanese forces invaded
360 British, Dutch and Americans were put into internment camps in
1942: As a result of the alliance
Allied forces in
Java surrendered unconditionally to
March 24th 1942: The first air attack on Chiang Mai was made by the American Volunteer Group, the 'Flying Tigers'.
June 1942: The first
prisoners of war arrived in
October 1943: The Thai -Burmese railway was completed and most Allied P.O.W.'s were moved to Kanchanaburi.
December 1943: The first large-scale bombing of Chiang Mai and Lampang occurred.
June 20th 1944:
Prime Minister Tojo and his cabinet were toppled in
July 1944: The Thai Prime Minister, Luang Pibulsonggram, was ousted by the Thai National Assembly.
December 1944: The last aerial attacks on Chiang Mai and Lampang occurred.
January 1945: There was a smallpox epidemic in Chiang Mai.
1945: After the dropping of nuclear
August 1945: Mr. James
Byrnes, the American State Secretary,
announced that the Thai declaration of war was null and void as
been forced to make it against their will. Consequently a peace treaty
September 3rd 1945: The first contingent of British soldiers arrived at Don Muang to round up the remaining Japanese military and release Allied P.O.W.s.
From mid-1945 to early
1946: Shortages of medicine, clothing
and other basic supplies became most acute in
At the end of 1945: The
Thai Government deemed it a
necessity to please the Allies, and therefore reverted back to the old
January 1st 1946: The 'Formal Agreement
termination of the State of
To fully comply with the Formal Agreement, in October 1946 Thailand paid £1.5 million for the part of the Thai-Burmese railway, the 'Death Railway', that was within Thailand and in January 1954 paid £5,224,220 to Britain, Australia and India in full settlement of the outstanding Commonwealth war claims.
March 1946: The first
major relief supplies of medicine,
food and clothing reached
April 6th 1948: Marshal Pibul became Prime Minister again.
May 11th 1949: An announcement was made