R.N POWs in Japan

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Carolyn White, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Carolyn White

    Carolyn White Member


    Looking for info on my Husbands Grandad who was a POW in Japan whilst serving in the Royal Navy.
    Is there any lists of ships that were sunk or taken in the area, where he could have been captured?


  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Tony56 likes this.
  3. Carolyn White

    Carolyn White Member

    Hi again,
    I have the Services Records listing all the ships, but it doesn't say at what point he was a POW! it all blends from first and second WW and then into Reserves. Hence the need to know which ships were in the area that he could have been on.

  4. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    Welcome to the forum.

    I don’t know the answer to these 2 questions myself but -

    If there is a Navy equivalent of the Army Casualty Lists publically avaialble that will at least give you a date of his being taken POW and you can see which ship he was on from his records.

    Another alternative is to see if he has a Japanese POW Card as that will also have a date of capture.

    Third option is to apply to Red Cross in Switzerland for their records when the enquiry window opens again next month via this link

    Requests for information about people held during Spanish Civil War or the Second World War: Quarterly limit reached

    It’s a free service that takes about 4 months to get a reply. If you go down that route you need to be quick off the mark and complete the online application form that pops up on the opening day as the window will likely close within 72 hours.

    Hopefully a Naval POW expert will be able to assis re my first 2 suggestions.

    Good Luck.

    Carolyn White and Hugh MacLean like this.
  5. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  6. Carolyn White

    Carolyn White Member

  7. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Hello Carolyn can you give us his name and place of birth please?

  8. Carolyn White

    Carolyn White Member

    GEORGE WHITE dob 8th March 1900 Gillingham Kent
  9. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Now we have his name etc - some background

    UK, Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939
    Name: George White
    Gender: Male
    Birth Date: 8 Mar 1900
    Birth Place: Gillingham , Kent.
    First Service Date: 10 Sep 1915
    First Ship Served On: Ganges
    Service Number: J44739

    Name: George White
    Gender: Male
    Birth Date: 8 Mar 1900
    Birth Place: Gillingham, Kent
    First Service Date: 1 Jan 1929
    First Ship Served On: Cambrian
    Last Service Date: 1 Jul 1940
    Last Ship Served On: 12/2 Minos (Queen Empress)
    Service Number: J 44739

    Carolyn White, timuk, Tony56 and 2 others like this.
  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    These maybe the same as above - someone like Hugh will know

    Name: George White . Official Number: J 44739 . Date of Birth: 8 March 1900 . Place... | The National Archives
    eference: ADM 363/202/96
    Name: George White.
    Official Number: J 44739.
    Date of Birth: 8 March 1900.
    Place of Birth: Gillingham, Kent.
    Date: [1925-1939]
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
    Access conditions: Open on Transfer
    Record opening date: 14 July 2015

    Name White, George Official Number: J44739 Place of Birth: Gillingham,... | The National Archives
    Reference: ADM 188/736/44739
    Name White, George
    Official Number: J44739
    Place of Birth: Gillingham, Kent
    Date of Birth: 08 March 1900
    Date: [1915]
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: Vol No. J44-2
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description

    Both can be downloaded for a small fee
    Carolyn White and timuk like this.
  11. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Yes, TD, both are the references to where the original documents that you have attached are held.

    I don't have G. White in my PoW records, or I haven't found him yet - I note from the record in ADM363 that he is shown aboard QUEEN EMPRESS in 1941 and nothing more until released in class A in September 1945.
    Carolyn did you get the record from the MOD or is the record that you have those shown above?

    If an ADM 363 record shows that the rating re-entered at a date after 1928, with a new official number, then you may find their record is still held by the Ministry of Defence.

    What information do you have that suggests he was a POW in Japan?
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
    Carolyn White and timuk like this.
  12. James Harvey

    James Harvey Senior Member

    The records online only go up to 1941

    Records 1941-45 are still held by the MoD and will cost £30 to release them
    Tricky Dicky likes this.
  13. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    I too can find no record of George White serving in the RN being a Japanese POW.
    For info HMS Queen Empress was a former Clyde paddle steamer operating as a minesweeper. HMS Badger was a shore establishment and accounting base for patrol craft, minesweepers etc operating out of Harwich likewise HMS Minos was a shore establishment at Lowestoft being the base for similar ships operating from there.
    Other observations from TD's documents. 3rd GCB awarded by Pembroke 1 (another accounting base) so still in UK 31/08/41 unless he was a DEMS Gunner. Character and Efficiency assessed 31/12/41 so unlikely to have been captured before then. His release date of 14/09/45 is very early and unusual (though not impossible) for a FEPOW.
    Carolyn - does your list of ships show those George was serving in after 1940?

    Edit: HMS Queen Empress
    Search objects | Imperial War Museums
  14. Carolyn White

    Carolyn White Member

    Thank You So Much for your contributions Everybody.
    I have a similar copy of the first page TD, but haven't seen the second page before, so Thank You for passing that info on to me, it also clears up the fact he joined as a GH Schoolboy in Oundle -( not a Gordon Homes Kid as first thought) but a Greenwich Hospital School Kid.
    Family have the service book for George (yes you have the correct man), this listed the same info as the first page you posted TD.
    The Japanese POW info comes from verbal reporting from other family members, so am trying to prove or disprove the rumour, they could have been talking about an earlier George White who I am ruling out as not being around in WW2. However the family do have a letter from King George Welcoming him back to Blighty. Am going to ask the family to send me a copy of the letter in the hope it has a service number on the page.

    Thanks Tim for adding info on the ships. We have a photo of him in uniform with a minesweeper hat band
    Thank You again for helping me along the way, Your All superstars


  15. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Rather off thread and nothing to do with the original question but I have found George's career very interesting, he certainly was well travelled. Of particular interest:
    HMS Gloucestershire - armed merchant cruiser. Her log has been transcribed and can be found here:
    HMS Gloucestershire, armed merchant cruiser - British warships of World War 1
    HMS Tamar - Depot ship and Naval Base, Hong Kong
    HMS Gnat and HMS Cricket - River gunboats on the Yangtse based at Shanghai protecting British interests.
    HMS Vindictive - cruiser. Based on China Station (1926-28) whilst George was on board.
    Carolyn - if you need any help interpreting the documents supplied by TD more fully, I'll have a go.

  16. Carolyn White

    Carolyn White Member

    Thanks Tim for the HMS Gloucestershire Log - Fascinating reading - Loved the little footnotes that add a different touch to it, ie the Russian Admiral hitching a ride to Halifax.
    Are there any other ships logs that are accessible to read like this? if so where can I find them/ I must admit I am struggling to read the spidery writing with the dates served on each posting,

    Thanks again



Share This Page