She did not know if he was alive or dead until she received a phone call from a ship that had berthed at Southampton with ex FEPOW's on board saying that he was on that ship.
I would like to know more of my father's whereabouts during the war. I emailed the East Surrey Regiment Museum several months ago, but never received a reply. It would be great if anyone could help me as it is very difficult to do from so far away..
We came to Australia in 1953 as my father could not stand being enclosed, he wanted to be in open places. I look on the bright side. If this had not have happened to him we may never have come to Australia and I would never have met my husband and had the terrific family I have.
Ron Taylor - This book has been on sale now for some years Destination Kwai by Jack Shuttle. Jack records his hardships encountered during the time he was a prisoner, As a member of the 2nd Batt. East Surrey Regiment. He was in various camps along the Burma - Thailand Railway. His story is written without bitterness whilst retaining a sense of humour.
East Surrey Regiment Posted 2-12-2002 17:00
Alan - So far I have only seen one other person on our membership list who had a relative in the East Surrey Regement. I suspect there were not many out there, however, I have read one book which indicated that they didn't fair very well. My families recollection is that they were marched off the ship at Singapor and surrendered directly to the japs, which also doesn't tie in well with the book. Is there anyone with information on the East Surreys as I would be very pleased to find out what happend
Brett - As far as I know the Surreys were transferred from China To Singapore before Jap hostilities.I have a book 'The British Battalion' which was the amalgamation of Surreys and Leics.after their heroic stands in Malaya.The above book contains the roll of honour for both battalions.Interested in any more info. Brett
Ricky Yin - I saw a comment was made by Jonathan Moffatt regarding the Malaysian historian Chye Kooi Loong's History of the British Battalion. Two streets in Kampar were later named after British Battalion company commanders.
Is there a link to this article? I would like to add this article to our ex-Kampar ACS web site.
Any help is most appreciated.
DavidLangton - Found some info at the following address, which Susan may be interested in
Kanga - Somewhere I have read a message on the East Surreys for information .
This might help -While working on the Burma railway ,I had the good fortune to meet a leader of men ,a Segeant Paddy Gallagher.
Many years later while having a quiet beer in a Brisbane hotel and in a crowded bar, I heard this distant Irish voice. He had taken his discharge there ,because he had sent his family there on the outbreak of the war.I am pretty sure he told me his regt. had come down from China to Malaya ,could not be sure .
I met Paddy a number of times later to talk and have a beer together ,He was then working for Australia Post (P.M.G's Dept.
Again-- Paddy stood out amongst men ,as a leader while working on the Burma Thai raiway.
I hope the above might help the seeker of info.on East Surreys
Alex Wilson - I have 2 Great Uncles who both served in the 2nd Battalion East Surrey Regiment, one survived the war and one died of malaria as a POW. I am trying to build a picture of the part the East Surreys played in the Malayan campaign and in particular the roles my Great Uncles had within it. It appears easier to obtain information on those who died, hopefully at some point it will be possible to view service records at the Public Record Office but I understand they have only just been able to publish all the records from the First World War. The Queens Surrey Regimental Museum at Guildford has some information and publications on the East Surreys including records kept during the time as POWs. So far I have established that the battalion was at Shanghai in China from 1938 until they were moved to Singapore and then Malaya in 1940. They were part of the 11th Indian Division and were stationed in the far north on the Thai/Malay border at Jitra, consequently when the Japanese invaded they were involved in the fighting from the start. The East Surreys suffered heavy losses and after 10 days of action they were amalgamated with the Leicesters to form the British Battalion, this composite Battalion inflicted huge losses on the Japanese at the battle of Kampar over the new year period. Eventually the men were involved in the defence of Singapore and were taken prisoner by the Japanese when the island was surrendered on 15 Feb 1942. During the next 6 months prisoners were taken to prison camps further north into Thailand to work on the Burma/Siam railway. Approximately 12500 British POWs died in captivity, 1 in 4 of those captured, my Great Uncle Frank died shortly after completion of the railway in November 1942 and is buried in the Kanchanaburi Cemetery. email@example.com
Alex - If anyone else asks questions about the East Surreys it would be worth pointing them in the direction of the Regimental museum near Guildford at Clandon Park.
Jonathan Moffatt - >Ron, Yes, the surviving Leicesters and East Surreys were amalgamated into the British Battalion under Lt Colonel Charles Esmond Morrison DSO MC. They fought magnificently at Green Ridge, Kampar January 1st and 2nd 1942 against the Japanese Kawamura Brigade. Try to get hold of Malaysian historian Chye Kooi Loong's History of the British Battalion. Two streets in Kampar were later named after British Battalion company commanders.
Kenneth .H. Black - firstname.lastname@example.org
Found, personal Army effects of an East Surrey SGT.
Can anyone help me to contact SGT COOPER.P. NO:6142050 or any of his family or known associates,as I have recently come into possession of a number of items relating to him and the time he served during W.W.11
All I know is that he came from the Surbiton,Surrey, area.
Richard Thompson - email@example.com
Grandfather in East Surreys
All your messages and the hardships your loved one's went through are heartbreaking and harrowing. If only we were today as tough and resiliant as they were. I understand from this website that you are concernered with parents/grandparents who fought in the second world war. However I am just starting a quest to trace my grandfather's service record. I know he fought in the first world war and from his uniform he was an Officer[ from a photo my mother has,pips on his sleeves ]the Cap badge is I'm sure East Surrey Regiment. My mother's family were living in the Wimbledon/ wandsworth area at the time, I have tried other websites but they seem to need the battalion where the Soldier was serving to advance a search. I hope you can help as I would like to honour my grandfather for the depravation's he endured and the courage he must have shown. His name was SAMUEL PERKINS . ps I never knew this brave gentleman!
Alex Wilson - >Ron
I am attempting to peice together as much info as possible about The East Surreys in Malaya as I had 2 great uncles who were captured on the surrender of Singapore, one died and one survived. Its my aim to produce some sort of personal document and so far my research is going well. I have found many useful snippets and sources of information from your site, it must be a labour of love for you. If anyone else asks questions about the East Surreys it would be worth pointing them in the direction of the Regimental museum near Guildford at Clandon Park.
DANIEL PRAKASH JAMES - firstname.lastname@example.org
I AM IN CONTACT WITH MR CHYE KOOI LOONG THE HISTORIAN THAT WROTE THE MALAYAN CAMPAIGN-HISTORY OF THE BRITISH BATTALION.
THE 2ND EAST SURREY'S WERE PART OF THAT BATTALION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE PLEASE CONTACT MR CHYE IN MALAYSIA AT 05-4653716 OR ME AT 019-5453901 OR EMAIL ME
We are conducting free tours of the battle site called Greenridge where the British Battalion fought their famous battle.
Ron - I have enclosed an email from Daniel, as below. There is some information on the British Battalion which is of note. Daniels email address is also attached if anyone would like to contact him.
Hi there! Thanks for your reply.
I would like to supply you with some information regarding the Japanese Occupation of Malaya.
The Japanese occupied Malaya from December 1941 to September 1945. It was a period of extreme suffering. During the Malayan Campaign of 1941-1945, there were many who died. Many books were written but many of these books could never bring out the stories of the tired and heartbroken British and Indian units who fought gallantly all the down along the Malayan peninsula till the fall of the fortress island of Singapore on the 15th of February 1942.
Many units were caught undertrained and under armed against a very powerful and well trained jungle force of fanatical Japanese soldiers. The much underrated enemy who was superior in the air, sea and land in the Malayan Campaign stunned the British. The gallantry of the British and Indian units were never told because these brave men fought and lost in the greatest British military disaster in the fall of the Fortress of Singapore.
The British regimental hybrid was formed under the most trying circumstances of the ill-fated Malayan Campaign. At the epic four days Battle of Kampar from 30th December 1941 to 2nd January 1942 the gallant British Battalion won the full battle honours when they gave the powerful Japanese 5th Division from Hiroshima a mauling and held them for four days.
The formation of the British Battalion between the 1st Leicester Tigers and the 2nd East Surreys was itself unique. It was the only occasion that two British regiments have ever been amalgamated on the battlefield. This was the result of the tremendously heavy casualties that was suffered on the battlefield and this regiments were amalgamated in Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia on the 20th of December 1941.
The British Battalion defended 3 ridges against the Japanese. Only Greenridge remains intact today, after 60 over years nearly all of the firing positions and trenches remain intact and virtually undisturbed. There have been report from the locals that British soldiers have been seen around Greenridge at certain times. I believe they are returning to the place where they sacrificed their lives.
I can be contacted at email@example.com. We conduct free tours for various military and civilian associations in Malaysia and the rest of the world
DANIEL PRAKASH JAMES"