6 HAA 12 Bty Fepow

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Robert Gray30, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. Robert Gray30

    Robert Gray30 Member

    Hello everyone,
    From my new member posting I would like to continue looking into my fathers time as a FEPOW. So far I have been able to track his movements and get some insight into his time serving with 6 HAA, from Patrick Walkers book on the Regiment and from the stories other POWS have felt able to share on various websites. Can I take the opportunity to thank everyone who has felt able to share their experiences. Their experiences must have been my fathers experiences and these sources of information have allowed me to get an idea of his movements from leaving England to his liberation from Hiroshima #8 Prison camp in September 1945.
    There a quite a few gaps in this story and I am wondering if anyone has any information/ stories regarding Hiroshima #8B. The BBC published a story of Brenig Jones regarding his time there and of seeing the plume of the A bomb in August 1945, but I have been unable to find any further information.
    A small extract from his story
    On this particular morning a pal of mine woke me and told me to come outside to see what was happening. Our camp was on the coast and looking out over the sea we could see an enormous cloud in the distance rising to the heavens. It continued to rise as we watched — with the top of the cloud flowing outwards like a big mushroom or toadstool. I stood there in astonishment with my friends. What was happening? An explosion in an ammunition dump or chemical factory?
    I went back to my bed none the wiser. When we went down the mine that night it was obvious that the Japanese who were supervising us were no better informed than we were.
    Also, Does anyone have information on the liberation of the camp site after the surrender of the Japanese? My father's records show that he embarked on HMS Glory but I wonder -
    What happened between the surrender and Liberation?
    How did he get from the camp site?​
    I have attached photo of my father and two others (my fathers on the left), taken during the war and would love to know if anyone recognises his two friends. Maybe it is of some interest to someone.
    I'm afraid Don't know where the photo was taken I could have been anywhere on his journey to the Far East via Freetown or Durban, or in one of the Prison Camps. DM Gray Service no. 1744658.jpg
    Casualty lists have him in a camp called Malai 1as well as Motoyama. I know he must have been in Tandjong Priok. Is Malai 1 and Tandjong Priok the same prison camp?
    Regards
    Rob
     
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  2. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Malai 1 is Changi, however this is an error. Casualty List 803 which listed your father as Missing 15/2/42 was subsequently corrected in List 874.
    upload_2020-10-1_17-12-20.png
    His Japanese Index Card clearly shows he was captured in Java 8/3/42
    upload_2020-10-1_17-14-6.png
    Reverse
    upload_2020-10-1_17-14-58.png
    Oddly enough I cannot find him on either the RA Master Roll or the Roll of the Army in Java however he appears here in the lists of those transported from Java to Japan (WO 361/2009)
    upload_2020-10-1_17-21-13.png
    The date of 29/10/17 (Japanese) translates to 29/10/42 and will be date of leaving Singapore and means your father left Java, as did mine, in the 'Mystery Party' so called because there are no complete lists for this Party. It was usual for Parties from Java to go through Changi where their names could be recorded. This Party didn't as it changed ships in Keppel Harbour. However the date of transportation and the fact he went straight to Motoyama puts him firmly in this Group.
    The Mystery Party left Batavia onboard the Yoshida Maru on 22/10/42 arriving Singapore 26/10/42. Here in the docks the Party split and embarked on either the Dai Nichi Maru or the Singapore Maru. The Tandjong Priok Group led by Lt Col Scott (which included your father) were on the Singapore Maru and commenced a horrific journey to Japan. More info is here
    Affidavit
    Emergency Medical Parties
    George James
    Arriving at Moji, Japan your father will have gone in a Group (under command of Lt Col Petrie) to Motoyama.
    In case you haven't seen it, here's more info on Motoyama and opening the Roster links will show your father.
    Hiroshima #8-B Motoyama
    I presume you have seen your father's Liberation Questionnaire Gray, D M

    Hope this helps - any questions ask away.

    Tim
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
  3. Robert Gray30

    Robert Gray30 Member

    Thank you Tim
    Thank you for your time and effort its most appreciated.
    While I have seen some of some of the information you have given, much of it is very interesting, It's the first time I have seen the Japanese index card or the information regarding the Affidavit and Emergency Medical Parties which I will read over again.
    The Hiroshima page on Mansell site the resource I found which camp my father was imprisoned at.
    His Liberation questionnaire has the camp leader at Motoyama as Major Earle so I take it Major Petrie was sent elsewhere.


    Rob
     
  4. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Rob,

    Welcome to the forum. I have checked your father's name for a card in WO356 ( Judge Advocate General ( London ) card index of Far East war crimes witnesses and suspects but there is none.
    There was a war crimes case. The file at Kew is in WO235/1043. A summary can be found at the International Criminal Court website "legal tools" here:
    https://www.legal-tools.org/doc/30cebc/pdf

    This thread has the above affidavit typed by me with the proper references plus more affidavits from WO235/1043:

    POW Java/Singapore/Japan

    Good hunting,

    John
     
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  5. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    That's correct. Lt Col Petrie and some of the other officers were sent to Zentsuji in July 43. Extract from the Liberation Questionnaire of Maj Emmett (CO 12 Battery 6 HAA):
    upload_2020-10-1_23-7-18.png

    Tim
     
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  6. Robert Gray30

    Robert Gray30 Member

    Thank you John,
    The affidavit certainly gives us a good idea of what the prisoners went through on the Hell Ships..
    Strange to think of it in these terms I know, but the family did discuss the notion that dad was one of the luckier ones having been sent to Motoyama. At least he survived, and while they were treated badly, I haven't, as yet, found any horrific stories of torture at the campsite. Maybe I'll be proved wrong
     
  7. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    A copy of the Returning POW form.

    upload_2020-10-2_14-5-2.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Robert Gray30

    Robert Gray30 Member

    Thank you .. Is it likely that the form would have additional pages with more information?
     
  9. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Robert,

    The ICC have a two page record of a trial involving events at Motoyama camp but have not uploaded it to their site as yet. The University of Marburg has a copy of the review of the same trial which can be downloaded at the link below. It is a 1.4 mb file. I think Motoyama was bad enough, working 16 hour shifts in a coal mine. If you ever go to the American National Archives copies of British affidavits are in Record Group 331, which are "Records of the SCAP Legal Section 1945-1952." American archives appear to have more than Kew has. The Judge Advocate General's file should have about 40 affidavits on it but the vast majority of their files have not made it to Kew so you have to rely on the copies in America. Having said that, many of the affidavits are just "identification of POW camp guard from attached photograph" half page efforts with no other narrative.

    https://www.online.uni-marburg.de/icwc/yokohama/Yokohama No. T202a.pdf

    John
     

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