Ernest Edward McKay 6Btn?? Royal Norfolk Regt

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Kevin Birkett, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Kevin Birkett

    Kevin Birkett Member

    [​IMG] Hello

    I was hoping someone out there could help me. My uncle Ernest Edward McKay (No. 1430290) of Stratford London joined the Norfolks (possibly the 6th Btn) on 8th June 1939. His service book indicates he served at home until the 28th October 1941 when he boarded a troop ship (possibly the Duchess of Atholl) bound for the Middle East. On route, following Japan's entry in to the war, he was diverted to Singapore, arriving on the 13th January 1942, possibly on board the troop ship, Mount Vernon. His service indicates that he served in Malaya until the surrender of Singapore on 15th February. Despite many hardships he survived the war and was liberated on 24th September 1945, finally returning to England on 19th October. He was discharged from the Norfolks on 26th August 1946 as he no longer fulfilled 'army physical requirements.' I have a number of questions that perhaps someone could help me with:

    1. Did Ernie serve in the 6th Btn?
    2. Where was he stationed while serving at home?
    3. Did he arrive in Singapore on the 13th January? My farther maintains that Ernie told him that he arrived at the time of the surrender and that the ship he was on was threatening with air attack if it did not surrender. If this is the case why did Ernie not arrive with the rest of his unit. Was he taken sick on route and perhaps continued his journey on a later ship?
    4. Where on the Burma railway was he?

    I've attached a photo of him shortly after the war in, I believe, his demob suit.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give.
    Kevin Birkett
  2. ClankyPencil

    ClankyPencil Senior Member

    His Liberation Questionnaire is on the FEPOW website here

    but it's not very clear and i can't make out which battalion he was with or which camps he was (except for Changi) McKay_Ernest_Edward_1024x1024.jpg
    bamboo43, Kevin Birkett and Owen like this.
  3. Kevin Birkett

    Kevin Birkett Member

    Thanks Clanky (your nom de plume I assume). Looks like he was in the 4th from what I can make out. I'll study this over the weekend to see what else I can discover. Rgds Kevin
  4. ClankyPencil

    ClankyPencil Senior Member

    I'm not that well versed on that theatre of war or pow's; just enough to find basic info. Also i 'm not great at deciphering handwriting, but there's plenty of people on the forum's who are good & knowledgable about all these aspects so keep an eye on this thread as i'm sure others will be along to help.
  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Other camps below Changi are:

    Nong Pladuk
    River Valley

    The first two were under the command of Lt-Colonel Philip Toosey, which you can just about make out his name.
    ClankyPencil likes this.
  6. Kevin Birkett

    Kevin Birkett Member

    Thanks Bamboo. My mother, Ernie's sister, will be very interested in this.
  7. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    No worries Kevin. Not my area of research really, but these are fairly famous camps, as was Colonel Toosey, so there should be a fair amount of information available on line.
  8. Enigma1003

    Enigma1003 Member

    He was definitely 6th Btl Norfolks, and I think the next camp after River Valley says Saigon (Indo China) but he has spelt it Siagon.
  9. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Sounds like you only have his Army discharge book (B108)? It contains limited information. You will get full chapter and verse if you apply to MOD for his service papers via this link -

    Get a copy of military service records

    Good Luck

    Tony56 likes this.
  10. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    His service number indicates that he enlisted with the Royal Artillery in 1938 and his attestation records state transferring to the Norfolks 7.6.39.

    The casualty lists record him as 6 Bn Royal Norfolk Regt and report him:
    Missing 15.242, then
    Previously reported missing now POW, then
    Previously reported POW now not POW

    Reading between the lines it doesn't appear that you have his full MOD service records, if that is the case I strongly suggest that is the place to start:
    Get a copy of military service records

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