INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP 'Body Counts: The Administration of Military Losses and Casualties in East & South-east Asian Wars, 1930s-1970s'

Convened by Benoît Pouget (Aix-Marseille University and at Sciences Po Aix), Mark Harrison, & Jeong-Ran Kim (OCHSMT)

This international workshop is supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Council research grant (‘Medicine and Conflict, c.1945-c.1980: The United Kingdom and the Savage Wars of Peace’, AH/T013656/1), the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities (203132/Z/16/Z), the Netherlands Institute for Military History, the Service Historique de la Défense and the Maison Française d’Oxford. 


body counts programmeposter

Picture : The Malayan Emergency 1948-1960, Men of 22 Special Air Service Regiment practice carrying a casualty to a waiting helicopter during a training exercise in a jungle clearing at Ulu Langat, near Kuala

This conference examines war losses and casualties during East and South-east Asian conflicts from the 1930s to the 1970s, focusing on military (and POW) casualties. These conflicts were marked by the juxtaposition of hybrid military strategies and tactical configurations; a variety of local, regional, and international actors (including non-state groups); and a high degree of violence within fluid categories of imperial/anti-imperial, civil, and global warfare.  The workshop seeks to draw connections between these conflicts and regions by examining the administration of war losses and casualties, including the transfer of skills, knowledge, material, and personnel associated with these practices. 

PROGRAMME (Available for download here)


Day 1 – November 15 (Wednesday) 

13:30-14:00 Registration
14:00-14:10 Opening Remarks & Introduction
                       Mark Harrison, Benoît Pouget and Jeong-Ran Kim

Session 1 - Japanese Imperial Forces
14:10-14:40 Chaisung Lim (Rikkyo University,
The Japanese Empire and the Manchukuo Army Medical School: Training and Collaboration
14:40-15:10 Franck Michelin (Teikyo University,
Japan’s Handling of the Ashes of soldiers who died in the Asia-Pacific Theatre of War

15:10-15:30 Refreshments

Session 2 - Korea and Cold War Conflicts
15:30-16:00 Jeongran Kim (University of Oxford,
A Web of Evacuation in the Korean War: The British Commonwealth General Hospital in Kure

16:00-16:30 John DiMoia (Seoul National University,
South Korea, Medical Logistics, and the Vietnam War, 1964-1973

16:30 -16:50 Refreshments

Session 3 - Keynote Speech 1

16:50-17:50 Ben Schoenmaker (Netherlands Institute of Military History,
Researching Casualties in the Indonesian War of independence: an Exercise in Unevenness

18:30-20:30 Dinner (Speakers & Organisers only)


Day 2 – November 16 (Thursday) 

9:00-9:30 Registration

Session 4 - The Indo-Pacific Theatre, 1942-45
9:30-10:00 Hohee Cho (University of Oxford,
Managing Casualties in the Pacific Islands:  Fiji and New Zealand’s Medical Arrangements during the Second World War

10:00-10:30 Roderick Bailey (University of Oxford,
‘To Save the Dying and Strengthen the Weak’: Improvised Blood Transfusion and its Impact on Survival rates among Allied Prisoners of the Japanese, 1942-45

10:30-10:50 Refreshments

Session 5 - Counter-Insurgency Operations in Southeast Asia
10:50-11:20 Atsuko Naono (University of Oxford,
Health and Clothing for Jungle Operations in the Malay Emergency 

11:20-11:50 Mark Harrison (University of Oxford,
Denial and Exploitation: Medical Intelligence and Insurgent Vulnerabilities in the Malayan Emergency

11:50-12:20 Jean Martinant de Preneuf (Lille University, Service Historique de la Défense, and Jean-Charles Fourcrier (Service Historique de la Défense,
Military Losses and the Balance between Naval Air Service and Air Force during the Indochina War

12:20-13:30 Lunch

Session 6 - Keynote Speech 2 
13:30-14:30 Martin Bricknell (King’s College London,
One Hundred and Fifty Years of British Army Casualties and Statistics

14:30-14:40 Closing Remarks
Mark Harrison

14:40-15:40 Discussion of Future Plans


bandeau lost casualties