POW,s Rangoon Central Jail

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by carolosman, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. carolosman

    carolosman Junior Member

    I,m wondering if there is still anyone out there that new my dad Robert Viney he was held prisoner of war in Rangoon, I believe he was a private in The Somerset Light Infrantry and from some records I have found was one of 26 survivors liberated from Rangoon Jail on the 3rd May 1945. I have found an Indian rupee with his signature on along with 25 others which is listed in a document found at The National Archives, Kew, London, I would really like to find our more about dad, when he was captured and where etc, he would never talk about any of the terrible treatment they had Rangoon, and died very young at the age of 57yrs, I remember a piece in our local paper about all the drawings he done in the prison, and would love to know what happened to them, I was told at one time that someone was trying to find dad to return his drawings.
    Dad,s Army Number was 5677421

    Would love to hear from anyone who thinks they may have known him.:)
     
  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Carol,

    I have been researching the men of Rangoon Jail for a few years, I have a little detail about your Dad. He was captured on 27/01/1944 and to my knowledge, he was the only member of the Somerset Light Infantry present in the jail.

    He was kept in Block 6 of the camp, which as I am sure you know was set up in the shape of a cartwheel with blocks radiating off a central courtyard. I also have a copy of his Japanese index card on my computer, which I will send over to you shortly.

    Can I ask where you learned about the Rupee note? Robert was one of the men deemed fit enough to be marched out of the prison in late April 1945 and was supposed to be taken into Thailand with around 450 other POW's. He was liberated by the West Yorkshire regiment in early May after the Japanese guards had left the men in a village called Waw, near Pegu and fled over he border.

    I will send you a pm presently and we can take things forward from there.

    Great to bump into you.:)

    Steve
     
  3. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Welcome to the forum

    Lesley
     
  4. Steve Mac

    Steve Mac Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum carolosman. I see you are being well looked after by Steve (handle 'bamboo43') - enjoy!

    Best,

    Steve.
     
  5. carolosman

    carolosman Junior Member

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for your message I found the info about my dad,s signature on this linkhttp://www.rquirk.com/poole/Signed_5_rupee_note,RangoonJail,_Ver_10.pdf and I have printed the rupee with my dad,s signature on, it was quite incredible to see his signature, recognised it straight away, he had a really nice writing hand, any info you have i would be most grateful for, look forward to hearing from you, although sad, I find it very interesting any info I can find. Haven,t quite got to grips yet on how to use this site, but getting there!

    Regards Carol
     
  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Carol,

    I have sent you a message which you should receive as an email.

    The Rupee is a wonderful thing, another Rangoon researcher has spent a lot of time trying to piece those names together. See if you can see my email and I will send over the documents I have in regard to your Dad.

    Steve
     
  7. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum, Carol. Your father was captured in Arakan, on the east side of the Kalapazin River. 27th January was a bad day for 1st SLI. I'll send you little more about the action of the battalion on that day by PM.
     
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi sol,

    I was hoping you could help out with place of capture, thanks mate.:)
     
  9. carolosman

    carolosman Junior Member

    thank you all for the info really interesting!

    regards carol :mellow:
     
  10. carolosman

    carolosman Junior Member

    Hi Carol,

    I have been researching the men of Rangoon Jail for a few years, I have a little detail about your Dad. He was captured on 27/01/1944 and to my knowledge, he was the only member of the Somerset Light Infantry present in the jail.

    He was kept in Block 6 of the camp, which as I am sure you know was set up in the shape of a cartwheel with blocks radiating off a central courtyard. I also have a copy of his Japanese index card on my computer, which I will send over to you shortly.

    Can I ask where you learned about the Rupee note? Robert was one of the men deemed fit enough to be marched out of the prison in late April 1945 and was supposed to be taken into Thailand with around 450 other POW's. He was liberated by the West Yorkshire regiment in early May after the Japanese guards had left the men in a village called Waw, near Pegu and fled over he border.

    I will send you a pm presently and we can take things forward from there.

    Great to bump into you.:)

    Steve
    Hello Steve,

    Did you send me a copy of the documents that you have on my dad Robert Viney?

    Regards Carol
     
  11. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Carol,

    Yes documents are on their way, let me know if you have any further questions.:)
     
  12. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi All,

    I thought I would just update this thread with some numbers in terms of this great website and Rangoon Jail.

    Since I have been a member of WW2Talk, I have 'bumped' into 18 different families connected with Rangoon Jail.

    Carol is the latest in this brilliant line of events. So thanks to everyone on here that has contributed to this quality success rate. Of the 18 there were 2 enquiries who never returned to make a second post, which of course is frustrating, but you can't win them all.:)

    Steve
     
    papiermache likes this.
  13. rglehmann

    rglehmann Junior Member

    my uncle, Richard M Brooks, was a radio operator on a B-29 shot down (aircraft name "Queenie", #42-93831, Dec 14, 1944. He was one of seven crew members at the prison. If any one knew of him, or any information on him at the prison, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance.
     
  14. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member Patron

  15. Dalibabe

    Dalibabe Junior Member

    Hi all, i am very new to this so please bare with me.

    I have been for the last few years researching my family tree...this has taken me in several different directions...but only today i come to find out that my great grandmothers sister had a son Wilfred Alfred George Toms who was a POW at Rangoon jail...The information i have found so far is that he was reported M.I.A on the 10th of April 1943 but was to later die on the 26th of November 1943 in Block 6...

    I have searched several archives but have since come up with a blank...would anybody be able to shed some light on how he died

    Many Thanks

    xx
     
  16. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Hi Dalibabe, Can't help you out with any facts in connection with your relative but I'm sure someone will be along to help.

    Just wanted to recommend a book called The Forgotten Highlander if you want to get a feel for the experience over there. But be prepared, it's probably the most brutal and moving book I've ever encountered in my life!
     
  17. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

     
  18. Dalibabe

    Dalibabe Junior Member

    Thank you both for getting back to me...i will be sure to look up the book.
    I have visited several sites and yes steve the pegasus and devon heritage sites were very informative regarding Wilfred...it has made finding him a whole lot easier...thank you

    hope to hear from you soon

    best wishes

    Natalie
     
  19. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Natalie,

    Wilfred as you now know was in Column 7 on Operation Longcloth and must have been already wounded or ill in some way by the time the men were ordered back to India. He was placed into a group of 25 or so men led by a young officer called Rex Walker. All the men in this group were already in a bad way and so the Column 5 doctor, William Aird was also seconded to the group.

    I have some papers and documents with Wilfred's name on and will pm you later, so that we can get these over to you. There isn't too much more I can say that you don't now already know. The story of Rex Walker's group is on my website here:Rex Walker's Dispersal Group 4 - Chindit Chasing, Operation Longcloth 1943

    As far as his time in Rangoon Jail is concerned, my guess is that he would have probably perished to one of the diseases such as malaria or beri beri. Most of the men succumbed to one of these in the end. The survival rate for the Chindits in Rangoon was not good I'm afraid. There is a POW section on the website too.

    Wilfred does not seem to have a Japanese index card to his name, which is unfortunate as this might of told us how he died. There are examples of these documents on the Rex Walker page so you will get an idea what they look like.

    Great to be in touch Natalie.

    Best wishes

    Steve
     
  20. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Hi Natalie,

    PM sent, sometimes these messages can go into the spam folder in my experience, so check there if you don't see it in your inbox.:)
     

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