Researching POWs K-O

      Pilot Officer Douglas W Kewish Kewish, Douglas W Pilot Officer

      King, Thomas, Group Captain, CBE King, Thomas, Group Captain, CBE

      Lewin, Theodore (Ted) - Oryoku Maru and Fukuoka 17  Lewin, Theodore (Ted) - Oryoku Maru and Fukuoka 17

      Lewis Frank  Lewis Frank, - HMS Exeter

      Macnab, Alexander Christie (or Christy)  Macnab, Alexander Christie (or Christy)

      Stan Matthews Bom. Royal Artillery Regiment Matthews, Stan Bom. Royal Artillery Regiment

      McLoughlin Francis Hugh,  QX23844 McLoughlin Francis Hugh, QX23844

      Frank McManus, RAF, groundcrew (fitter/mechanic) McManus, Frank, RAF, groundcrew (fitter/mechanic)

      Pte Albert Edward 'Ted' Norman Cambs Regt Norman, Albert Edward 'Ted' Cambs Regt - Pte


      Back to Menu Back to Menu




Kewish, Douglas W - Pilot Officer 

      Dave Williamson - Does anyone know what happened to Pilot Officer Douglas W. Kewish (RAAF att. RAF, 84 Squadron ) on Java during February and March 1942 ?

      Capt. George W. Duffy - Here are two possible sources of information for you:

      John "Red" Campbell
      W. P. Wellington

      Campbell was shot down over Java and remained there as a prisoner for the entire war. He was a "Yank" in the RAF, and now lives near San Diego, California. I have not heard from him for over a year. We were together for about a year at Kampong Makassar south of Batavia.

      Wellington, who answers to both Bill and Percy, was a New Zealander and an officer in the RAAF. I don't know if he was a pilot. I have only become acquainted with him via this medium in recent years.

      Brian Green - In February 1942, along with a number of other Australians, Pilot Officer Douglas William Kewish and his observer, Flying Officer J W Bott were attached to the RAF 84 Squadron stationed at Kalidjati airfield in Western Java. He flew a Blenheim bomber and his name is mentioned very briefly in Volume 2 of 'Bloody Shambles' by Christopher Shores, Brian Cull and Yasuho Izawa, and published in 1993 by Grub Street, London. (ISBN 0 948817 67 4)

      Very sadly, as I'm sure you know, Plt. Off. Kewish was killed on the 1st March 1942 when he was 30 years old. He and his wife Winifred lived in Wormambool, Victoria and he is remembered on a plaque at the Singapore Memorial at Kranji. I'm afraid this means he has no known gravesite.

      The Japanese made a three pronged invasion of Java in the early hours of Sunday 1 March 1942 and the Shoji Detachment landed at Eretanwetan with the principle objective of capturing the airfield at Kalidjati, being used mainly by RAF bombers, and only about 30 miles to the south.

      The bombers at Kalidjati had carried out several sorties against the landings and the crews knew the enemy were making progress inland, but nevertheless a series of blunders and poor communications allowed the Japanese to sweep onto the airfield, completely surprising the defenders. A few Hudson bombers managed to fly off from directly under the guns of the invaders but the Blenheims of 84 Squadron were dispersed at the end of the airfield which had already been occupied by the enemy. A short, fierce battle took place. All 30 of the RAF defence force were killed, as were about 20 from 84 Squadron including Pilot Officer Kewish and his comrade Flying Officer Bott. In all, the defending force lost more than a hundred killed, mostly from the 49th Battery of 48th Light Anti Aircraft Division. The Japanese took no prisoners and had overrun the airfield in little more more than a couple of hours. About two hundred British and Commonwealth troops managed to withdraw south to become prisoners of the Japanese a week later when the island was surrendered; among them my Uncle in-law, Gunner Alfred Rush who manned a 40mm Bofors anti Aircraft gun at Kalidjati.

      Although there is an excellent account of this disastrous action in 'Bloody Shambles' you will find barely a mention in other so called 'authoritative' histories.

      I'm sorry I can't help with any details prior to 1 March except that at this time Plt. Off. Kewish was described as 'newly arrived' at 84 Squadron. In the weeks leading up to the Japanese invasion there was a lot of movement between different squadrons of men and machines. I haven't identified an Australian squadron on Java flying Blenheims but he might have been roped in from further afield. I'll let you know if I find anything else but meanwhile I wish you luck with your search.

      Keith Andrews - In response to your message I have looked on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Site,

      I regret to inform you that Pilot Officer 401128 D.W.Kewish is listed as being killed on March 1st 1942.
      His name is on Column 421 of the Singapore Memorial at Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore.
      I am sorry I could not reply with good news

      Don Clark - >Ron, I was just doing a search on Kalidjati for no reason at all, and FEPOW came into the field of view once more. I see the Researching PoWs page has a story on Kewish and Bott in relation to 84 Sqdn, with three contributors to the story, & with links to a couple of survivors.

      Not directly relevant to Kewish but relevant to Bott, in my latest 211 Sqdn update, I've been able to make considerable progress with 211 operations and losses in Sumatra and Java. The tale is still far from complete, and there is still material to work up, which I hope to complete by early August.

      The three relevant pages are:
      The Far East
      Sumatra and Java
      and RAAF personnel
      this last section is my current focus.

      Another good source for this period other than Shores is Bon Hall's Glory in Chaos. My own work is largely founded in primary sources.

      I thought I should let you know, as my recent material may be of interest to the Kewish/Bott correspondents. For example, there were very many RAAF men in 211 Sqdn (and in 84 Sqdn too). No RAAF unit in the FE operated Blenheims at this date.

      Dave - Thanks for the continuing info on FEPOW.
      Concerning Dons latest message. In fact there were two Bott in the area.

      Allan Theodore Bott, 400823 RAAF, Sgt, 211 Squadron, died 06/02/42, Sumatra,
      and, James Edwin Warwick Bott, 84718, RAF, Flying Officer, 84 Squadron, died 05/03/1942, possibly in an ambush, with Douglas Kewish, in a lorry, with others, on the road from Kiladjati to Soebang, Java. The strange thing is that Douglas's date of death is the 1st March.

      Don Clark - >Ron, Astonishing! And immensely helpful....thank you, and please thank Dave for me.

      Having used AWM and NAA sources it never occurred to me to check further on the War Graves Commission, but there they both are and from opposite ends of the earth, dear boys.

      I must have missed this connection along the way - such slips, once they strike root, can become hard to eradicate, so I'm very grateful that it was noticed (apart from the fact that it's quite a remarkable thing).

      Could they have been related, d'you know Ron? The family name is not very common.

      I'll make sure to give this part of the story it's proper place next update.




King, Thomas, Group Captain, CBE

      skliros - from Fepow Message Board

      Group Captain Thomas King CBE -- Repatriation from Mukden

      Posted 1-2-2003 09:50

      I am helping the curator of Wellington Aviation Museum, Moreton-in-Marsh, Glos (a non-internet user) to fill in some blanks about Gp Capt King.

      He commanded No 151 Maintenance Unit at RAF Seletar (Singapore) in 1941 and was captured in Java in March 1942. He was subsequently interned in a series of POW camps -- Batavia, Singapore (Changi), Formosa, Kyushu and finally Mukden where he was liberated by the Red Army in August 1945. The Curator would like to know more about Gp Capt King's repatriation via Canada or indeed any information about his period of captivity, however slight.





Lewin, Theodore (Ted) - Oryoku Maru and Fukuoka 17

      Bryan Horton -

      Researching, Theodore (Ted) Lewin - Oryoku Maru and Fukuoka 17.

      Does anyone have any knowledge,or knew him, or has information regarding the pre war, Manila based American gambler, Theodore (Ted) Lewin, who was in Cabanatuan, aboard the Oryoko Maru and arrived in Fukuoka 17, January 1945. It has been reported he returned to Manila after the war to continue his profession.
      I have the information availabe from current books and web, but if there was anyone who meet him, contact me.




Lewis Frank


      My Father served on the Exeter and in fact sunk on the old Girl .Spending some years @the Nagaski {spelling problem} Hilton . His name was Frank Lewis AKA TAFF {I think} Unfortunatly my Father passed away some 15 years ago. Would be interested to know if {A} anyone remembers my DAD {B} If any reunions/etc take place. THANKS 









Matthews, Stan - Bom. Royal Artillery Regiment

      Ted Matthews - Researching ,

       (No; not that one)

      Born Liverpool 1909; d. 18/01/01.
      Married Elizabeth Simpson 1937 in Liverpool
      Bom. Royal Artillery Regiment.
      Taken at Singapore.
      Passed through Changi and camps associated with the railway and road building. Possibly in F or H Force. I have visited most of the places last year trying to follow his route. I am writing about him and his "war", for the benefit of his family line.
      Any responses will be replied to.
      May their memory never fade.

      Keith Andrews - I have read your message, and wondered if I could assist. My father was also with the Royal Artillery, and captured at Singapore. Over the past 18 months I have been trying to trace his history, but I note you have been a stage further, you have tried to trace his route along the railway.
      To try to help, I need to ask you the following:
      a)Do you know his regiment? Royal Artillery is the Corps, the Regiment would be something like 155th Field Regiment, 3rd H.A.A. etc. and if possible the battery.
      b)Do you have his serial number, this is helpful if you want to write to Army Records, if you have not done so already.
      c)Most POWs started the term at Changi, but if you have tried to trace his route, I assume you know the camps he was in. If so, what were they?
      d)I would be more than interested to hear about the road building, and the camps associated with it. The reason for this is that this part is not as well known as the Railway, and I have just started to research it as my father was involved. 

      Sorry, this is not an interrogation, I am just looking for a start point, and we can go from there and try to help you find more details.


McLoughlin Francis Hugh, QX23844 2/3 Aust Ord Store Co.

      Gerry McLoughlin -

      I am seeking information on my Uncle Francis Hugh McLoughlin QX23844 2/3 Aust Ord Store Co.

      He was at Chaigi and entrained in "D Force" on 17/3/43.

      He died of "general weakness" while at Nong Pladuk 3/1/44.

      Some information on his death was relayed to my grandparents by former POW's rescued after the sinking of a japanese transport.

      I have found some records of bombings near/on the Nong Pladuk camp
      but cannot be certain that it was around Christmas 43 or 44.

      My brother recalls hearing stories when he was younger of POW's lighting bamboo flares as they heard overhead bombers to draw bombs to the nearby railway workshops.

      Any information or pointers to further research sites would be appreciated.

      Arthur - >Gerry, I can tell you that your uncle Francis , Service number QX23844 Australian Ordnance Company who died on the 3rd January 1944age 29yrs, is buried in Kanchanaburi military cemetery Son of Frances Michael and Margaret of woomby Queensland. Plot 1 Row F Grave number 54.
      To my knowledge any prisoner of war in Thailand who tried to light a flare or otherwise would have been shot immediately.
      It was only during the speedo period in July/september 43 that the Japanese allowed fires to,be built to assist the night workers. One other time was during the building of the Hell Fire Pass. in Nov 1942 The British and American planes dropped the occasional bombs during 1943, but the first serious raid was on June 24th 1944 with very little damage to property, and again June 25th 1944 when the railway was put out of commission completely. The squadron leader for the last raid , was Sqn leader Leslie Evans of Leicester. piloting an American B19. we have been back many times. but both Les and I are getting a bit too old for scrambling up and down the many places of interest today.
      Should you decide to visit Kanchanaburi, watch out for the so called historians, they have rewritten history for their own convenience.

      Gerry - >Arthur, I did visit Khanchanaburi in 1993. Its a credit to the War Graves Commission.

      Janet - >Arthur, I found your account truely fasinating, I guess it was June 1944 then that my old chap and his mate got a clump around the ear for showing delight that the allies were making their presence known up the railway !

      My Dad didn't exactly say to me that the accounts were incorrect when he returned from visiting the railway and his mates graves aged 78 but he did make noises that way, also he thought the huts at the JEATH Museum were far from typical, he insisted the huts he slept in had open sides which was great in the dry periods and just too bad in the rainiy ones ! and if you were out on little jobs wherever, you often slept in the open jungle with no tent or cover at all - that was certainly the case in the Tavoy area in early 45.

      Arthur - >Janet, As you say, the huts at the JAT museum do not resemble in any manner whatsoever the type of hits the POWs sheltered under. I can not for the life of me say 'lived in'
      The at JAT were built by one or two enthusiasts under the direction of the monks. At one time there were a couple of exploded bomb casings which we dig up in 1973, plus quite a number of personal items we dredged from the river close to the bridge, which the POWS threw over the side when they left camp for the last time.
      Unfortunately humans being as they are, most of these items were stolen. In many instances the articles were sold on by certain ex POWs who went back to live in Thailand. Nothing was or is sacred to some mongrels. One or two still reside there living and pimping in the more civilized quarters and then like a pack of wolves they descend onto the tourists visiting the cemeteries, selling them bogus railway spikes and bits of metal spoon's belt buckles and cap badges, many inported from the UK or Australia.





Macnab, Alexander Christie (or Christy)

      Trish -

      My grandfather was born in 1884 so was quite old when captured in Singapore but survived. If ever you come across any information about Alexander Christie (or Christy) Macnab I would be grateful if you would let me know.




McManus, Frank , RAF, groundcrew (fitter/mechanic)

      Colleen - Does anyone remember my Grandad. He died on Haruku on 25th May 1943. !00 Squadron RAF, groundcrew (fitter/mechanic) His name was Frank McManus and he came from Bulwell in Nottingham. He was 36 years old when he died, so maybe someone remembers him as one of the `older ones`. Anything would be great.




Norman, Albert Edward 'Ted' - Pte Cambs Regt

      Justin - Looking for anyone who may have any info relating to the above named, my late grandfather. thanks.

      David - Your Grandfather Was 5932282 Pte. Norman A.E. HQ Company 2nd Battalion Cambridgeshire Regiment. He returned home after the war?
      I cannot find that he left Singapore for either Thailand, nor Japan. Presumably he spent his incarceration at Changi.
      I would sugest you contact:-
      Cambridgeshire County Council,
      County Records Office,
      Box RES 1009,
      Shire Hall,
      Castle Hill
      Cambridge CB3 0AP.
      They may well have some information for you.


Search Box

The Monthly Revue now covers over 150 pages, a search box has been added to help search for a topic.

This search can also be directed at the Fepow Community or London Gazette, selecting one of these limits the topic searched to that particular area of the site.

Search for
Get a Free Search Engine for Your Web Site


Sharing Information


Sharing information with others is rewarding in itself, the pieces from the jigsaw start to fit together and a picture begins to appear. Improve your knowledge and help make the Fepow Story an everlasting memorial to their memory.


The questions and answers from the emails sent in and the Message Board will be collated, any Leggies, including pictures or further information please send to:


Subscribe to Fepow-Community
Powered by