POW Java/Singapore/Japan

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Donnie, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. Donnie

    Donnie Remembering HHWH

    Hello all,

    For years I knew that my relative was a prisoner of the Japanese, for a long time my research came up empty though after a long search and lots of digging I found the following information;

    508436 F/Sgt Reginald Vernon Roberts of 41 Air Stores Park, he was captured on the 08/03/1942 and was held in Java, Singapore and Honshu (Ohama).

    So, does anyone have any information on 41 ASP's time in Java? Any idea what camp in java and Singapore he may have been in and where do I go now? Is there anymore research I can do?

    Regards, Don
  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron


    I looked at the Research Center for Allied POW's and he came out as a passenger aboard the Singapore Maru.

    Here is the page I found him on:


    This is the Home Page for the Center. It is an American site, created originally by a great man called Roger Mansell, sadly now deceased.


    Have a dig about on there, you may find more. Here is also something about the Singapore Maru:


    I have not read much myself about POW camps in Java or the Japanese Mainland, but other members here will have. Other avenues of research will include his Japanese index card and possibly a liberation questionnaire, both of which will be found at the National Archives in London. In fact the information you gave on your original post above almost certainly is taken from his index card.

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  3. Donnie

    Donnie Remembering HHWH


    Many thanks for the reply, I shudder at what Vernon had to go through and just how much courage he had to survive. After the war, he and his wife had to sleep in separate rooms due to his outbursts during the night. The Japanese had at one point tortured him and what little remained of his finger nails were eventually removed.

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  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Don,

    The file references at the National Archives you will need are:

    Japanese Index card WO345/44, this is a box containing many cards one of which will be Reginald's.

    Possible Liberation Questionnaire would be found within folder WO344/399/1

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  5. Donnie

    Donnie Remembering HHWH

    Thanks Steve,

    Your help is much appreciated

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  6. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    There is no witness record card in WO356 ( microfilm in the corner of the big barn at Kew full of computers and huge sheets of glass ) for F/Sgt Roberts.

    There are about 13,500 cards ( microfilm only ) for men who filled out a "Q" form which were of interest to the Judge Advocate General. About 35,000 Q forms in total were completed by POWs who survived captivity in the Far East. These were examined by intelligence officers and JAG staff for possible use in minor War Crimes Trials.

    I did not look for any liberation questionnaire ( I was at Kew yesterday looking for other information in WO356.)

    The case involving the voyage of the Singapore Maru on which F/Sgt Roberts was a passenger can be found at WO235/1043. A number of affidavits and reports exist describing the voyage. The following transcript of an affidavit on the file appears to be relevant.

    " MD/JAG/FS/JT/19

    S 1705
    Exhibit J
    J A Forsythe Lt Col President



    I, DENNIS PARKER ALLEN, of 18 Gladstone Street, Normanton,
    Yorks, make oath and say as follows:-

    I joined the Royal Air Force in 1938, and my rank and number at the time of my capture by the Japanese was Warrant Officer Observer, No. 580359.

    I was taken prisoner in Java on the 8th March, 1942, and some time in September 1942, I was removed from Java to Japan, via Singapore. The ship on which I sailed from Singapore was the Singapore Maru.

    There were 1,000 Prisoners of War on this vessel when she left Singapore, and conditions on board were very bad. Each man had one pint of water each day for drinking and washing. The food was bad and very scarce, and apart from our own medical officers who had no supplies at all, medical attention was nil.

    During the voyage to Formosa conditions detiorated and 9 men died. 21 others were taken off ill at Formosa, of these 21 I do not know what happened, but their condition was such that I feel certain they are now dead.

    At Formosa 1,000 Japanese troops from China boarded this ship en route for Japan, and conditions grew tragic. Seventy more men died before we docked at MOJI in Japan.

    When the ship docked 400 of the prisoners of war were so ill that they were kept on the boat and the rest of us was split up into two camps. I was one of a batch of 150 who went to OHHAMA.

    After the ship docked all the Japanese troops except the guards left the vessel and we had the run of the ship, but, owing to the sickness of the men we broke into the ship's store which was found to be full of supplies, and helped ourselves. As a punishment for this, all the men who were considered able to move by the Japanese, were compelled to remain on the Dock wall for 12 hours or more. The conditions were so severe that several men died and at least one man committed suicide whilst we were so exposed.

    On leaving Moji we were transported in three coal barges drawn by a tug boat, and taken to the coal mining camp at Ohhama. On arrival there 150 of us were disembarked from one barge, the remaining two barges going to other camps. We were packed so tightly on this barge that we could not sit down at all and the journey took four hours. The only sanitary arrangement on the barge was one bucket which had to be passed from man to man.

    We arrived at Ohhama in the early hours of the morning late in November, 1942.

    TAKEN before me Alfred Smith
    at Normanton this 27th day of
    May, 1946.

    Alf Smith
    Justice of the Peace for
    Yorkshire West Riding

    Dennis Parker Allen"
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  7. Donnie

    Donnie Remembering HHWH

    Thanks you very much for the information and taking the time to look, it really blows my mind that these men were subjected to these conditions and treatment. I have read books on the subject but to imagin Vernon in these camps, on the ships is quite emotional.

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  8. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member


    You have my sympathy ( my uncle died on the Hofuku Maru on 21st September 1944, hence my reason for posting to the Hofuku Maru thread on this site a transcript of the War Crimes trial. ) Here is another affidavit entered in the record of the Military Tribunal concerning the voyages of men from Java, on the "Yoshida Maru" and then the "Singapore Maru" , from file WO235/1043.


    " Exhibit F
    J A Forsythe Lt Col President

    21 OCTOBER TO 26 NOVEMBER 1942.

    A F F I D A V I T.

    I, ERIC KENNETH SCOTT with permanent home address at 62
    Columba Road, Blackhall, Edinburgh, formerly Lieutenant-Colonel
    ( R.E.M.E.) with personal number 93327 in HIS MAJESTY'S Forces, MAKE

    1. On the 19th October 1942 Col. C.M. Lane M.C., 10/15 Punjab Regt.,
    Senior British Officer P.O.W., Tanjong Priok, Batavia, was instructed by
    the Japanese Commandant, Tanjong Priok P.O.W. Camp to draft 1000
    ( 90 Officers and 910 O.R.s approx ), for departure for an unknown destination
    on the 21st October.

    2. Immediate representations were made to the Japanese Authorities
    that, with the prevalence of malaria, dysentery, beri-beri, dengue,
    malnutrition, etc., in the camp, the majority were not in a fit state
    to travel. The worst sick cases among those drafted were inspected by
    the Senior British Medical Officer, Lt.Col. Mazie, R.A.M.C. and at a
    later stage by a Japanese Medical Officer from Batavia. Substitutions
    were made where possible, but even so, when the draft assembled on the
    21st Oct. there were many stretcher cases and some 10/20 % of the personnel
    collapsed on the march to the Docks.

    3. At the Tandjong Priok Docks the party was joined by a draft of
    300 R.A.F., under command of Wing Commander Frowe, and 500 R.A.
    personnel under command of Lt. Col. Saunders R.A. This total of 1800
    embarked on the thirty year old, 5,000 ton "Yoshida Maru" at 16.00 hours
    on the 21st Oct. and were crammed down the four hatchways. Wing
    Commander Frowe and Lt.Col. Saunders' parties were accommodated below the
    forward hatches with some seventy Japanese personnel who had taken the
    "best" of the accommodation for themselves and the Tandjong Priok party of
    1000 were crowded together so tightly aft that it was impossible to lie
    down and those immediately under the hatchways, which were unprovided
    with tarpaulins, were soaked to the skin every time it rained during the
    voyage. There were 16 deck latrines forward and 8 aft, also 2 small water
    tanks forward and 2 aft.

    4. The ship sailed the following morning and throughout the voyage
    three meals of rice and fish soup were served daily. Under these conditions
    there was an immediate increase in sickness and an emergency
    hospital was formed on the upper deck under the shelter of a leaky tarpaulin.
    No blankets were provided, nor were any medical supplies of any

    5. The "Yoshida Maru" arrived at Singapore at 13.00 hours on the 25th
    Oct. and the following morning all personnel were ordered ashore for a
    hosedown on the dock side under the supervision of Japanese guards. All
    personnel were then marched to the roadside where they were obliged to take
    down their trousers and a glass rod was inserted in each man's anus in
    full public view. All were then returned to the "Yoshida Maru."

    6. On the 28th Oct. Wing Commander Frowe was instructed to draft
    200 of his men to join Lt. Col. Saunders' party of 500 and transfer to
    another ship. Fourteen of the more seriously sick from Tanjong Priok

    - 2 -

    Camp were then transferred to Singapore Hospital.

    7. On the 29th Oct. at 04.00 hours the remaining 1086 disembarked
    and were disinfested. During the day a further 19 went sick and were
    sent to shore hospital and 14 replacements were received from Changi
    P.O.W. Camp, making a total of 1081.

    8. The 1081 embarked on the S.S. "Singapore Maru", 5,200 tons,
    built in 1904, at 19.00 hours on the 29th Oct., the officers, 96 in
    number, being in this instance, segregated in the aft hold for the
    better maintenance of discipline. The general arrangements were similar
    to those on the "Yoshida Maru". Forward were accommodated Japanese
    troops, who spread themselves at the expense of the prisoners, and forward
    were 16 deck latrines, ( 8 for prisoners ), and four small water tanks,
    ( two for prisoners ). Aft were 8 deck latrines, two water tanks and the
    galley. Three meals of rice and fish soup were provided daily and hot
    water for drinking three or four times per day. There were two small
    lifeboats, four rafts and no life-belts for P.O.Ws.

    9. The "Singapore Maru" sailed for Japan at 10.00 hours on the
    30th Oct. and by the 2nd of November sickness had increased to such an
    extent that the establishment of a hospital on the aft hatch cover became
    necessary. The required accommodation was grudgingly given, as was the
    1 lb Mag. Sulphate and a few aspirin and quinine tablets. Two men died
    almost as soon as the "hospital" was established.

    10. On the 3rd of November the "Singapore Maru" hove to off Cap St.
    Jacques, where, as Senior Officer, I made the strongest possible representations
    to the Japanese Commanding Officer, Lieut. Moriyama, regarding the
    state of affairs on board and demanded the immediate removal of all sick
    to Saigon and the sending of a radio report to Batavia to prevent the
    further shipment of P.O.W.s under such intolerable conditions. The same
    afternoon the ship sailed without any action being taken to improve
    conditions aboard.

    11. Sickness was now increasing at such a rate and the weather
    deteriorating to such an extent that the accommodation under the aft
    hatch had to be cleared of troops and the sick transferred to the space
    vacated. No amenities of any sort such as mats, mattresses, blankets, etc.
    were provided and the sick lay on the bare steel deck. With difficulty
    some wooden buckets were secured for use as hospital latrines. A small
    quantity of newsprint was provided as toilet paper, but was soon exhausted
    and, as there was only sufficient water to permit of washing the hands once
    a day, personal hygiene was impossible and disease spread rapidly in

    12. Deaths continued up to the arrival of the "Singapore Maru" at
    Takow, Formosa, on the 13th Nov. where 8 bodies were sent ashore for cremation,
    the harbour authorities refusing to permit them to be buried at sea.
    A list of 100 seriously sick was compiled and a request for their immediate
    removal to shore hospital was submitted, but twenty-one only were put ashore.

    13. At Takow I was informed that accommodation was to be found for
    a further 400 Japanese troops and, in spite of all protests, the upper
    decks in all holds were cleared and the thousand odd P.O.W.s crammed down
    in the bottom of the holds and on the sand ballast in the space below the
    holds. The "hospital" was also transferred to the bottom of the aft hold.
    All Japanese troops were provided with clean mats to sleep on. P.O.Ws.
    slept on the steel decks or the sand ballast.

    - 3 -

    14. On the 15th the "Singapore Maru" left Takow and the same day
    anchored off the Pescadores, where she remained until the 18th. A
    further seven were buried at sea the same evening. Two hundred bismuth
    tablets were then issued to Dr. Liddell, the R.A.F. doctor on board,
    by the Japanese Authorities.

    15. Proceeding Northwards the weather worsened and the cold
    increased to the great discomfort of those, the majority, who were in
    possession of tropical clothing only, and no blankets. The deck
    latrines, damaged by heavy seas, leaked badly and sprayed infected
    excreta over the decks, while below decks, the hospital, being unable
    to cope with any more sick, sub-hospitals were established in each hold.
    Latrine buckets were set up in the holds but some were so weak by this
    time as to be unable to use them and de-faecated in their mess tins or
    where they lay.

    16. By the time the ship anchored off Moji on the 24th of November
    approximately 700 were suffering from some sort of sickness or other. On
    the 25th Nov. the ship went alongside and the Japanese troops disembarked.
    This left the stores unguarded and the same night they were raided by
    British personnel. An enquiry was instituted by the Japanese Military
    Police on discovery of the theft on the following day, but the urgent
    necessity to disembark appeared to cut these proceedings shorter than was
    expected. As Senior British Officer on board I was held responsible and
    threatened with shooting, while several officers were referred to as
    "uncivilised beasts" by the English speaking Japanese Officer from Fukuoka,
    who was in charge of disembarkation. A hygiene squad came aboard and
    sealed all latrines and inserted a glass rod in the anus of each P.O.W.
    ( a test for dysentery we were told ), but did nothing for the 280 seriously
    sick who were left on the ship after thirty of the hospital sick had been
    taken ashore for treatment in Moji, and the remaining 677 mobile P.O.Ws
    disembarked for splitting up into groups for transport by open barge to
    Coal Mines in the vicinity.

    17. Of the fate of the 280 who were left on board in the care of three
    Dutch doctors and six Medical Orderlies I am unable to give precise information,
    but have reason to believe that the majority succumbed within a few
    days. Further information in this connection should be available from
    Dr. Liddell of the R.A.F. who was himself evacuated to Moji hospital at
    that time.

    18. The 677 mobile P.O.W.s after standing on the dock, in subzero
    temperatures, dressed in tropical kit, for several hours and without food
    were eventually split into one group of 170 and three groups of 169 each.
    I was in charge of the group of 170 and proceeded to Fukuoka No. 7 Camp,
    Ube, where a further 17 died from the effects of the voyage. All sufferred
    from scurvy for several weeks.

    - 4 -


    677 - Disembarked, Moji
    63 - Buried at sea.
    1 - Committed suicide.
    21 - Removed to hospital, Formosa.
    30 - Removed to hospital, Moji.
    289 - Too ill to be removed from "Singapore Maru".
    1081 (includes 3 Dutch doctors and 6 M.O.s )

    at 6 Spring Gardens in the City of
    Westminster this 19th day of January

    ( Signed ) E.K. Scott


    RATHCREEDAN, Captain, Legal Staff.

    Military Department,
    Office of the Judge Advocate General,
    LONDON S.W.1. "
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  9. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    The following statement, Exhibit "U", by Surg. Lieut Stening or Stenning, RANR or RANVR, concerns what happened to those who were too sick to disembark at Moji.

    It looks like the hero of the day ( three days ) was Gunner Charles W. Peacock 808086, captured 8th March 1942, ( details from the Cofepow database.) I know nothing more about him, but hope he got some recognition for what he did.

    " Exhibit U
    J A Forsythe Lt Col


    On November 29th, 1942, a Medical Party consisting of eight medical officers,
    one dental officer and approximately thirty medical orderlies left Zentsuji and
    proceeded by train to Moji.

    This party was under the command of Captain W. Lineberry, (MC), U.S.N.
    All personnel were of the U.S.N., except three medical officers - Captain J.F.
    Akeroyd, A.A.F., Captain V. Bristow, A.I.F., and Surgeon Lieutenant S.E.L.
    Stening, R.A.N.R.

    Arriving at Moji this large party was divided into three. The first party
    under the leadership of Captain Lineberry; the second under Lieutenant Commander
    T. Moe, (MC), U.S.N., and the third under Captain J.F. Akeroyd.

    I was a member of Lieutenant Commander Moe's party which was composed of
    Lieutenant Commander Moe, myself and Lieutenant J.E.Eppley, (M.C.), U.S.N., as
    the doctors and eight corpsmen - Chief Pharmacist's mate I. Frontis, G.J. Shaw,
    PhM1c, A.P. Rowe, PhM1c, J.Young PhMlc, B.W. Berry, PhM3c, J.J. LaCasse, PhM3c,
    A.R. Wilkinson, PhM3c and W.W. Dunlap, HA1c.

    The three parties were sent in different directions. Lieutenant Commander
    Moe's party proceeded to the dockside to a ship bearing the name "Singapore Maru"
    and which was flying the yellow flag.

    On the dockside beside the ship were stacked piles of rough coffins and beside
    these small groups of haggard, sick and disconsolate men.

    We were told that we had to shift the men still remaining at and in the ship
    to a small ferry and then to convey them to a hospital, well stocked with everything
    we were likely to require and then care for these men and restore them to
    health. We climbed up a very ricketty ladder and descended into the foward
    holds of the ship and there we were taken aback by the indescribably horrible
    scene which met our outraged eyes.

    The vessel was a cargo ship and had been employed to transport a thousand
    P.O.W. from Java and Singapore to Japan. They had been crowded into the holds
    from Singapore for more than a month and had come through heavy weather and
    extreme heat to the bitter chilling air of Japan. Many had been very seasick
    and all had been badly underfed. Food had been very limited indeed and the
    sanitary arrangements woefully inadequate. Some convalescent dysentery patients
    from a Java hospital had been sent at the last moment to make up a full draft and
    some of these patients had been included at the reshuffle at Singapore. These
    convalescents were, so I think, responsible for initiating an outbreak of dysentery
    on board. The first case appeared several days out from Singapore and the
    numbers gradually increased, until at the conclusion of the voyage there were very
    very few who had not been affected.

    The epidemic, plus the overcrowded insanitary conditions and the very low diet
    was responsible for something over 90 deaths before the ship even reached Japan.
    It must be noted that the ship carried stocks of European type food, which may have
    been Red Cross food. This food was loaded at Singapore and was for the prisoners.
    They were issued with practically none and had the mortification of seeing illiterate
    Japanese soldiers bring can after can on to the deck, open the can to see what was
    inside, maybe taste it and often throw the whole lot over the side because it was
    not to his fancy.

    By the time Lieutenant Commander Moe's party arrived, all the fit prisoners
    and the majority of the patients had left or been removed from the ship. The
    remainder ( to be our responsibility ) were the very sick men in the ship and
    watching us with sad patient eyes on the dockside. None of these men had any
    winter clothing and many had no long trousers. Our party divested itself of our
    heavy overcoats and put them over the patients. Then after leading those men we
    found on the dock to the small junk which was to be our ferry, we proceeded to
    board the ship again.

    Down into the forward hold once more and gazed upon a filthy odorous mass
    of rubbish, excreta, food, clothing, equipment amongst which we could see here
    and there a body which may or may not have been still living. Quickly we ran
    over the inmates of that forward hold. We found about four dead and two almost
    dead. The remainder were in varying stages of sick from moderately severe to
    hopeless cases. There was one man there who was not suffering from illness but
    solely from complete exhaustion. This man, single handed, had cared
    for, fed, comforted and nursed the sick men in that hold until he could do no
    more. He had watched men die and had nursed some to near health again.

    ( Original file copy J-10 )


    This man, Gunner C.W. Peacock, R.A., had had no rest for three days and had to
    be assisted to the deck and to the junk.

    Well, the patients were finally sorted out and carried to the junk, those
    nearly dead had died, and all the bodies were neatly laid out in rows in some
    of the ample supply of coffins. Below deck there had been a Japanese Woman
    Doctor, who had been engaged in trying to identify the dead and the moribund,
    there were also some coolies who assisted us in carrying the patients up the
    three flights of companionway to the deck and thence to the junk. In the junk
    the men were all placed on the hatchway and around it and exposed to the biting
    cold. There was no way of avoiding this however.

    The junk cast off after we had carried the last patient and left the coolies
    to loot the filthy holds. The junk fouled its mooring wire and was held up for
    nearly an hour before sailing across the water to the Shimoneski side to a
    disused quarantine station which, we were told, was our hospital. In that junk were
    some 56 men from Java and Singapore. We transhipped them at the Quarantine Station
    and carried them into the main room, which was prepared to receive them. Mats
    ( Tatamis ) covered the floor and five blankets were stacked at intervals around.

    The two other parties went to do the same type of work on patients from the
    same ship who had been unloaded soime days previously. Captain Lineberry's party
    went to Kokoura Army Hospital where a section had been set aside for this purpose.
    Captain Aderoyd's party went to an empty Y.M.C.A. building in Moji and found
    nearly 300 patients awaiting him.

    These two parties spent the entire time before their return to Zentsuji at
    these same stations, while Lieutenant Commander Moe's party proceeded to
    Nagasaki at a later date and cared for patients in emergencies of lesser degree
    in two camps there.

    Statement of Surg Lt. S.E.L. Stening

    Surg Lieut Samuel Edward Lees Stenning RANVR Navy Dept Melbourne

    Original File Copy J-10

    17 Sep 45 "
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  10. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    My Uncle Ronnie was on the Wales Maru in 1943 (J Force). He went from Singapore to Hakodate in Japan.

    Are there similar affidavits about the Wales Maru?

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  11. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member


    The Judge Advocate General had a file on the voyage of "Wales Maru Singapore to Japan May/June 1943" under reference JT/31. "JT" is short for "Japanese Transport." Some papers were also on "JM/2" where "JM" means Japanese Murder or Massacre. JM/2 was the file covering "Singapore" so it must have run into several volumes covering a huge range of topics. JT/31 may relate to the voyage your uncle was on. I do not know what the specific allegations were.

    I do not know where any of these files are: they have not emerged, but microfilm of the index ( Far East cases ) in WO356 did become available in the 1990's, which is the source of my information.

    ( In the case of European War Crimes witnesses there is no microfilm and the cards have to be viewed in the Prefect's Room at Kew. They look different from Far East card indices.)

    A JAG file would have one or several reports on it including the names of witnesses and the letter and number assigned to their "Q" form, and probably including the original "Q" form. They also filed reports in "Envelopes" with long numbers for file references, but I have not seen an example.

    If an affidavit was sought then the arrangements for obtaining an affidavit are noted in great detail on the witness card.

    It is a case of looking for the witness card - I am sorry I did not look for a card in your uncle's case last time, and do not know when I am going next.

    Also in WO356 are Accused cards which might bear the file reference, but may not. Cards were printed to be used in a certain way and then the office rules were broken or not followed, so they are a bit of a mish-mash.

    I do not have photos of the 20,000 or so witness and accused cards, only a few examples.

    Some affidavits were prepared by police constables under arrangements between the Home Office and the JAG and some are in hand writing on standard police witness lined paper. The JAG would write to the appropriate Chief Constable for the area in which the witness was living giving general instructions as to which period or event referred to in a Q form they were interested in.

    Some witnesses were asked to come to the JAG's offices in London for an interview.

    In most cases witnesses had no idea that an affidavit had been used in evidence. ( There were about 89 cases involving POWs prosecuted in British Military Tribunals in the Far East. ) The cost of sending a telegraphic cable from the Far East to London meant that newspapers did not bother reporting trials very much.

    Q forms could be used as evidence without further contact with the witness, in certain circumstances.

    The National Archives have no discrete series of Q forms, although they were often completed at the same time as a Liberation Questionnaire, and a Casualty Form. If a POW returned by way of Australia, Canada, America ,Middle East Command, etc. then military intelligence from each country/command could present forms to ex-POWs.

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  12. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Member

    Thanks John

    Yes JT/31 is the the right one.
    Although I've posted more about uncle Ronnie on another thread (HM Motor Launch 310 - Singapore 1942)
    Here is the relevant information ...
    [SIZE=12pt]Ronald Arthur Johnson is D/JX254816 Able Seaman Johnson of H.M.S. Laburnum who left Singapore on the 15/05/1943 for Japan with J Force working in Hakodate and Fukuoka [/SIZE]*****

    Thanks for the insight into the records and how to go about finding them.

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  13. jjrc1991

    jjrc1991 Junior Member

    Apologies for posting this here but I'm hoping someone may be able to help?

    I have the details of a man who died just after the war whilst serving with “No 7 War Crimes Investigation Team” in Singapore. As he was in the RASC I’m assuming that he was employed as a driver or something similar but does anyone know how many ‘teams’ the WCIT had in Singapore and what other duties this man may have had?

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  14. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member


    No 7 War Crimes Investigation Team dealt with investigations of war crimes in Singapore, based at Orange Grove Road and the Goodwood Park Hotel. There were at least eighteen teams throughout the vast area of the Far East covered by the British teams. Australian investigators were also working in the same area, and other allied nations liaised with the British and Australians, such as the Dutch and French. As soldiers came to the end of their service term there was a constant change in personnel. The teams were usually short of staff. Personnel able to understand Japanese and other oriental languages were at a premium.

    The biography of Colonel Wild, famous war crimes investigator who had been a POW and on General Percival's staff, called "The Tall Man Who Never Slept" suggests that in early 1946 there were three teams based in Singapore. There is a copy in the library at the National Archives at Kew.

    You can search free online through digital copies of Singapore newspapers by going to the Singapore National Library website.
    This will give you articles naming officers involved with No 7 Team, also their requests for information published in newspapers.

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  15. jjrc1991

    jjrc1991 Junior Member


    Brilliant! Thanks for the information.


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  16. LOCO57

    LOCO57 New Member

    Escape from Singapore

    I am looking for information on the fate of Walter Ernest Brown V.C., D.C.M. (2nd AIF). "Wally" was a mate of my grandfather in the first war, 20th Bn AIF, where he earned his V.C. During WW2, putting his age down to 40 from 54, Wally joined the 2/15 Field Regiment and was sent to Singapore. At the time of the fall, he was last seen walking towards the Japanese lines with a bag of grenades and was assumed to have been killed.

    However, there are rumours that he later escaped to Sumatra. I have recently found a newspaper clipping from the Brisbane Courier Mail, 3 Oct 1951, making mention of a Mr George Fletcher of Goondiwindi (QLD) who escaped from Singapore with 9 others, including Walter Brown, who "reached Sumatra but was afterwards killed by the Japanese".

    I would be grateful to hear from anyone who may have information about George Fletcher's group.


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  17. jjrc1991

    jjrc1991 Junior Member


    I posted earlier with regards to the war crimes investigation team in Singapore. Having read through the content of this thread again I wonder if anyone can help in my research on another man - Gunner Arthur George B. Clack of the 21st Lt A.A. Regt.
    It is known that his unit was on the island of Java, following the fall of Singapore and that after the Japanese arrived he was captured. He was then, at a time unknown, transported to Fukuoko on the island of Kyusha and it is believed that it was here that he died on the 12th December 1942. Can anyone help fill in the details?


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  18. jeff barden

    jeff barden Member

    Details of my Grad Father below
    Alfred Ernest Barden
    Alfred Ernest Barden enlisted for the Royal Artillery in 1938 as No.1549483 among the ranks of the Territorial Army, joining 95th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery (known as ‘Clacton’s own’). This unit was mobilized for a war role in September 1939 and served in defending the south coast ports. The diary of this unit is included in WO 166/2838 and shows movements as follows:-
    September 1939 – Battery is mobilized in Clacton-on-Sea and begins routine training.
    December 1939 – One Troop of the Battery moves to Bawdsey. From this date onwards the Troops of the Battery are deployed at various locations around the Suffolk area. June 1940 – Battery moves from 17th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment to 48th Light AntiAircraft Regiment.
    04/03/1941 – Battery moves to Wantisden and took over duties at Hornchurch & Rainham.
    17/03/1941 – Battery moves to Brettenham Park, Suffolk and takes over local gun sites.
    The Battery diary ceases in April 1941.
    The Regimental Diary is in WO 166/2721 and goes from July 1940 to October 1941.
    From May 1941 the Regiment was based in the Essex and Suffolk area and continued in an anti-aircraft role with the Battery and Troop detachments being widely spread at locations of importance.
    22/08/1941 – Regiment moves to Yeovil and is informed it is due to be mobilized for overseas service (tropical climate).
    15/09/1941 – Regiment moves to Southend on Sea to complete mobilization.
    The 48th LAA Regiment, 'Bofors Guns', had three Batteries, 49, 95, 242. We sailed from Gourock on the river Clyde the day Japan declared war, December 7th 1941. We and many other regiments were on the 'Duchess of Athol'. We thought we were going to Basra (where the problems are now). We stopped at Freetown, and had our Christmas dinner there, then on to Durban. We changed ships there and after about six days there we boarded the 'HMT Dunera' with the possibility of Singapore, but we and other ships were diverted to Batavia, Java, and docked at Tanjong Priok harbour.
    There are no diaries for the period for November 1941 to the capture of the Regiment by the Japanese. The PoW card for Alfred shows he was taken prisoner on 20/03/1942.
    48 LAA Regiment RA, on arrival in Batavia, sent 95 Battery to Oosthaven in Sumatra en route for the airfield around Palembang (P1 and P2) to reinforce the air defence already
    there. When they arrived in Palembang they found that the evacuation was beginning and they had time only to turn round, retire to Oosthaven and return to Java. 95 Battery, on its return, was deployed around Andir airfield near Bandoeng (now Bandung). 49 Battery was deployed around Kalidjati airfield, North of Bandoeng and 242 Battery with RHQ were deployed in Batavia. 95th Battery was over-run by Japanese tanks at Bandoeng on 20/03/1942 and a file on ‘missing’ men includes some detail. Those men who survived were shipped to Singapore on 14/04/1942 and from there Alfred is listed as being sent to Japan on 29/10/1942.
    02/04/1945 – Alfred dies at Omine Machi Camp at Hiroshima. His body is cremated and his ashes (in an urn) added to a shrine but moved in 1946 to the Yokohama cemetery.
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  19. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Jeff, welcome to the forum, and I am sorry to read that your grandfather died so close to the end.
    Given that "Omine Machi Camp at Hiroshima" was renamed Hiroshima 6-B and was once Fukuoka 1-D (info from the Mansell website) I may have the wrong case but here is a link through the University of Marburg war crimes site to the summary of a case involving Fukuoka-1. This is an early case in the Yokohama trials series and the copy of the documentation is not of the best quality. I am not aware of any documents in the National Archives at Kew relating to any British witnesses. There may be liberation questionnaires at Kew from those who survived.

    http://www.online.uni-marburg.de/icwc/yokohama/Yokohama No. T010.pdf
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  20. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Jeff,

    I see that your grandfather died from septicaemia. Do you have all the documents from Find My Past (mostly listings), I notice you mention his POW index card in your write up.
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