864009 Gunner Stanley Arthur DELLAR, 135th Field Regiment Royal Artillery: FEPOW

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Sparklelady20, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. Sparklelady20

    Sparklelady20 Member

    Good afternoon

    This is my second post requesting information on my other grandad.

    This is what I know so far, any information on where he would have been or fought etc would be gratefully received.

    Stanley Arthur Dellar
    Royal Artillery 135th Field Regiment
    I can only assume that he signed up at the beginning of the war in Luton.
    Basic research on the regiment tells me that he was likely to be in the UK somewhere between 1939 and 1941, when it seems the regiment were shipped to India in the October. I'd like to know where he was in the intervening months before the possible capture and if he would have been involved in any action.
    He is listed as having been captured on the 15th February 1942 but the paperwork has released written on it. I am assuming this was because he was temporarily missing in the area as this was the date I believe Singapore fell. Records show that he was in Malaya.
    The next information I have indicates he travelled overland with the 'letter parties' (what are they)? on the 29th October 1942.
    After that I don't know where he was, I do know he was in Egypt in 1945 as I have a beautiful album of pictures of the pyramids, the Nile etc. Family rumour has it he had shrapnell injuries which caused him to lose his hearing, although this may have been from the noise he experienced.

    I would appreciate any information about his regiment and what they did and where they went other than what I already know.
  2. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    I could not find a tracer card on the ancestry index.
  3. Sparklelady20

    Sparklelady20 Member

    No me either. But I did get lots of other things off of Fold3. That’s how I know about the possible capture that turned out not to be. What is a tracer card?
  4. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Tracer card is a little index card recording his date of enlisting & transfer between different units in the RA. It also records when he leaves the army.

    I've posted your other grandad's on his thread. All men would have had a card, but they don't all seem to be in the run on ancestry.

    The RA Attestation books are on findmypast & I'm sure another forum member will be along with that info.

    Just having alook on fold3 now to see if it says anymore about his time in the Far East.
    papiermache and dbf like this.
  5. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    You refer to:
    I think it is litter, not letter. A litter is another adjective for a stretcher. So I assume he was carrying those prisoners of war (POW) no longer fit to walk.

    Others I expect here know far more about the fate of the Singapore POWs; from recollection many ended up in Thailand, how they got there I know not - was the railway linking into Southern Thailand actually there then?

    There are multiple threads here on the 135th Field Regiment. Start with: 135th RA field regiment TA It includes Singapore posts.

    Have a peek at: The Bridge over the Kwai

    This has some history of the Regiment: Northamptonshire Battery, Royal Field Artillery - Wikipedia

    Understandably there are many more Google hits on the unit, so good luck!
    papiermache and bamboo43 like this.
  6. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    I assume this fold3 link is where it refers to an overland journey. I read his entry as:
    WO 361
    POW Far East
    Royal Artillery Nominal Roll D -H
    864009 Dellar S A. 135 Fd. O.V.L 25.10.42
    Page 8 UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945 - Fold3

    On other nominal rolls he is listed as part of Group 2.

    On 21st September 1944 your grandfather was aboard the Hofuku Maru and was being transported from Singapore to Japan when the convoy she was travelling in was attacked by US bombers near San Antonio, Philippines. The ship sank in 3-4 minutes with the loss of 1047 British and Dutch pows. On 5.6.45 at Newcastle (under Lyme ?) 1945 he completed a questionaire & stated that he swam ashore. Another pow's questionaire says this was a distance of aprox 5 miles.
    Page 157 UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945 - Fold3
    Hōfuku Maru - Wikipedia
    Hofuku Maru

    In Feb 1945 it was reported by the Australians that he was one of 15 British ex-Singapore pows among a group of 500 pows recovered at Cabanatuan, Northern Luzon, Philippines. They were in poor health & processing & repatriation was being handled by the Australian Army.
    Page 7 UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945 - Fold3
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
    bamboo43 likes this.
  7. Sparklelady20

    Sparklelady20 Member

    Oh my goodness. This is new information many thanks.

    I did quite a bit of research and printed a few documents off fold 3 but didn’t find anything other than what I had already mentioned. As I say initially it seemed he was a POW but subsequent pages revealed he had been released! I’m going to suppose he was missing rather than captured.

    This is amazing news thank you for your effort.
    bamboo43 likes this.
  8. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    I have posted the full transcript of the war crimes trial involving the Hofuku Maru on this thread on this site : Hofuku Maru

    My uncle died when the ship sank, almost certainly. Estimates vary but about 95 died on board due to the atrocious conditions on the voyage which began on 4th July 1944 and ended on 21st September 1944, the POWs not having stepped ashore in that time.

    David, in your post 5 above a "letter party" is a group of men travelling from Singapore labelled by a single letter: nice explanation, though ! The names of those in a party were recorded by the POW run "Bureau of Record and Enquiry" which operated, largely in secret, in Changi POW camp Singapore. The BRE were unable to take a full list of the men who returned from Thailand to Singapore in June 1944 and embarked on several ships in a convoy which sailed on 4th July 1944.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
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  9. Sparklelady20

    Sparklelady20 Member

    This information is fascinating thank you.
  10. Sparklelady20

    Sparklelady20 Member

    Hello again
    I’ve just done a quick bit of maths, my dad was born in June 1945 which in theory means my grandad must have been in the UK in October 1944. So I’m a bit confused as to how he could have been on the ship and then at Cabanutan.
    Exciting but awful as the circumstances were I can’t work out how he could have been on that ship.
  11. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    List of Letter Parties from David Nelson's "The Story of Changi", form completed by Dellar as to reasons he ended up in the Philippines, entry showing train date ex Changi, Singapore into Thailand: 29th October 1942, and link to interview with a survivor from the Hofuku Maru after the "Great Raid" on Cabantuan ( see at about 1.40 minutes. Dellar was in Newcastle, England, by June 1945.)

    Will send you pm ( personal message ).

    Luzon - Swoop On Jap Prison Camp Releases 500

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
  12. Sparklelady20

    Sparklelady20 Member

    I think I need to revisit the accuracy of my initial information as it looks like this is the wrong SA Dellar. It’s tricky as they are mostly listed by initials only.
  13. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Official service records are the only place to start.
    Get a copy of military service records

    Is this him?

    Dellar 03.jpg
  14. Sparklelady20

    Sparklelady20 Member

    Thank you, no, my grandad is Stanley Arthur Dellar and lived in Luton Bedfordshire.
    I’ve obviously followed a red herring so will have to go back to the beginning and try to find the correct listing for him.
  15. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    What about the address?
    What was his wife's name?

    There could be an issue with his middle initial, some give A others, as posted, D, please provide as much as you can, date of birth, date of death, locations.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
  16. Sparklelady20

    Sparklelady20 Member

    His wife was Winifred Doris Dellar
    They lived at 84 Atherstone Road, Luton.
    My grandad passed away in 1967/68 I’m not sure which it was before I was born. I don’t have any paperwork for him at all I presume it was all thrown away. I do have pictures which I will scan and post to see if that gives any clues.
    papiermache likes this.
  17. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    There is an RA attestation for Stanley Arthur Dellar 998179 - that's the trouble without service records or some other concrete information.
  18. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    For interest, in the marriage register for his marriage to Winifred Doris Chapman, Q3 1937 Luton, his name is given as Stanley Arthur DELLER, his death in Q1 1969 as DELLAR.

    All very confusing, this states Stanley ALBERT:
    Dellar 02.jpg
  19. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    RA attestation:
    First name(s) Stanley Albert
    Last name Dellar

    Attestation year 1937
    Service number 864009
    Former service number -
    Record set Royal Artillery Attestations 1883-1942
  20. Sparklelady20

    Sparklelady20 Member

    I think I have the wrong person I need to revisit. The similarities are misleading and I think I have a red herring. As the wife and middle name and location are all wrong.

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