Japanese POW WW2

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Countrygirl, Aug 29, 2020.

  1. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Member

    My uncle was a POW, after capture in Java in March 1942. Although I have some information about his movements prior to capture, I don't know where he was held. Unfortunately he died in March 1945 from Malaria I understand, but I would like to be able to complete his war history. Would I have to request his Service Records?

    Casualty Details | CWGC

    Also, a note was found on the back of a photo of him and it said he gained his Bath Badge. He was a Sargeant in the Royal Artillery. Could anyone clarify what this means please?

    Thank you.

    Mark Warwick and 8RB like this.
  2. 8RB

    8RB Well-Known Member

    So was my grandfather, he ended up working on the Burma Railroad, and luckily survived. See also VJ75 Day 2020
    Good luck with your search! I hope you will find a card similar to the one below (of my grandfather, which I found in a Dutch archive).

    Kaart opa Jappenkamp - cut.jpg
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  3. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    His Service Records are always useful and will give information prior to capture but they will not tell you about his time as a FEPOW except perhaps his repatriation. If you can give us his name I and other forum members will be able to help.

    ozzy16 likes this.
  4. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Member

    His name was George Edward Wilson. Service number 1490050.

    Thank you very much.

  5. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Your uncle was the Battery Sergeant Major of the 48th Battery 21st Light Anti Aircraft Regiment. He was captured in Java
    8 Mar 42. Transported to Singapore in Java Party 2 on 22 Sep 42 and from Singapore to Borneo on 9 Oct 42.
    Japanese Index Card

    From Roll of British Army in Java:

    OVS = Transported Overseas from Java.
    Bit of info here about Java: Java Gunners | COFEPOW
    I'll have a look for some info on Borneo.

    I'll have a look for more information on Borneo.
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  6. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Member

    Thank you Tim.

    I found quite a bit of info via Google, including the Java info you sent the link to but I really appreciate your help.

  7. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Hello Paula,
    The image below is your uncles Casualty Card.(note the cause of death)
    The N E I abbreviation means, Netherlands East Indies.

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  8. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    There is a file at the National Archives (WO 106/2563) of a report on the 21st LAA by the CO, Lt Col Saunders which you may find of interest. Forum member Drew 5233, has a copy on his system as he copied it for me a couple of years ago and will be able to let you have a copy for a very small fee.
    Extracted from the file:
    A 'good' day for 48th Battery.

    As to Borneo and Sandakan/Ranau here is a link and be warned it may be quite distressing as it is apparent that this atrocity concerned your uncle.
    Wi Database

  9. Enigma1003

    Enigma1003 Member

    It appears that the casualty card that Ozzy posted, is incorrectly stating Ranau, Sumatra, instead of Borneo?
    The Sandakan - Ranau Death March ranks in the top atrocities committed by the Japanese. Directly or indirectly they murdered all 2400 men.
    Countrygirl and timuk like this.
  10. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    This might help,
    From Tony Paley's very good book ' The Sparrows'

    zztp1.jpg zztp2.jpg
  11. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    I rather think you are muddling 48th Battery 21st LAA with 48th Regiment LAA who were also in Java at the same time. All very confusing.

  12. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    His casualty card places his death at Ranau. So i was concentrating on that camp not his unit.

    timuk likes this.
  13. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Member

    I have found all your contributions so helpful. For a long time, I wasn't aware what my Uncle's story was but now I know so much more. There is more to find out I know but I want to thank you all for your time and interest.

  14. steved3811

    steved3811 Member

    Details from Roll of Honour are shown below. There are two entries -

    Japanese PoW Held:- Java
    Java Party No:- 2
    Java/Depart:- 1942/09/22
    Ship:- Unknown
    Port/Arrive:- Singapore
    Port/Depart:- 1942/10/09
    Ship:- Hiteru Maru
    Destination:- Borneo
    Survived/Died:- Died
    Age:- 28
    Date of Death:-
    Cause of Death:- Died on the Sandakan death marches from 1945/01/29, to Paginatan and Ranau. Out of the 2434 Sandakan prisoners, 1787 Australians and 641 British died, only 6 Australians survived by escaping.
    Place of Death:- Paginatan, Borneo

    Loved Ones:
    Son of George and Jesse E. Wilson, of Tottenham, Middlesex
    Memorial:- Column 6, Singapore Memorial
    Reference:- WO 361/2208


    POW Number:- 2357
    Force:- British Army - arrive at Sandakan from 8th to 18th April 1943.
    Survived/Died:- Died
    Age:- 28
    Date of Death:- 1945/03/21
    Cause of Death:- Japanese recorded death from Malaria during Sandakan march (9 groups leaving Sandakan between 29th January and the 6th February 1945).
    Place of Death:- Paginatan, Borneo
    Buried:- Paginatan Cemetery
  15. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Member

    Thank you for this added information.

    I haven't seen a different date of death before. Can I take it that this could be unclear then as all the records may not be accurate?

  16. Mark Warwick

    Mark Warwick New Member

    Hello all

    My Grand father Albert William WARWICK Service Number: 1549851 48th Battery 21st LAA died on the Island of labuan ( in the same neck of the woods as your relative) It appears my grandfather was one of 300 taken to the island and made to build an airfield. He was captured in Java in 1942.

    If anyone can any more information I would be grateful.

    Kind regards

  17. Mark Warwick

    Mark Warwick New Member

    Hi Paula, My Grand father was part of this Battery Albert William Warwick Service Number: 1549851. Would you mind sharing with me what information you have found please. I have done some research and I would like to cross reference it.

    kind regards Mark
  18. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Member

    Hello Mark

    I think the easiest thing to do is tell you where I found information that was relevant/useful to my research. You may have already come across some of this information but at least you know where I have looked.

    From Wikipedia: 'Formation of 21 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment.'
    From the Internet: 'Gunners in Java - 1942'.
    Ditto: 'Empress of Australia' (Troop ship.)
    From this Forum: Various documents that members found for me and other suggestions on where to look.
    From the Internet: I also researched maps of the area (Borneo etc.) and the Sandakan March routes (these were relevant to my search.)

    I hope this helps.

    Kind regards.


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