18th (5th Bn. The Loyal Regt) Recce

Discussion in 'Recce' started by suegr, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. suegr

    suegr Junior Member

    My granfather Sergeant Thomas Prior,3854144
    18th(5th Bn.The Loyal Regt)
    Regt Reconnaissance Corps.
    His grave is in the THANBYUZAYAT war cemetery I am looking for any info thanks.
  2. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    CWGC details from Geoff's search engine.

    CWGC :: Casualty Details

    Name:PRIOR, THOMASInitials:TNationality:United KingdomRank:SerjeantRegiment/Service:Reconnaissance CorpsUnit Text:18th (5th Bn. The Loyal Regt.) Regt.Age:30Date of Death:31/05/1943Service No:3854144Casualty Type:Commonwealth War DeadGrave/Memorial Reference:B6. B. 19.Cemetery:THANBYUZAYAT WAR CEMETERY

    Probably was caught up in the surrender at Singapore and POW.

    I am sure that our resident POW experts will get back to you.

  3. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

  4. suegr

    suegr Junior Member

    Thanks for your replies,we do have photos of his grave but what I would like to find out is would he have been a pow on the the railway and what would his regiments mission have been in that area.
  5. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    From Only the Enemy in Front

    Among those who marched into captivity were soldiers of 18th Battalion, The Reconnaissance Corps who had arrived with 18th Division shortly before the surrender. Formed from 5th Loyals at Madeley Heath, Staffordshire on 30 April 1941 the battalion's personnel officially transferred from The Loyal Regiment to The Reconnaissance Corps on 9 May 1941. Training continued through that summer and the issue of tropical kit indicated a move to North Africa. With no Reconnaissance Corps cap badges the battalion made do with Corps flashes,* issued in early June, and with painting Reconnaissance Corps markings in a diamond shape on their helmets.

    * This information is taken from the War Diary; the flashes are presumed to be the arm of service strip.

    Following inspection by the King on 22 October the battalion embarked on an odyssey that was to end in the tragedy of Singapore. The first leg took the convoy to Halifax, Nova Scotia where 18 Recce transferred to the US Army transport Leonard Wood and sailed from Halifax in a convoy protected by the aircraft carrier, USS Ranger. On 18 November Leonard Wood was accidentally rammed by Joseph Dickenson and its fuelling tanker. Next day the convoy left Port of Spain in Trinidad but Leonard Wood soon fell behind, although a destroyer escort was provided. Cape Town was reached on 9 December where, thirteen days later, the Battalion learned that its destination was Bombay. It finally reached India on 27 December and disembarked on the last day of 1941 to move to Ahmednagar. From India 18th Division sailed for Singapore as a result of the worsening situation in the Far East.Although the main body of the division had landed to join III Indian Corps, 18th Reconnaissance Battalion, together with other divisional troops:

    did not arrive off Singapore island until the morning of 5 February. It was...a glorious sunny morning, not a cloud in the sky or a ripple on the sea, and the white wake creaming back from the majestic ships ...with just 10 miles to go to reach Singapore, that bastion of the East, with its so-called impregnable defences.

    What a rude awakening was in store for us, the bombers and Zeros came in from every angle and had a field day.1

    At about 1100 hours, when the leading ships were close to Singapore and the slowest ship, the Empress of Asia, was south-west of the Sembilan Islands, the convoy was attacked by enemy dive-bombers. The Empress of Asia received several direct hits and soon began to sink.

    ...troops had to take to the water owing to fire on the ship. Some great acts of gallantry were performed, especially by members of the hospital staff. Rescues were quickly effected by the Royal Navy. The loss of life fortunately was small, but nearly all weapons and equipment on board were lost... It thus happened that some of these units landed without their equipment. They were re-equipped as far as possible with small arms and fought thereafter as infantry.2

    By the end of the war 264 members of the regiment had died as prisoners against 55 killed at the time of the surrender of Singapore. Officers and men of 18 Recce were imprisoned in a camp at Changi until November 1942 when those fit to work were moved to Thailand to construct the Bangkok-Rangoon railway which task ceased in mid-1943 after which the prisoners were put to work in labour camps.

    Guy Hudson likes this.
  6. suegr

    suegr Junior Member

    Thank you very much for giving me this information and anything else about his regiment I would be greatful for.
  7. jim 4rgj

    jim 4rgj Junior Member

    hi there i have a picture of your grandfathers grave and many more if any boby is intrested i went a few years ago contact me on xxxxxxxxx bye for now.
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Hi Jim, I've removed your mobile number as it's rarely a good idea to put such things on the open Internet. People can contact you via PM if they wish.

  9. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Jim, welcome to the forum

  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I know you already have the photo but Tony aka Bucklt sent me one anyway.

    Attached Files:

  11. suegr

    suegr Junior Member

    Thank you Owen and Tony its a much better picture than the one we have.
  12. SteG

    SteG New Member

    My Granddad Simeon Jones, was part of this unit.

    He was a Jap POW. I have been trying to pin down which camp he was in. His records say released from Malai Camp. But this doesn't seem to have been a POW camp.

    Can anyone shed any light please.


    Ste G

    Attached Files:

  13. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi SteG,

    I have been doing some searching and came across this Simeon Jones, but you would need to verify the details, eg Date of birth, place of birth,address:





    First Name:






    Date Of Birth:



    18th Battalion recconaissance corps

    Service Number:



    Iruka Branch Camp (Nagoya 4-D)

    Camp Designation:

    Nagoya 4 Ishihara industries

    Camp Code:



    Established as Osaka No.16 Branch Camp at Itaya, Iruka-mura (current Kiwa-cho), Minamimuro-gun, Mie Prefecture on June 25, 1944, and 300 British POWs who were transferred from Thai-Burma Railway were interned. Transferred under the jurisdiction of Nagoya

    Place Of Birth:



    13 Hensor St, Bolton, Lancashire

  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  15. Enigma1003

    Enigma1003 Member

    It seems that TD has the right camp but somehow the wrong service number., and Bamboo has the right service number.

    I only have earlier information about Trooper S Jones that shows he was sent overland to the Burma/Siam Railroad on 09/10/1942, which I believe was known as Work Party 2.

    This website confirms TD findings that he was repatriated from Iruka Camp:


    I was at Iruka camp recently, and surprisingly has a memorial erected by and maintained by the local Japanese residents to honour those British servicemen who died in the village.

    Attached Files:

  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  17. fwk

    fwk Member

    I have been trying to piece together my fathers movements as a FEPOW but I am finding it difficult to complete. Both my parents have passed away and the only information that I have is from personal records and photos . His name was trooper Frederick William keeton 3857376. He joined the territorial 5th battalion The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) in May 1939 which was converted in 1941 into a Reconnaissance Corps unit for the 18th (East Anglian) Infantry Division and re-designated as the The 18th Recce (5th Loyals). When he arrived in Singapore in February 1942 he was evacuated from the burning troopship Empress of Asia and was imprisoned a few days later at the fall of Singapore. He was reported missing by letter to his mother in April 1942 . The next contact ( by letter) was in September 1943 when he was reported to be alive and a prisoner in Malaya camp 5 ? The next record to confirm his whereabouts is in the Mansell records which states he was in Nagoya camp 4 from June 1944 till September 1945 . This record suggests he arrived in Japan aboard the hell ship Singapore Maru ? I cannot find any records as to how he was repatriated from Japan to England ? but I do know he spent time in New Zealand recuperating ( archway records in new Zealand confirm he was there but no online information available). I also have a photo of him with other Fepows in new Zealand. His record of service card states that he was in the Loyals from 18/5/1939- 29/4/1941 , 18th Recce from 30/4/1941 -31/12/43 and R.A.C. from 1/1/1944 -20/11/1946 . Also in the New Zealand record it states he is in the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers !! ? But this is more likely due to the fact that he was with several RNF in Japan. I would like to hear from anyone out there who may have information about my fathers movements especially his repatriation from Japan and new Zealand and which camps he was in in Malaya. I have read-new chaps - entry above regarding his grandfather Simeon Jones whose name appears next to my fathers in the mansell records for nagoya camp 4 in Japan (p.s all my family come from the Bolton area ) many thanks Dave
  18. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    A couple of war diaries that may be of interest

    WO 166/4443 INFANTRY: 5 Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire). 1939 Sept.- 1941 Mar.

    WO 166/470 DIVISIONS: 18 DIVISION: Reconnaissance Battalion. 1941 Apr.-Dec.

    I can also check to see if he completed a Liberation Report and has a Japanese PoW Card at the National Archives.

  19. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Dave welcome to the forum, great to have another Recce on Board.

    This is what I have in my records about your father

    NA Nagoya -04b-Iruku- (Minamimuro)

    Keeton, Frederick William,Pte,3857376,18th Recce Bn (hospitalized with acute Rheumatism)
    Nagoya 4 Branch POW Camp British Rescue Roster

    20 Peel Lane, Little Hulton


    Rheumatism able to sit (at rescue)

    Check out this link


    Can you post photos of your father?

  20. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Fkw Dave,

    Hello and welcome to the Forum.

    As Paul already mentioned, nice to see another member with Recce Connections.

    Good luck with your Research.


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