Sgt. Leslie Thomas 'Dusty' Wright 6203234

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by JanetMarsh, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. JanetMarsh

    JanetMarsh Member

    Dear All, I am new to research so seeking advice. I am trying to find more info about my uncle Sgt Leslie Thomas 'Dusty' Wright 6203234 Middx Regiment, then Royal West Kent Regiment. He was interned as a POW by the Japanese for the duration of WW2 but I am not sure where. He returned to the UK on an Australian ship. He was traumatised by his experience and never spoke of it. Will applying for his service records show where he was interned? The MOD have the wrong DOB for him because he enlisted before WW2 underage. When applying for records do I give the right DOB or the false one? Do I apply to Glasgow as per the forms or Gloucester as advised by CWGC? Any advice gratefully received. N.B. He died in 1948 in service (Ghana).

    Update 19/11/2014 - Thanks to all you lovely helpful people I now understand that my uncle Leslie was taken prisoner 25/12/41 in Hong Kong and ended up at Osaka before being released either 2nd or 3rd September 1945. How and when he was taken to Osaka and what this camp was like I do not yet know. Any information about Osaka would be gratefully received.
     
  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Janet,

    It looks like his record is held by the Cofepow databse, here:http://www.cofepowdb.org.uk/cdb2/Controller.jsp?action=showfepow&id=47484

    Judging by the date of capture given for Leslie, it is highly likely he was captured after the fall of Hong Kong. The fact that he features on this database will probably mean documents concerning his time as a POW will exist at the National Archives.

    It is still best to apply for his service records, as they will give exact detail on his service.
     
  3. JanetMarsh

    JanetMarsh Member

    Dear bamboo43, Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my post. I had not heard of the Cofepow database so do appreciate the link. I think I recall from my Mum that he was in Hong Kong at the time so this all adds up and now we have a new fact - the date of his capture. This Friday is the anniversary of his death. I am trying to find out as much as I can for my Mum who was Leslie's youngest sister. She was only 11 years old when he was captured.
     
  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Janet,

    I hope this small piece of information can help your quest. I just Googled Hong Kong WW2 and on the wikipedia page it shows that both the 1st Middlesex and the Royal West Kent's were present in Hong Kong when the Japanese attacked.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hong_Kong
     
  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  6. JanetMarsh

    JanetMarsh Member

    Hi bamboo43 and TrickyDicky, and thank you both for your replies and links. The battle for Hong Kong info was very helpful and I printed it off for my Mum to read so she could have a little more insight into the circumstances of her late brother's capture. We will send to Glasgow for his service records. I have decided to attach a sheet of additional information to explain the discrepancy with his birth dates. It's a shame that his memorial certificate gives his wrong age at death because of this but that was no fault of the army! I know that my Mum would like to see a photo of his gravestone as her travelling to Ghana to see it is not an option. When I have more information I will post it here.
     
  7. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Janet,

    You are in luck, here is a photograph of your Uncle's grave at Takoradi in Ghana. If you would like the full resolution photographs I can send them over to you by email.

    I will send you a pm via the forum.

    Steve


    Takoradi Cemetery .jpg Leslie Thomas Wright.jpg
     
  8. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    According to the HongKongWarDiary website, he was a Private in the 1st Battalion Middlesex Regiment.

    http://www.hongkongwardiary.com/searchgarrison/britishinfantry.html#_Toc113344290

    Scroll down the list of names and he's near the end of this list. There are lots of interesting things on this site and it's worth having a good look. Tony Banham who runs the site was a great help to me recently in helping to find out information and if you contact him, will try and assist you if possible.
     
    bamboo43 likes this.
  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I never thought about looking at Tony's website, thanks ramacal.
     
  10. JanetMarsh

    JanetMarsh Member

    Dear All, having found my Uncle Leslie on the Hong Kong War Diary website I see that he has the initials LM after his name and service number. Can anyone tell me what this might mean. I was wondering whether this is a reference to the Lisbon Maru?
     
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Any reason why he has a CWGC headstone and the WW2 casualties stopped in 1947?

    The 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment were in Hong Kong in 1941. No Queens Own Royal West Kents served in the far east. There's a nice account with a few maps and pictures in the Middlesex Regiment History by Kemp.
     
  12. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Hello Andy
    Army/Navy
    Post war grave outside CWGC plots
    marked under War Office or Admiralty arrangements
    details attached

    regards
    Clive
     

    Attached Files:

    Drew5233 likes this.
  13. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Janet,

    I would say that this was highly likely. However, I hope someone with more knowledge of this subject will rubber stamp that for you.

    Best wishes

    Steve
     
  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  15. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Hi Janet,

    Send a message to Tony Banham of HongKongWarDiary as I recommended. He put the information on the site and should be able to tell you what the LM relates to.

    I will send you a Private Message with his e-mail address.

    Regards

    Rob
     
  16. JanetMarsh

    JanetMarsh Member

    Dear All,

    Many thanks once again for all your helpful advice and suggestions. I have now viewed a great many extremely informative websites and am learning a huge amount. The tremendous work that so many people have done to piece together and bring to light the full story of the Japanese POWs is incredible.

    Tony Banham has indeed been most helpful and I now know for certain that my Uncle was indeed one of the survivors from the Lisbon Maru.

    I am still awaiting Leslie's service records and do not know as yet if he completed a liberation questionnaire. Hopefully, when I have these, I will be able to find out exactly which POW camp or camps he was interned at in Osaka and what work he undertook there. I am also keen to find out the name of the Australian hospital ship on which he returned to the UK.
     
  17. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Janet,

    I'm so sorry this has taken this long. This morning I was clearing some of my back log of things to do at the National Archives. One of these was photographing Leslie's POW questionnaire. Please see attached.

    Good to see he actually filled out a little bit more about his time as a POW than most men did. I will pm to alert you to the update on this thread.

    Best wishes

    Steve

    DSC09278 copy.JPG DSC09280 copy.JPG

    DSC09281.JPG DSC09282.JPG
     
    Guy Hudson and 4jonboy like this.
  18. JanetMarsh

    JanetMarsh Member

    Hello again bamboo43 and thank you so much for going to so much trouble in finding Uncle Leslie's liberation questionnaire! Wow! I'm so proud of him for engaging in all those acts of sabotage. Good for you Les! It would be interesting to know what the Japanese characters on the back of this form mean (under informations)?
    Uncle Leslie's service records did finally arrive but told us little about where he had been interned, only that he was a POW. I see there is no mention anywhere of Leslie being on the Lisbon Maru but all the evidence points to him having been on board. I listened to one of the archive recordings from a survivor held by the Imperial War Museum. It was truly harrowing.
    What we do now have are a few of his letters home and a final dinner menu from the ship on which he came home to Liverpool - the SS Empress of Australia. The menu was Giblet soup, followed by Roast Turkey with stuffing, vegetable marrow and Rissolee potatoes, followed by Compote of fruit with bread, butter, and tea. It is dated Thursday October 25th 1945.The back of the menu is signed by some of his mates/companions:- Jock Findlay(Good Luck), H(?) Hilkere(?) (best Regards), Mush Deakin, JJR Cooper or Jeep, Robert Mackey, Danny Black(Hope there's plenty more like this!), Butch Walker, J M Chrystal, H S Aruel(?) ??? Commander RN, Buick Poulter Cpl 1st Middx, Vice Admiral Fred J Lee. Perhaps other may recognise these names? Amongst other papers, I am now in possession of Leslie's welcome home certificate from the King, and a typed letter from the war office dated 29th September 1945 entitled 'Adjustment of Accounts' re army pay for POWs. When time permits I plan to make up a memorial book about Uncle Leslie's short life. Thank you once again for all your help in enabling me to piece his story together. I am immensely grateful.
     
  19. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Janet,

    Good to hear from you. I was surprised by the lack of information written in Japanese Kanji script on the reverse of Leslie's index card. I cannot translate this I'm afraid, but the first sentence contains the date 17/10/11. This equates to 11th October 1942, which of course is just 10 days after the sinking of the Lisbon Maru and only a few days after the survivors were mustered together.

    I have had good help from the website linked below in terms of translations:

    http://www.jref.com/forum/threads/need-a-word-or-phrase-translated.6407/

    Good luck.

    Steve
     
  20. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Janet,

    As promised, here are the two full images of the liberation questionnaire.

    Steve


    DSC09277 copy.JPG DSC09279 copy.JPG
     

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