No 4 POW Camp Thailand

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by smiley783, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Gill,

    There is a William E. Needham on the Cofepow database. He was also a Gunner, I wonder if this is your man?

    If this is your William, then there might be some documents held at the National Archives in relation to his time as a POW.

    TD's advise is sound, sending off for his Army service records is the sensible first step.
  3. gill reay

    gill reay New Member

    HI TD and Bamboo.

    Thank you for your quick response to my query.

    I will look into obtaining his service record as recommended and take it from there.

    Hi name is William Francis im not sure that your information (Bamboo) would be the same person. But thank you for looking for me.

    I will let you know how my search goes.

    Thanks again :)
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Hi Gill

    Would this be your grandfather:
    England & Wales, Birth Index, 1916-2005 about William F Needham
    Name: William F Needham
    Mother's Maiden Surname: Madden
    Date of Registration: Jul-Aug-Sep 1918
    Registration district: Middlesbrough
    Inferred County: Yorkshire North Riding
    Volume Number: 9d
    Page Number: 991

    edited to add:
    I believe the F would be for Francis - it appears he married twice (2nd time in 1972) and died in 1986

  5. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    I am no expert on the SE Asia campaign, but visited Thailand a long time ago and travelled on the Burma Railway line from Bankok to the end of the line at Nam Tok, which you mention.

    There was a camp situated on the branch line from Nam Tok as mentioned on this Website.

    Another site with Information.

    I hope that it may be of help to you.

  6. gill reay

    gill reay New Member

    HI TD

    Yes that is my Grandfather. I had located this information also. We are now hoping to gain a little more information about his military records.

    thanks again

  7. TBRC

    TBRC Junior Member

    Hi Guys
    No 4 PoW Camp Thailand is not a camp as you would imagine. What it means is Work Group 4.

    The Japanese divided the PoW's into work groups when they were building the Thailand-Burma Railway and the different work groups worked on different areas of the Railway.

    The Headquarters of each Work Group had a main Camp and Hospital so Group 4 Headquarters was Tha Sao and the men in Group 4 worked in the area from Wang Pho to Kinsaiyok and the main hospital for Group 4 was at Tha Sao.

    Gill Your Grandfather looks like he was in the 9 Coast Regiment, Royal Artillery and came to Thailand 24/10/1942 with Y Party

    Smiley783 Your Grandfather was in 3 Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment (29 Battery), Royal Artillery and left Singapore on the 04/04/1942 for Saigon with the Saigon Party under Lt.Col. Hugonin in June 1943 700 of these men were sent to Thailand to work on the Thailand-Burma Railway and worked at Kinsaiyok and Tha Sao in Group 4.
    papiermache likes this.
  8. Buteman

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

    Richard Kandler wrote a book called the Prisoner List. It was based on taped interviews with his Father, Reuben, who (also served in 3 HAA Regt) helped compile a list of a 1000 or so names who went to Saigon. Gunner George Garland's name is on that list, so the book would be very useful in helping smiley783 to understand what her Grandfather would have endured as a POW of the Japanese.

    I've PM'd her, as she last logged on back in July 2014.
  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member


    I was up at the National Archives today and coincidentally was looking in the same box containing the card for William Francis Needham. See attached. It was a mis-spelling of the name and was the entry from the Cofepow database after all.

    I hope this might help out going forward.


    Needham WF. JIC 1.JPG Needham WF. JIC 2.JPG
    4jonboy and Tricky Dicky like this.
  10. Andrew Kendall

    Andrew Kendall New Member

    I believe camp 4 is Tha Sao (Tarso) which is spelt various ways. My Grandfather was also in camp 4.

    Garland, George William
    bamboo43 likes this.

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