Liberated prisoners distributing rice rations to campmates. Pakanbaroe, Sumatra, 1945. AWM 019382. Courtesy of Australian War Memorial. August 16, 2015 World War II ended 70 years ago – while the forgotten ‘death railway’ was completed Lizzie Oliver, University of Leeds One ceremony on V J Day announced that the Sumatra railway had been completed, the construction of which had cost more than 80,000 lived and that 70 years later is still a little known story.