Researching POWs F-J

      Fenney, Gunner 135 RA Fenney, Gunner 135 RA

       Fortnum Ralph - Beds and Herts Regmt.

       Fowell, S.H., PTE 2040253. - 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regt.

      George,  Ben, RASC, 2nd Lieutenant George, Ben, RASC, 2nd Lieutenant

      Gunner Harold George Gissing 49/48 Regt RA Gissing, Harold George 49/48 Regt RA - Gunner

      Gore, James 7651411 Craftsman, RAOC / REME Gore, James 7651411 Craftsman, RAOC / REME

      Ralph Harrison from ‘HMS Prince of Wales' Harrison, Ralph from ‘HMS Prince of Wales'

      Haslett, Howard  - Gunner  Haslett, Howard - Gunner

       Hinley, Francis Alfred

      Holden, Jack Percy - 5th Battalion Beds and Herts Holden, Jack Percy - 5th Battalion Beds and Herts

      Hofstee, H.A.J Hofstee, H.A.J

      Hutton Edmund Hutton Edmund

      Jones, James Thomas Alban, Signalman, Royal Navy Jones, James Thomas Alban, Signalman, Royal Navy


      Back to Menu Back to Menu




Fenney, Gunner 135 RA

      Tom - Thank you for the inclusion to the Monthly Revue. Yes, add it to the Researching POW's. Also if it is possible may I add two more names of comrades that I have been trying to contact for a long time? Gunner Fenney 135 RA. Jo Steward. Royal Corps of Signals. attached to 135 RA.I would be grateful if anyone can help.Thanks again for the site, I am busy reading and learning and will help where I can to add to the story.



Fortnum Ralph - Beds and Herts Regmt.

      Apogee - Ralph Fortnum - Beds and Herts Regmt. Did you know him?

      Captured Singapore 1942, Died August 1943

      Ron - From Commonwealth War Site

Debt of Honour Register

In Memory of


5th Bn., Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regt

who died on
Monday 30 August 1943 . Age 22 .


Additional Information:

Son of Herbert Leonard and Mary Jane Fortnum, of Boreham Wood, Hertfordshire.



Grave or Reference Panel Number:

B1. B. 2.


The village of Thanbyuzayat is 65 kilometres from Moulmein, and the war cemetery lies at the foot of the hills which separate the Union of Myanmar from Thailand. At present the only way in which the cemetery may be visited is by train. This is a long and uncomfortable journey and three days should be allocated. Only those in good health should attempt the journey. Prior permission is needed to travel to the cemetery, which is close to areas of unrest. Enquiries about the possibility of obtaining permission to visit the cemetery should be made to the nearest Union of Myanmar (Burmese) Embassy, or a Commonwealth Embassy in Yangon (Rangoon).

Historical Information:

The notorious Burma-Siam railway, built by Commonwealth, Dutch and American prisoners of war, was a Japanese project driven by the need for improved communications to support the large Japanese army in Burma. During its construction, approximately 13,000 prisoners of war died and were buried along the railway. An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 civilians also died in the course of the project, chiefly forced labour brought from Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, or conscripted in Siam (Thailand) and Burma (Myanmar). Two labour forces, one based in Siam and the other in Burma worked from opposite ends of the line towards the centre. The Japanese aimed at completing the railway in 14 months and work began in October 1942. The line, 424 kilometres long, was completed by December 1943. The graves of those who died during the construction and maintenance of the Burma-Siam railway (except for the Americans, whose remains were repatriated) were transferred from camp burial grounds and isolated sites along the railway into three cemeteries at Chungkai and Kanchanaburi in Thailand and Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar. Thanbyuzayat became a prisoner of war administration headquarters and base camp in September 1942 and in January 1943 a base hospital was organised for the sick. The camp was close to a railway marshalling yard and workshops, and heavy casualties were sustained among the prisoners during Allied bombing raids in March and June 1943. The camp was then evacuated and the prisoners, including the sick, were marched to camps further along the line where camp hospitals were set up. For some time, however, Thanbyuzayat continued to be used as a reception centre for the groups of prisoners arriving at frequent intervals to reinforce the parties working on the line up to the Burma-Siam border. Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery was created by the Army Graves Service who transferred to it all graves along the northern section of the railway, between Moulmein and Nieke. There are now 3,149 Commonwealth and 621 Dutch burials of the Second World war in the cemetery.




Fowell, S.H., PTE 2040253. - 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment,

      Lorraine -

      Hello, Is it possible that someone could shed some light on a camp name.
      My Grandfather was hel as a POW by the Japenese till his return home in Sept 1945.Recently while looking through some family pares i found 2 postcards sent to him whilst in Japenese hands.My Grandfather was PTE 2040253. S.H.FOWELL, He served in the 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, according to the name on the cards the camp name was :-

      He told us he was captured in Singapore and worked on the Death Railway.I have been searching and have not been able to find any mention of such a camp.If anyone could shed any light i would be gratefull.




George, Ben, 2nd Lieutenant RASC

      Peter - The subject was my father and I wonder if anyone knew him or can provide information about him. I have been researching his experience for about twelve months from records he and my mother left and in IWM. I was amazed to find this site last weekend.

      >From his letters to my mother he seems to have sailed on 30.09.41 on a ship which took him to Singapore. He was in the following camps:

      Changi Feb - Oct 1942
      Kanu River Camp Nov 42 - apr 43
      Kanu 3 Apr 43 - july 43
      Chungkai Aug 43 - may 44
      Tamuang May 44 - june 45
      Kanburi Jan 45 - june 45
      Nakon Nayok June - Aug 45

      He wrote his own account of Changi and Kanu River camp up to about March 43. His letters from the ship to Singapore contained no details of times or locations.

      I would be grateful for any help you can give me.

      Keith - >Peter, If you have found the site, which is fepow community, have a good at the pages on the Burma-Siam Railway, I think they may be under Death Railway, or were. I have not had a look for some time now, but it has lots of useful info, as do other areas of the site. It's a good starting ground, and Ron Taylor not only runs the site, but contributes too, as do others.

      Now, back to your message. The fact you father left records is a bonus, and I take it you have a copy, it may tell you more detail than you realise.

      My father was at Chungkai from 30/11/43 to 4/5/44, at the hospital camp, under the command of Lt. Col. E. E. "Weary" Dunlop. This was the hospital camp for work groups 2 and 4. My father was then moved to Tamuang with group 4 parties, which was his work group, and was there from 4/5/44 to 5/5/45.

      This corresponds with the Japanese moving the POWs away from the Burma end of the line. My father was a Battery Sergeant Major, hence he did not end up with the officers at Nakhon Nayok, or Nakom Patom.

      Your father did, and I suspect the Kanburi date should read June-June or if correct, Tamuang should read Jan 45, not June.

      In January 1945, it was decided to concentrate all officers at Kanchanaburi. Major Basil Peacock in his book "Prisoner on the Kwai" went onto Nakom Patom from Kanburi/Tamarkan.

      In June 1945, the Japanese decided to move officers off the railway, and sent them in parties of 400 to Nakhon Nayok, north east of Bangkok, where the camp had to be built from scratch.

      The advanced party numbered 450, and found the camp was in the middle of a Japanese defensive position manned by over 30,000 troops.

      As the war continued, the theory was that all POWs were to be massacred, so the officers prepared to defend themselves with sharpened staves, aided by the Korean Auxiliaries, who offered to transfer the few arms they controlled, as they were to be executed along with the POWs.

      The allied camp commander at the surrender was Lt. Col. Toosey, the Jap commander was Captain Noguchi who was nor surprisingly absent at the time. This information is taken from "River Kwai Railway" by Clifford Kinvig. Other documents consulted were "The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop", and my father's MOD records.

      Question time now:
      1) Do you know what date your father left Changi to go up
      2) Do you know what work group he was with?
      3) Have you written to Army Records for his files?
      4) Do you have any idea when he arrived in Singapore?
      5) Do you know what ship he came home on, and from where it
      Answers to these questions may help find information to "fill in" the gaps so to speak. If you do not know, no worries.

      Janet - >Peter, Something has just occurred to me ( probably totally irrelavent but there we are, you're gonna have to suffer it anyway ) !
      Do you have any idea where your Dad was stationed with the RASC prior to being sent abroad ?, this may help you tie up loose ends more easily. My own dad was at |Warminster for a couple of years before being posted abroad.

      Good luck with your searching, I know how it helps us to put our own lives
      into perspective.

      Also Keith, did you get my mail to your own add. in response to your mail on the site ? if not - I should have expected a retort like that about the photo being taken at sea shouldn't I ? but I have to be honest and say I didn't ! however it did make me REALLY chuckle so you made an old gal happy

      Ron - >Peter, The pages on the Death Railway are still at:
      These pages have been added to over the last few months with more information. As I research more is added. I see this as a never ending project, which although it will grow, it will never be finished.

      Peter - >Keith, thanks for your helpful reply to my request for information about my father. I had found the Death Railway pages before I sent the email and found them useful. You were right about the dates. My father did leave Tamuang in January 1945. I just made a mistake in typing the email.

      Checking my notes from my parents' correspondence I found from a letter written in 1945 that dad left England in 1941 on the Empress of Canada.

      The only clue I have as to when my father left Changi is in his account of that. He says "..on the morning of our departure for Thailand came news of the 8th Army's spectacular advance in North Africa. This cheered us immensely and optimism was high during our journey, some even imagining the war would now be over in a matter of months." Given the list of dates of departure in the Death Railway pages and the fact tat the victory of El Alamein was 4 August 1942 dad must have departed on 5 or 6 August.

      I don't know which work group he was in but, presumably, the above will narrow it down a bit.

      I was unaware of that I could write to Army Records for dad's files until I discovered it on the FEPOW pages. I have now written to them.

      One of my mother's letters dated 15.12.41 says she had received a cable confirming dad's safe arrival. This seems from other information in the letter to have been sent on Sunday 7 December 1941. He seems, from a letter sent to my mother 17.12.41 to have been at the Advanced Base Supply Depot RASC Malaya. Just after his arrival emergency was declared and all were confined to barracks. He says: "The amazing part though, is to arrive our here to find you were sent by mistake." This was confirmation of something he discovered during the voyage. I have the original pass and identity book issued to him by Malaya Command 9 February 1942 and other information in letters he sent my mother from Malaya before the fall of Singapore. He was involved in the evacuation of Kuala Lumpur. By 31.1.42 he was in 4 Malaya Field Ambulance.

      Again, in letters written from Rangoon it is clear that dad left there on 14 September '45 on " .. the P&O named "CORFU".

      My reply has been delayed because your email made me check back through my notes and the correspondence to find answers to some of your questions. As you can probably tell my families correspondence from 1939 to 1945 is quite a valuable source. On the ship returning from Rangoon dad began writing an account of his experiences as a POW but he didn't complete it. It is very useful up to March 1943 when he began navvying on the road being constructed from Kanyu river camp up the hill to what became Konyu 2 the camp at Hell Fire Pass. What I am trying to do is to complete the story by drawing on the accounts of others who were in Konyu 3 and other camps dad was in from then until his first letters from Nakon Nayok.

      Nigel Peacock - What a pleasant surprise to see "Prisoner on the Kwai" mentioned here. Basil Peacock was my grandfather and spoke often about his time on the Kwai.




Gissing, Harold George, Gunner  49/48 Regt RA

      BPGISSING - I am researching my fathers short military history and his untimely death at the hands of the Japanese. At the time of his death he was serving at Kalidjati airfield. I know that he did his initial training at Wolverstone Hall, which is not far from Ipswich, Suffolk. I am trying to find out what training he did prior to leaving for Scotland on December 3rd 1941. I am also interested in obtaining any group photographs of the Regiment. I would love to hear from others who had members of their family in my dads Regiment.

      Keith - My name is Keith Andrews, and would you please be kind enough to send your e-mail address, direct to me, or through this site. I have a friend who's Uncle in Law was at Kalidjati Airfield, and knows far more than I do. Once I have your address, I will forward it, and your message to him. If he can help, please cut and paste the reply to this site if you would be so kind, it could help others. Hope to hear from you.




Gore, James 7651411 Craftsman, RAOC / REME

      Gamma192 - Can anyone give me any information about my wifes grandfather?
      He was at Changi until April 1943 when he was sent up country as part of F Force, dying in August at Nieke.
      Does anyone remember him?




Harrison, Ralph - from ‘HMS Prince of Wales'

      bristol - I am searching for any information about a then Boy seaman 'Ralph Harrison from HMS Prince of Wales' last seen at abandon ship on dec 10th 1941, my father and he were great buddies but were separated on that fateful day, my father baing shiped out to columbo 2 days later, they were both 16/17 at the time and we can find no trace of 'Ralph Harrison' since that day, has anybody any knowledge of this man?? quite possibly a prisoner, he came from wales. any info would be greatfully recieved !!




Haslett, Howard - Gunner

      Haslett - Addendum

      Howard was a Canadian who joined the British Army in 1936. He was captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore and died of malaria at Tonchan(sp) Camp in 1943.

      I have a photograph of him taken during his enprisonment and it can be seen here:

      My mistake(s)...

      I shouldn't rely on my memory. I checked some documentation today and discovered Howard enlisted on 9.3.37.

      Plus, the link to the photo does not show Howard after being captured. It was taken at Changi in 1938. I can barely make out the name Changi and the date on the back of the
      photo. (Had been glued into a photo album)

      The web page has been corrected.






Hinley, Francis Alfred , 843617 Gunner, 9 coast regiment, royal artillery

      Rachael -

      We are trying to find information about my uncle Gunner Francis alfred Hinley, 843617, 9 coast regiment, royal artillery. Iwe know he sailed to singapore sometime in november or december 1941, on the HMS Dorcestshire. We know he was taken prisoner in singapore, and was imprisoned in changhi, we have found his burial record via the commonwealth war graves site, which states he died on 18th march 1945, he is buried in yokohama war cemetery in Japan. this is all the information we have, and are looking for any information, from anyone who can fill in the gaps.

      Rachel & Bill Hinley - >Keith
      We have so far drawn a blank for Information on our Uncle, were ever we have searched we have been unable to find out any thing, other than were he was buried and his date of death. He is buried in Yokohama war cemetery Japan, His date of death was 18th March 1945, the grave is,sec.c.b.12. The card his wife Vera received contain little information, one has written on it gunner f hinley, 84364,ra, hmt dorchestshire, but no date, the other has no. 843617 gunner f hinley,post marked locally 24th december 1943, and has a red octogon containing a red crown and the words passed pow 2266, with japanese writting printed in red on the top and down one side.
      the number 843617 also appears on the print out by his name from the cwgc. this is all the information we have. We would be glad of any information you could help us with,and any suggestions you may have to help us piece together how he got from changhi, to Japan.
      hope to hear from you soon.

      Keith - >Rachel and Bill,

      Thank you for your message, and if I can help, I will try to do so.
      I looked at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site (, Your uncle’s full details list his number as 843617, so that is his Army number.
      H.M.T. Dorsetshire rather than possibly Dorchestshire, I suspect was the troop transport he left the U.K on. However, I would need to search to confirm the name, so I could be wrong here.
      The Dorsetshire that I know was the cruiser that finished off the Bismarck, and was in turn sunk by Japanese aircraft in the Indian Ocean, but I am open to correction on this.
      9th Coast I can help with, but as we do not know what battery he served with, all I could give is a general history.
      The POW postcard sounds interesting, and I would like to look at a copy. I suspect that the Japanese writing down the side may be the Japanese censor’s mark, which can be traced. The red octagonal box containing a red crown, and the words “passed pow2266” I believe is the U.K.censor. I am taking this information from a book, and I can contact the author for you, and see if he could help. Is there anything on the card that would give a clue to what group or camp he was with or in? For instance, my father’s cards stated Camp 4, so for that read work group 4, or work battalion 4.
      As you say you have drawn a blank on information, may I now ask where you have tried?
      Have you written to Army Records? They have moved to a new address which is:
      Army Personnel Centre,
      Historic Disclosures,
      Mail point 400,
      Kentigern House,
      65, Brown Street,
      G2 8EX.

      This should be your starting point, it supplies the base information.
      If you write, tell them of the relationship, quote full name, rank, number, date of birth, Regiment, Corps, and any other information that will help. They will respond, ask you to sign a kinship form, and send a cheque for £25, but there is a 2-3 month wait. I believe they now supply photocopies of original documents. What they may not be able to supply is details of what happened to your Uncle after his capture.

      Next, have you tried the Far East Prisoner of War Grave Archives?
      If not, I can supply an address, and the gentleman who looks after them, Peter Dunstan is a FEPOW and served with the Royal Marines on H.M.S .Prince of Wales. He has spent his life after the war collating these records.

      For a view of the Yokohama War Cemetery in Japan, please look at this site;
      Click on Remembrance, click on Cemeteries, click on Japan.

      Having said all that, you have tapped into a great source of information, and someone may be able to help regarding the Japanese connection. There may be information on the FEPOW COMMUNITY site, where I first found your original message. Ron has compiled a shed load of information over the years.

      However, as far as the 9th Coast goes, there is one other major source of information, and as your uncle was with 9th Coast, his name should appear within it.
      This is a nominal roll of the 9th Coast Regiment compiled in Changi by B.S.M. Wilcox, and is part of a private collection left to the I.W.M. This document is unique, as it not only lists the names of those in the Regiment, but the date the left Changi to go onto the Railway (ovl), or be transported overseas (ovs), or in some cases both. It also shows the battery the individual was with. I do not think I can get to the IWM this side of Christmas, but if you like, I can supply a name and telephone number if you wish to visit earlier.
      This has been a major source of information in my research on my father, and in helping at least two others; I have never seen another record like it.
      These are the sources readily available, there is another, the PRO, but the file you will need is not yet back in the public domain, and so I will keep checking. I will be going back there after Christmas.

      Well, that is something to get you started, so have a read, and come back to me if you would like me to help further, I will be happy to do so.
      To anyone in the Group that could help with the Japanese side of this enquiry, please feel free to assist. My father stayed in Thailand, and did not have the less than dubious pleasure of a “cruise” to Japan, “Hellship” style.

      Stuart - :

      BM 9A

      This convoy transported the first large troop reinforcement to the island. It left Bombay on December 21 1941 and arrived in Singapore on the 3rd of January without much delay or difficulty.
      Aboard was the 45th Indian infantry brigade. It departed Bombay on December 21 1941, and arrived in Singapore on January 3 1942. The order of battle for the convoy was as follows:

      Devonshire British, 11.275 tons 1599 troops
      Lancashire British, 9.542 tons 1337 troops
      Ethiopia British, 5.574 tons 897 troops
      Varsova British, 4.691 tons 978 troops
      Rajula British, 8.478 tons 1166 troops

      CL HMS Glasgow Between December 21 and 25
      CL HMAS Hobart from December 25 to Singapore
      CL HMS Dragon from December 30 to Singapore
      CL HMS Durban from December 30 to Singapore
      CL De Ruyter RNN, between January 1 and 2 through Sunda Strait
      CL Tromp RNN, between January 1 and 2 through Sunda Strait
      DD HMAS Vampire from December 30 to Singapore
      DD HMS Jupiter from January 2 1942 to Singapore
      DD HMS Encounter from January 2 1942 to Singapore
      DD Banckert RNN, between 1 and 2 January through Sunda Strait
      DD Piet Hein RNN, between 1 and 2 January through Sunda Strait
      PB HMIS Sonavati between 21 and 27 December
      PB Falmouth between 25 and 27 December

      Stuart - On a second thought I checked : Devonshire was busy :

      BM 12

      BM-12 carried drafts for the 9th and 11th Divisions ( 3800 men ) and stores for the 18th Division to Singapore. The convoy departed Bombay on January 23 and arrived in Singapore on the 5th of the following month. It was also the first to lose a ship: the trooptransport Empress of Asia was hit by bombs from divebombers and had to be abandoned. Most troops aboard were picked up by escorting vessels ( HMAS Yarra especially distinguished herself ), but most of the equipment was unfortunately lost.

      Empress of Asia British, 16.909 tons 2235 troops and stores
      Félix Roussèl French, 17.084 tons 157 troops and stores
      Plancius Dutch, 5.955 tons 987 troops and stores
      Devonshire British, 11.275 tons 1673 troops and stores
      City of Canterbury British, 8.331 tons 1053 troops

      CA HMS Exeter Joined February 2, detached north of Banka
      CL HMS Danae Joined January 31, detached north of Banka
      CL HMS Emerald Between January 27 and 31
      CL Java ( RNN ) Between January 31 and February 4, detached because of fuel shortage.
      DD HMS Encounter Joined ??, detached north of Banka
      DD HMAS Vampire Joined February 2
      PB HMAS Yarra Joined February 1
      PB HMIS Sutlej Joined February 1
      PB HMS Falmouth Between January 26 and 27
      AM HMAS Bendigo Joined north of Banka Strait
      AM HMAS Woolongong Joined north of Banka Strait

      Stuart - OK Rachel and Bill

      For the 9th Coastal, Keith is the expert :) Me, I just know a bit of general background.

      Well, sadly documentary evidence is always thin on the ground. Usually, the beginning (Army Records) and the end (CWGC). The challenge is to fill in the middle. You may well do this by identifying the Unit or group he was with, and identifying THEIR path.

      CWGC records give the info you find there, Army records should say his unit (but maybe not much more, very important but not really much for a £25 charge). And in between? Well, survivor information is the main chance. As always, the 'missing link' isthe records kept at Changi for manpower despatches, in the BRE ("Bureau for Records and Enquiry") Nelson's Nominal Rolls. That is the information Keith mentions for the 9th - it exists only for a few units here and there. One day they will all show up.....

      With luck, the 9th records Keith mentions will give FH's first despatch out of Changi, probably NOT to Yokohama. Most men were despatched with their existing units, unless eg they were hospitalised.

      I think I would be trying to identify the other end of the equation - groups sent into Yokohama, possibly by trying to find survivors from that location. Sadly, time is of the essence, but there is just a chance you could find someone who knew your Uncle... do not ignore this possibility. There may be manuscript diaries in the IWM of Survivors who detail a lot of information about Yokohama...Keith should be able to tell you of such diaries for 9th Coastal survivors. I found at least 5 at the IWM which gave me a flavour of the path of the person I was seeking....

      As general background, Changi was not just a Singapore POW camp it was the HUB of POW movements.
      Broadly, the Japs moved captives from the point of capture (in the case of the 9th Coastal, Singapore, but in other cases, Sumatra, Java etc) to points where they could use labour - typically, in '43 and '44, SE Asia and the Pacific Islands, but later to Japan itself as they ran out of homegrown manpower.

      Typically, they pulled together groups of men at Changi, and then despatched them wherever, routing further manpower into Changi to remake the labour pool.

      Hmmm, the 9th would have gone into Changi quite early, while despatches to Japan were quite late, so I wonder if FH was sent elsewhere in the interim. Possible the railway. In which case he would have been through Changi twice.

      see also re BLAIR visit to Yokohama

      Rachel and Bill - >Keith Thanks for the information, we will be writing to the army records to get what information we can from them.
      We have looked in the pro records and can find no reference of Gunner Francis Hinley, we have also looked at the imperial war museum, and just about all the information available on the web. We have a minor problem as we know what year he was born, but not the exact date of birth, but I'm on the case as he married my husbands aunt in a local church, so I am going to speak to the vicar and try to go and view the entry in the church records of the marriage as this will tell us his date of birth. We would be grateful if you would look up the information on the nominal roll when you next go there. I am trying to work out how to send a copy of the postcard that came from uncle frank, but am not sure how to do this, as i do not have a fax machine, and the scanner i have does not have a high enough resolution, to get a clear image, due to the age and quality of the card. The postcard contains no other information on it, other than his wife Vera's name and address and his message to her, and what we have told you.
      If you can suggest away to send you a copy of the postcard, please do so, I will photo copy it and send it to you.

      Thank you ever so much for the help you have so far given us, and at least we now have some other information to use to trace some more information about uncle Frank.

      Keith - >Rachel, Bill, and Stuart,

      Stuart, I will get your packet away early next week, promise, and hope it helps. You are correct, the middle bit is the issue, even if the person concerned came home. I also suspect that you are correct, FH went through Changi twice. There may be some information in WO.345 which may help. This has been returned from the Army Historical Branch, but is being re-sorted, so is not in the public domain. I intend to look at the PRO site before my next visit.
      Rachel and Bill, when I visited Firepower, the Royal Artillery Museum, they had a nominal roll for the 7th Coast, the first unit my dad was with. All it just a list of names.
      The 9th Coast (with which my father also served) roll at the IWM is so different, it lists the following;
      Full name, rank, number, next of kin and address, the date they went up country or ovl (overland), or ovs (overseas), and in some cases, both. If his name is in the roll, we will at least know when he left Changi, or one of the camps in the Singapore area, and can track him from there, be it ovl, ovs, or both, I hope. It also lists the battery the person served with.
      Yokohama however is a cemetery, and I suspect, and am open to correction, served several camps. Again, info could be on the card, if it exists for Gunner Hinley. Japanese were good at keeping records, better at destroying them.
      Rachel, you have his Army details, so date of birth is not critical. Of course I will try to find some info the next time I am at the IWM. The librarian I contact is very helpful, and seems to be the only one who knows where this rare file is. I will send you my address on a separate message, and yes I would like to see a copy of the card. Perhaps you could send me yours, but direct, not over the open net, that way I can send what info I have on the Regiment. I suspect, but to be confirmed by Army Records, your uncle may have been sent to Singapore before 1941, but cannot be sure.
      Another source to try is;
      The British Far East Prisoner of War Graves Archives,
      23, Page Street,
      Mill Hill,
      London, NW7-2EL.
      Please enclose a stamped self addressed envelope to keep Peter's costs down, as he does not get paid for his help.
      He may be able to pin point the camp in Japan your Uncle was in.
      The information that Stuart has supplied is all too true, and the IWM database is worth a visit, but can only be viewed at the IWM, so the next time I am there.......
      I hope this helps

      Stuart - WO345, War Office: Japanese Index Cards of Allied Prisoners of War and Internees, Second World War

      The key fact I garnered from this was 'camp' (which in this case was a known) and 'place of capture' which was in Japanese, phonetic for a Javanese location. THAT cross-checked and validated other key data.

      Keith - >Rachel and Bill,

      I am picking up from my message of November 8th, as on December 13th I paid a visit to the Documents Section of the IWM. Part of the reason for my visit was to continue my research into my father’s military service, but the major reason was to seek out information for a number of enquries, yours being one of them.

      The Nominal Roll of the 9th Coast Regiment I have mentioned in a previous message, and here is the information within about your late Uncle.

      Hinley Gunner 843617 FA.
      Wife – Mrs. W. Hinley, The Cottage, Gumfriston, Near Timby,
      South Wales.
      OVS – 25/4/43

      Translated, the first two lines are easy, the third shows the date he went overseas (from Singapore), and the fourth shows the Battery he was with.

      I noted that there was no OVL or overland date, which would mean that he did not work on the Burma – Siam Railway, but stayed at Changi or one of the other POW Camps in Singapore until being shipped to Japan. This answers the question of no camp number on his postcards home.

      22T, stands for the 22nd Coast (Tekong Fort) Battery of the 9th Coast Regiment, sited on Tekong Island at the head of the Straits of Jahore. The Battery consisted of 3 – 9.2inch guns, in single modern Mk.VII mountings, and would have been installed between 1934 and 1939. As far as the Coastal Artillery on Singapore is concerned, these were the second heaviest caliber weapons on the island, the 15inch battery's being the heaviest.

      The guns of Tekong could be rotated, and did fire on the Japanese on the Malayan mainland and on Singapore. My father was at this time a forward artillery observer for both the 9.2inch and 15inch guns (Jahore Battery) of Changi Fire Command.

      Total ammunition expenditure of 9.2inch ammo was 75 rounds H.E (High Explosive) and 200 rounds approximately AP (Armored Piercing).

      The OVS date shown is the date the party left Changi, and the only sailing I could find from the book “Death on the Hellships” is that of the Kyokko Maru on 26/4/43 (and the following information is taken from that book, page 110). This was a 6783-ton cargo ship, under the command of the Imperial Japanese Army.

      The party on this voyage was known as “G”Force, under the command of Major R.V.Glasgow, Amm. Sub. Pk. AIF. The party consisted of 1500 POWs, split between 1000 Dutch, 300 British and 200 Australians. The ship docked at Moji on 21/5/1943.

      The voyage was long but uneventful. Each man had an area of deck space 2 feet by 5 feet. No medical officers were permitted on the voyage, but a few medical orderlies slipped in unofficially. They were quickly overworked by the number of dysentery cases that broke out during the trip. The only deaths to occur were 2 Dutchmen who died the day the ship docked at Moji.

      From there the force split, most of the POWs crossed the Shimonoseki Straits and travelled by train to various camps on Honshu. The Austrailians went to Taisho camp, and worked at the Osaka Iron works.

      There were many camps on Honshu, trying to trace which one or ones your Uncle was at will not be easy. Have you written to Peter Dunstan at all, he may be able to advise the camp your uncle was in when he died.

      Yokohama War Cemetery was established after the war, so all those interred there would have been moved from other camp cemeteries.

      That is as much as I can supply, as I do not know too much about the camps in Japan. I have looked at the casualty lists on two sites, but can find no further information. I suspect that if they are anywhere, they may be at the PRO, although it may be worth a call to the IWM to confirm.

      If anyone in the group can help, please feel free to do so.

      Janet Uhr - >Keith: a quick one - does Ann know this: Apthorpe, The British Sumatra Battalion, (the Book guild, Sussex, 1988): it's from Apthorp's papers, completed and edited by his wife: her uncle is listed in teh nominal roll in Appendix IV: the book is probably outof print of course, I see I got my copy in 1989. I tried to contact her directly on teh message site;
      and got into a total tangle: a natural Luddite me, I reckon..

      >Rachel: barely a note this, but Ive just yesterday read a brief account of the Kyokkah Maru in Richard Sewell, An Autiography of Survival(1993, self publshed in Victoria British Columbia):. Sewell was RAOC not a gunner: and after the ship docked at moji his group, all British as far as I can see, were sent to a small town called Omi Machi on the west coast of Honshu. about three miles from the sea: ive not found it yet, nor is it mentioned in Van Waterford, Prisoners of the Japanese in World War II, which is the most comprehensive listing I know. The only other person Sewell mentions is a Lt Paul Burrough, later Assistant Bishop of Peterborough: and one gets a brief glimpse of him in Jeffrey English, One for Every Sleeper, only as Lt Paul B. admittedly, but it is clearly the same bloke.

      Arthur - Janet, There were a number of POW camps which were never registered with the red cross. One in particular was Aikawa on Sado Island 500 prisoners were taken to work in the mine there in the early stages of the war, many died, the remaining 382 were entombed on the 2nd August 1945. The signal issued prematurely was to kill all prisoners.

      Here is the true story concerning the mass murder of 387 British and Allied prisoners of war by entombment. Taken from captain Godwin's War Criminals investigation office file. 125 M which the captain was ordered by general MackArthur to destroy in 1948.
      Statement taken from Lt Yoshiro Tuda formerly second in command of the forced labour camp on the island of Sado, which was an unlisted prisoner of war camp.
      Lt Yoshiro Tsuda, although evasive throughout his interrogation, answered most questions sufficiently helpful to enable the investigating officer to piece together the reasons and cause of the disappearance of 387 Allied prisoners of war, and including the date of their execution.

      Tsuda's testimony
      'On the morning of the 2nd August 1945, I was ordered by major Masami Sadakichi the camp commandant, to detail the usual working parties at the nearby mine but with special instructions to ensure that every prisoner entered the mine. Usually fifty prisoners remained on top of the mine to empty the rakes of laden steel bins into nearby hoppers.
      I pointed out this need to major Sadakichi, but he dismissed my concern with the comment that the mine was no longer viable and would be abandoned that day. Superior orders decreed that all prisoners of war were to be ordered to the deepest part of the mine, some 400 feet. Major Sadakichi further impressed on me that the guard detail were to carry out their duties in the normal manner, and not to alarm the prisoners.
      I further advised major Sadakichi that a demolition detail had set concealed explosive charges inside the mine at depths of 100, 200, and 300 feet. This task had been carried out during the previous night. After the prisoners had been set hewing the ore from the marked areas . I was ordered to instruct Sgt major Mitsonobu Sakamoto the NCO in charge of the guards, to ensure their discreet out of the mine. The toiling prisoners were to be left to their obvious fate.
      Between 8-45 and 9 am on the morning of the 2nd August 1945 All of the guards emerged from the mine tunnel whereupon a number of steel ore bins were pushed to the mines downward entrance and allowed to gather speed into its depths. At 9.10 am and with no further bins to dispose of , a signal was given to blow up the mine. I was watching from a distance of 100 yards and witnessed a rush of smoke and dust from the mines entrance. While waiting for the smoke and dust to clear, every available guard was set to work dismantling the steel narrow gauge track , and then carrying portions of it to the mines entrance . By 10-30am or thereabouts all traces of the steel track had been removed. From what I can recall the demolition detail then entered the mine to set more explosives just inside the mine entrance. It was while returning to the prison camp that I heard a very loud explosion.
      Looking back I saw an avalanche of rock and earth was completely covering where the mines entrance had been. Knowing that the mine had been collapsed in three separate places, I was certain that the prisoners were doomed.
      Upon returning to the camp I immediately reported to major Sadakichi that the mine had been totally destroyed and all 387 POWs entombed in its depths.


      Ambo Isle, Laha Beheadings POWs 312 1942
      Adaman Isles, Widespread Massacre Civilians 1386 1945
      Ballae Isle, Ballale Massacre Civilians 60 1942
      Banga Is, Serut Beheadings Civilians 103 1942
      Batan Is, Buyan beheadings Airmen 4 1944
      Borneo, Balikpapan beheadings POWs 9 1942
      Borneo, Banjarmasin Massacre Civilians 60 1942
      Borneo, Loa Kulu Massacre civilians 598 1945
      Borneo, Pontianake Shooting Civilans 46 1942
      Borneo, Sandakan Massacre POWs 598 1945
      Burma, Widespread Beheading/shooting POWs 138 1944
      Celebes, Widespread Massacre Civilians 213 1942
      Burma, Kwai Railway Slave Labour POWs 6960 1942-44
      Formosa, POW camps Shooting POWs 170 1943-45
      Japan, POW camps Sickness/Brutality POWs 2315 1942-45
      Malaya, Parit Sulong Machine Gunning POWs 157 1942
      Maritime, Various Massacres Ships Crews 1460 1942-45
      Misool Is, Binjap Beheadings Airmen 5 1943
      Moluccas Is, Obi Beheading Airmen 3 1943
      Netherlands, Maritime Pig Basket drowning POWs 1390 1942-45
      New Britain, Widespread Torture/Behead POWs 388 1952-45
      New Guinea, Widespread Torture/Behad Mixed 640 1942-45
      New Ireland, widespread Beheadings POWs 17 1943-44
      Palua Ilse, Palau massacre Civilians 37 1942-44
      Philippines, Widesprad Massacres
      PO/Civilians 19740 1942-44
      Sado Isle, Aikawa Entombment POWs 387 1945
      Sarawak, Widespread Massacre Civilians 290 1942-45
      Singapore, Widespread Massacre Civilians 13760 1942-45
      Sumatra, Widespread Massacre POW/Civilians 14000 1942-45
      Samba Is, Widespread Massacres POW/Civilians 144 1942-44
      Sumbawa, Widespread Massacre POWs/Civilians 290 1942-45
      Tarawa, Tarawa Beheadings NZ Cost watch 23 1942
      Truk Is, Truk Beheadings Merchant Navy 19 1944

      Janet Uhr - >Arthur, My thanks for all that, Arthur. I do have a copy of Mackay's work on Godwin, Betrayal in High places.
      As for Omi Machi: if Sewell is right then it was south west of Niigita:
      sand I'm wondering if it was perhaps a subcamp of Niigitta then - Niigita 3 (or wahtever) perhaps, (as Kashii on Kyushu is more commonly known as Fukuoka 1): not all British as I thought on first reading, at least a few Americans, no Australians it seems.

      Arthur - >Janet Uhr, If you have read B/HP then you will also have read of the massacre around the 20/22 Jan. I worked hard on that one and found the names of all those who were incinerated, but neither the war graves or the Brit and Oz governments wished to know, gon fodder should be used and then forgotten seems to be the motto of all those who were not at the sharp end.

      Janet Uhr - >Arthur, Were you thinking of Parit Sulong Arthur? Yes, I touched on this in my "Against the Sun" (1998)' and Gilbert Mant, himself 2/19 published an account in "Massacre at Parit Sulong (1995)",working primarily with Ben Hackney's account; Hackney was 2/29, wrote a MS in Changi, when he came down from Pudu, had it buried in a shell case,a dn recovered it after August 1945: a condensed version went to the Australian War Crimes Trials atManus in 1950; Nishimura as you know was found guilty.

      Arthur - Janet Uhr, This was investigated by Captain John Gowin and Wild, Excerpts from that investigation in B<H<P.
      I returned with several others to the spot in 1973 and at the time tried to have a memorial placed close by with a point in history placed on the local town public register. Unfortunately, then as now it was turned down because our government did not wish to embarrass the Japanese.

      Keith - >Rachel, One thing that did strike me a little strange was that your husbands Uncle remained in Changi, and did not go ovl = overland. I say strange, but not unusual, perhaps he was too sick to go up country, but recovered to travel to Japan, if recovered is the right word. Perhaps the doctor was sparing the Aunt the anguish of knowing the full truth.
      While looking for his details, I was also searching for two others, one of whom was to die on the Hofoku Maru. Beside the name was the comment ?Died. The ? would I feel mean that no definate information was returned to BSM Wilcox.
      Anyone with info on the POW group Rachel's husbands Uncle was with, they sailed on the Kyokko Maru and the fate of the POWs when they arrived in Japan please get in touch.





Holden, Jack Percy - 5th Battalion Beds and Herts

      jack -

      Jack Percy Holden 5th Battalion Beds and Herts. From Suffolk red hair. Did anyone know him or what happen to the battation after landing.




Hofstee, H.A.J

      Mrs J.I.Hofstee -

      My father H.A.J.Hofstee, died at Aparon, he was captured in Camp Aparon on 29th of october 1942,he died on the 6th of september 1943.. We never have heard about the circumstances he lost his life.Is there anyone who knows Hofstee, a Dutch employee of the Dutch Government. His body is burried in Thanbuazayat. Birma. In 1995 we have visited his grave.

      Greetings: Mrs. J.I.Hofstee,

      Address: Goorsprake 14, 9451 KW Rolde, Holland

      Anneka -

      My name is Anneke Hofstee: I received the following information on a Japonese prisoners card, subject:other information re. my father H.A.J.Hofstee, Dutch POW . After translation in English: TRANSFERED FROM APARON PRISON CAMP TO SHIN ON 29 OF OCTOBER 1942. DATE DEATH: 6 SEPTEMBER 1943 (JA 78,P4203) REASON OF DEATH: FRACTURAL INJURY, DATE OF AN ATTACK OF A DISEASE: 22 AUGUST 1943 PLACE OF DEATH: APARON PRISONCAMP,TONYAU COUNTY KAYAIN PREFECTURE BURMA. TREATMENT OF DEATH BODY:BURRIED IN THE GROUND OF APARON CEMETERY (JA 181) . STOP
      Is there anyone who have known my father, or can you give me the name(s) of POW's for more information. My father is later on burried in Thanbyuzayat, in 1995 we visited his grave. The only letter after his death, we have received in 1946 from a nurse, with the name of J.J.Henneman (Aparon) This man is not to find in Holland. An other question is: Wat means "to Shin" on the card.

      With kindly regards, Mrs. J.I.Hofstee (Anneke)

      Lilian - Forwarded email

      Dear Lilian,Thank you very much for your help.It's a pity, but mr. Kannegieter cannot further inform us.My father worked in Burma, the last time on 80 kmstation,Aparon. There he died.He was in the army sergent Garnizoensbataljon Infanterie and in his daily life: Employee of the Dutch Government in North Celebes, Timor and Soembawa. He was transported by a Japanese vessel, the name is not complete: Maru .......,this ship was bombed and sunk, my father swam to the coast ................and here ends the story.Later on we got a prisonerscard with the explanation that is body was burried in Aparon on september 6th-1943. We received one letter from a nurse named Mr. J.J.Henneman, who knew him. The letter came from Nakon Pathon, aftere this message, we have never heard any news, because my mother did not talk and died early. Till now, we cannot find this man, in the age of about 80 - 85.We are still going strong and hope that once there is news.

      With kindly regards: anneke e-mail:




Hutton Edmund

      Beth Hutton -

      I have recently discovered your website and at long last have read the grim tale of the sinking of the Lisbon Maru. My grandfather Edmund Hutton (possibly known as Ted) was one of those who perished although I notice that the Royal Navy POWs are not on the list of those who died. I know I shall never know exactly what my grandfather experienced but I suppose there is a remote possibility that someone might remember him. With the 60th anniversary approaching it seems a good time to investigate further. I would love to find out more about him. For example, I don't know how he came to be on the Lisbon Maru. He was initially on HMS Tamar.

      Thank you for all the info on the website.


Jones, James Thomas Alban, Signalman, Royal Navy

      Maria McSweeney -

      Family history was always that my uncle was on the Lisbon Maru when it was torpedoed. He was in the Royal Navy and is therefore not in the current Lisbon Maru list so I could not confirm this. I did, however, manage to find a reference in a listing in a local newspaper. This indicates that he was originally on H.M.S. Tamar and was lost in the Lisbon Maru on 2nd October 1942. His name was James Thomas Alban Jones, Signalman D/JX 232518. I believe that he usually went by Jim. Does anyone out there remember him? I am sure that my father would very much like to know.

      Ron - >Maria

      My list does not include the Royal Navy but Tony's does, try:

      This is the complete list of those who were at Hong Kong and their fate.

      Your uncle is listed as:

      Jones, James Thomas A. Signalman D/JX 232518 UP 2.10.42 LM in the list.

      'UP' stands for Unknown Grave and 'LM' Lisbon Maru

      There are some more details within the Monthly Revue at:
      and an Hong Kong article:

      These could be helpful.

      The article on the Lisbon Maru gave me nightmares just writing it, the men had every thing against them.
      Many navy personnel were in the hold that went under water first and the hatches were battened down, no one made it from this hold. The men from the other holds who did get out had been in the waters for over two hours, this is a long time to survive the elements and the shark infested waters.
      Sorry, but I was amazed how many did make it to the island alive.
      I met an old boy, Reg, before he died this year, he survived the sinking and he said the ones that survived were very lucky indeed.
      No one will ever know where they died, but many went down with the ship.



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