1169487 Ashford Stanley VAISEY, RAF: FEPOW

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Shelley Vaisey, Mar 23, 2022.

  1. Hi All

    thanks in advance for any assistance you are able to offer.

    I am looking for any information/ hints on how to
    find information relating to my Grandfather who was in the RAF but I believe captured very early on by the Japanese.

    Ashford Stanley Vaisey - service no 1169487

    Many thanks
    Shelley
     
  2. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Va-Vc Database

    If he is still alive he can apply online at MoD uk.gov for a copy of his own service.

    If he has passed on a jpg copy of his death certificate is the only supporting documentation needed. What you get back depends on how long he has been dead for.

    Use the online service as it return in between 3 to 6 weeks - but be sure to request "Informal Review of Mustering Section for publication" in your supporting info section on the application.

    Ross
     
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  3. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Not an area I know much about but findmypast has some details:
    Archive reference WO 361/2172
    Record set Prisoners Of War 1715-1945
    Document details Prisoners of war, Far East: Allied POW camps in Thailand; nominal rolls.
    First name(s) Ashford Stanley
    Last name Vaisey
    Year -
    Service number 1169487
    Rank Aircraftman 1st Class
    Country of imprisonment -
    Archive The National Archives

    Archive reference WO 361/2171
    Record set Prisoners Of War 1715-1945
    Document details Prisoners of war, Far East: Allied POW camps in Thailand; nominal rolls
    First name(s) Ashford Stanley
    Last name Vaisey
    Year -
    Service number 1169487
    Rank Air/man I
    Country of imprisonment Thailand
    Nationality A
    Prison camp or ship Hombu Camp
    Archive The National Archives

    Archive reference WO 345/53
    Record set Prisoners Of War 1715-1945
    Document details War Office: Japanese Index Cards of Allied Prisoners of War and Internees, Second World War, 1942-1945
    First name(s) Ashford Stanley
    Last name Vaisey
    Year 1942
    Birth year 1922
    Rank Aircraftman 1st Class
    Residence Alton
    Residence county Hampshire
    Country of imprisonment Thailand
    Residence country England
    Nationality British
    Prison camp or ship Thailand - Camp 4
    Archive The National Archives

    Archive reference WO 361/1955
    Record set Prisoners Of War 1715-1945
    Document details Prisoners of war, Far East: Thailand POW Camp, name list, as of 1 November 1944; volume II.
    First name(s) Ashford Stanley
    Last name Vaisey
    Year 1944
    Service number 1169487
    Rank Aircraftman 1st Class
    Country of imprisonment Thailand
    Prison camp or ship Thailand - Camp 4
    Archive The National Archives

    Archive reference WO 361/2196
    Record set Prisoners Of War 1715-1945
    Document details Prisoners of war, Far East: British POWs in Thailand and Saigon as at 1st August 1945; nominal roll
    First name(s) Ashford Stanley
    Last name Vaisey
    Year 1945
    Service number 1169487
    Rank Ae I
    Country of imprisonment -
    Nationality British
    Archive The National Archives
     
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  4. Mathsmal

    Mathsmal Senior Member

    Hi Shelley

    Did your grandfather live in Witney? If so, I interviewed him about his experiences a number of years ago. Please let me know as I'd be happy to help.

    Matt
     
  5. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    If you need to obtain his death certificate I assume these is the correct details:
    Record set England & Wales Deaths 2007-2020
    Title Mr
    First name(s) Ashford Stanley
    Last name Vaisey
    Sex Male
    Age 95
    Birth year 1923
    Death year 2018
    Death date 13 Jan 2018
    Residence Carterton
    Area Oxford
    Geo direction Home Counties
    Postcode area OX
    Postcode district OX18
    Postcode sector OX18 2
    County Oxfordshire
    Country England
     
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  6. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Your grandfather was captured in Sumatra 17 Mar 42. Not sure whether he was escaping from Singapore or had been based in Sumatra. Padang was an exit route for those trying to avoid capture. Here is his Japanese Index Card.
    upload_2022-3-23_17-24-16.jpeg

    He went to Padang where he was put in a POW Party, which became known as the 'British Sumatra Battalion', transported and ending up on the Thai Burma Railway.
    British Sumatra Battalion

    You should try and obtain a copy of the book 'The British Sumatra Battalion' by A A Apthorp which will give you masses of info on your grandfather's experiences.

    Tim
     
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  7. Hi Matt

    Yes my grandfather lived in Witney (I grew up there)

    I knew he had taken part in an interview but nothing more than that. He would have been 100 in June this year if he had still been alive so Im trying to get some info together to mark that.

    Any help is very welcome

    many thanks
    Shelley
     
  8. Thanks Ross

    I will look into this
     
  9. Observer39

    Observer39 Member

    From Stubbs & Stubbs, Unsung Heroes of the Royal Air Force: The Far East Prisoners of War FEPoW roll:

    "Vaisey, Ashford Stanley 1169487
    RIMU [Radar Installation & Maintenance Unit]
    Held Sumatra (Padang), Burma (Mergui, Tavoy, Railway), Thailand"
    (p236)​

    Other than the Stubbs' Appendix 5 heading,
    Units in Malaya and Singapore in December 1941
    no further info to hand on RIMU & its movements in 1941/42.
    If it's listed in Sturtivant RAF Flying Training & Support Units Since 1912, I can't spot it.

    Two invaluable works.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2022
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  10. Observer39

    Observer39 Member

    Radar Installation and Maintenance Unit
    The National Archives UK Discovery at first glance seemed not to have a formal record for Radar Installation and Maintenance Unit (it should have an RAF Operations Record Book), but did show a reference to an item in the Imperial War Museum collection: letters of the Officer Commanding the Unit, Wing Commander T C Carter, noted in these terms:

    Ref TCC
    "Wing Commander Carter served with Radio (radar) Branch throughout the War in several theatres of war. He was sent out to Singapore in December 1940 to command the Radar Installation and Maintenance Unit and in May 1941 took over from the Command Radio officer who was invalided home after a nervous breakdown. Carter's papers reflect his discontent with the civil and military authorities in Singapore and Whitehall in facing the Japanese threat, especially the failure to use the 55 minutes of warning before the first air raid to sound the sirens and enforce the black out."
    Source: Wing Commander T C Carter | The National Archives

    and in TCC 2/1 adds
    "History of the RDT Organisation in the Far East 1941-42. In December 1940 three officers were sent to Singapore to establish RDF stations in the Far East - Squadron Leader C F Pearce was made Command Radio Officer, Mr H T Roberts, siting officer and Flight Lieutenant T C C Carter in command of RIMU. Priority of RDF cover was for Singapore and it was not felt necessary to cover Hong Kong or Ceylon. The construction of sites was very slow. In May Squadron Leader Carter took over from Pearce who had been invalided home. Continual delays assured [sic] during 1941 but by November 1941 it was decided to site an RDF station at Hong Kong. Despite 55 minutes siting [sic] of the first air raid in Singapore in December 1941 the sirene [sic] were not sounded and no aircraft had left the ground. During February 1942 Radio French [sic] AHQ was evacuated from Singapore to Java."
    Source Ts. - History of the RDT Organisation in the Far East 1941-42. In December 1940 three... | The National Archives

    A pause for thought suggested searching Discovery again, not for the full title but for
    RIMU
    which then found, if not the expected RAF Form 540 Operations Record Book, at least this Unit history of 1945 date:
    AIR 23/4833
    Air War history of R.I.M.U. (Radio Installation and Maintenance Unit), Java
    See War history of R.I.M.U. (Radio Installation and Maintenance Unit), Java | The National Archives
    Undigitised. Personal visit & readers ticket reqd to access at TNA Kew: see Visit us - The National Archives

    As for W/Cdr TC Carter's papers, again, not digitised at IWM, but briefly described here
    To visit and view, assuming London, see: IWM London

    I didn't check the RAF Museum Hendon online.

    Footnote:
    As it might just get in the way of other searches, may be of interest to note that, as a word, Rimu is the name of an NZ tree, a small South Is locale, and also a NZ coastal merchant ship, SS Rimu c 1890-1930s.

     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2022
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  11. Thank you so much for all the information! Its amazing to read, I really appreciate the time taken to assist me.

    Best wishes
    Shelley
     
  12. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Matt. Would be very interested to hear if you have info on Ashford Vaisey's escape/evacuation from Singapore and subsequent journey to Padang.

    Tim
     
  13. I have been in contact with my Aunt this afternoon and she has emailed me my grandfathers war Record (I had no idea she had this already!)

    I have uploaded the images to my media:

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Great stuff - you have now all the units he was posted to from enrollement to demob

    Some early are holding postings eg the Bombing and Gunnery School but even there he was being employed at a local Radar Station as an Operator

    All the units have a Operation Record Book at the TNA - most will not mention him by name but it will give a flavour of the daily activity he was part of

    eg No.511 AMES (Air Ministry Experimental Station -- generic name for radar station)
    511 Air Ministry Experimental Station (AMES). Formed in the UK and arrived in Singapore... | The National Archives

    At Butterworth in Malaya it was among the first objectives of the Japanese invasion.

    Ross
     
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