Understanding Casualty/ POW Lists: William Leonard Burrows, 77 HAA Regt RA

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Mavis Williams, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    Hi Everyone, I am researching a Soldier, who has the most documents I have seen for one soldier, bless him, and I am trying to understand a couple of him, also to find out what happened to him.
    Service Number 1721779
    Died 30/04/1944
    Aged 34
    240 Bty., 77 H.A.A. Regt. Royal Artillery

    Son of George and Elizabeth Burrows, of Sandycroft, Flintshire; husband of Muriel Burrows, of Sandycroft.

    It is the first one which I have attached that confuses me, as it look as though the date of departure is 11/9/18, and at first I thought it was William Leonard's d.o.b. but he was born in 1910. It has NIPPON written on so wondered if it was a Japanese Document and their time.
    It looks as though his Theatre of War was the Netherlands on the 2nd Attachment, but was buried in Yokohama. The 3rd Attachment shows OVS by the date 20/9/1943 - what does OVS mean please.
    I just want to tell his story, but with all the 14 documents, it is difficult for me, a novice to get a timeline and get his story right, I want to be correct if at all possible. Any help would be much appreciated. Kindest regards, Mavis Williams
  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Mavis,

    I think you have worked it out yourself really. The year is recorded from the Showa dynasty, that being the amount of year's since Hirohito's coronation. So 18 refers to the 18th year of his reign and equates to 1943. 19 is 1944, 20 is 1945 and so on.

    OVS stands for overseas, that being how a POW was transferred to a camp, either by sea (ship) or by land (train). Hope that all makes sense.
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  3. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    77th (Welsh) H.A.A. Regt. RA. (TA)
    The Regiment was formed on 1st November 1938 as the 82nd (Welsh) Field Brigade RA (TA).
    It was later converted to the 77th (Welsh) A.A. Brigade comprising 239,240 and 242 Batteries. On the 1st January 1939, the regt was redesignated the 77th (Welsh) H.A.A. regt. On the 1st June 1940, 241 Battery was added to the regt, which lost 242 Battery.

    Regimental Headquarters was located at the Drill Hall, Dumfries Place, Cardiff.
    On mobilisation the regt was dispersed in the Cardiff area where they provided the air defence for that City.

    During August 1941 the regt moved to the South coast where it was installed at Blandford Camp in Dorset. After a short stay at Headingly, Leeds, the Welsh Gunners moved in October 1941 to Cheshire where RHQ was located at Winsford with 239 Battery at the busy rail centre at Crew, 240 Battery to Harwarden, whilst 241 battery took the air defence of the Ordnance Depot at Donnington in Shropshire. The regt, now equipped with the 3.7 inch A.A. gun, received orders on 29th October 1941, to proceed to Glasgow to prepare for overseas service.

    On 7th December 1941, the 77th H.A.A. regt sailed from Gourock, Glasgow, with the 21st L.A.A. regt and the 48th L.A.A. regt for the Middle East. The unit still included many Welshmen.

    Burrows Gnr William Leonard (240 Bty) Chester. Died 30/4/1944 Fuokuoka. (taken from The Sparrows by Tony Paley)

    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  4. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    Thank you Bamboo43 and ozzy16, both have helped so much, and incidentally, it is the Hawarden War Memorial I am researching and where William Leonard is remembered ! Perhaps he was able to visit his family if he was at Hawarden. I am very grateful for your help, Kindest regards, Mavis
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  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: William Burrows
    Given Initials: W L
    Rank: Gunner
    Death Date: 30 Apr 1944
    Number: 1721779
    Birth Place: Chester
    Residence: Chester
    Branch at Enlistment: Royal Artillery
    Theatre of War: Malaya
    Regiment at Death: Royal Artillery
    Branch at Death: Royal Artillery

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
    Name: William Leonard Burrows
    Registration Year: 1910
    Registration Quarter: Apr-May-Jun
    Registration district: Hawarden
    Parishes for this Registration District: View Ecclesiastical Parishes associated with this Registration District
    Inferred County: Flintshire
    Volume: 11b
    Page: 217

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  6. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    Thank you TD, I have been thinking, I live near Hawarden and I have no idea where in the area the 240 Battery would have been stationed, I will have to check with Flintshire Record Office, there was an RAF and USAF camp in Sealand, but Army? Another mystery. Keeps the old brain cells going!!!!. Thanks again all. Regards, Mavis.
  7. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    To add to or corroborate the above:
    77th HAA diverted before arriving Singapore to Batavia, Java arriving 3/2/42
    Gnr Burrows captured Java 8/3/42.
    Transported Java to Singapore (Changi) in Java Party 16. Departs Java 11/9/43, arrives Singapore 14/9/43.
    Departs Singapore 22/9/43 on board the Seishin Maru arriving Moji, Japan 12/10/43.
    Transported to Fukuoka No 6 (Tanoura) Camp.
    Dies Fukuoka No 6 on 30/4/44. Cause of death: Pleurisy.

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  8. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much Tim, adding more to William Leonard's story. If I was his family, as with all the stories really, I would want to know as much as I can about my loved one, so I thank you all on their behalf, all of the WW2 talk forum members who help so unstintingly every time I ask a question.
  9. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Just for clarification. The reason that William Leonard Burrows is listed as buried (in fact it will be his ashes) at Yokohama War Cemetery is because this is where remains were concentrated from around camps all over Japan shortly after the end of the war.

  10. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that too Tim. I also noticed on one of the deocumentsa Rubber stamp that had the name "Bob Coles" and I thought that the date said 7 Aug 2007, Old War Office, Info-CMeRR9," or something like that and tried to google him to see if there is another bit or more of a story regarding the collections and recovery of all those men's remains. I couldn't find anything really, he may have been American, although it was in the Old War Office which was sold.. Just wondered if you knew about him and his work. Thanks so much again, Regards, Mavis

    Attached Files:

  11. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    In 2007 the Old War Office building was still being used by the Ministry of Defence. The 'Old War Office' on the stamp is merely the address of the unreadable Department. My guess is that this stamp refers to a review of the file before archiving. I don't think you will gain anything by following this up. I was interested to see the minute above the stamp "Death at No. 6 POW Camp (Tanoura)", which goes to confirm previous information.

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  12. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Burrows, William Leonard; #1721779, died 30 Apr 1944 of "right wet pleurisy"; 71st AA (L) 240 Btry
    Fukuoka Dispatch Camp #6 - Tanoura


    Mavis - if you or another member has FMP access they have a file that may be worth reading

    WO 361/1106 Japan; deaths at Prisoner of War Camps No 6 (Tanoura) and No 25 (Omuta)
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  13. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    71st AA(L) is an error for 77th HAA. TD thanks for the link to the Mansell site. I'd already looked at it but looked again and this time noticed that it contains a photo (not very good) of William Leonard Burrows.
    Mavis - See the note on TD's link regarding contacting grandson of another POW who died at Tanoura.

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  14. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    Thank you both for this extra information, You are amazing!!! I have found the Fukuoka Dispatch Camp #6 - Tanoura but cannot find the photograph, I will be adding all this to William's Leonard's story and will of course credit you all with your help. I am so glad when I started the WW2 Memorial stories that I found this Forum, you have all been such a great help, whenever and whatever I ask there is always a swift and good reply. Kindest regards, Mavis
  15. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Hi Mavis,
    There were many POW camps in and around Fukuoka.
    Camp number 14 at Fukuoka was situated in the grounds of the Mitsubushi iron works at Nagaski. This camp was only two miles from the centre of the Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki by the Americans 9th August 1945.

  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

  17. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    Thanks again for this extra information and the links to the photographs, stunning that these men would end up so ill and badly used by the Japanese. I am forever grateful for your help. Incidentally, I was talking to a lady historian from Sealand, just a little way from Hawarden, down the road, you could say, and I mentioned the 240 Battery, asking if there was n Army Camp, and she said they would have been required to protect the Sealand RAF Camp and, I am wondering, the John Summers & Son's Steelworks along the banks of the River Dee. Wouldn't need an Army Camp. Grateful thanks and regards, Mavis
  18. Mavis Williams

    Mavis Williams Well-Known Member

    Graham, Sorry to be a little late asking, but I assume the Camp was obliterated and all the Prisoners killed when the Atomic Bomb was dropped. How awful.
  19. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Hi Mavis,
    There were some POWs in the area of Nagasaki when the bomb dropped.In camp no 14 at Fukuoka Allied prisoners had been employed in breaking up metal for the furnaces, or cleaning out the cores of very large diesel engines at the Mitsubushi iron works.
    In August 1945 there were 24 Australians,11 british, and 160 Dutch working in the iron works.
    During the late morning of 9th August 1945 the men had returned from a working party who had been carrying out repairs to damaged buildings.The men were resting in their accommodation when there was a blinding flash. Four Dutch prisoners were killed in the initial blast,and 20 others received burns. Sgt Peter McGrath-Kerr of the 2/40th, and a veteran of Timor, was buried under the wreckage of the hut that he had been sheltering in. He was dug out by his mates,and was suffering from broken ribs,cuts and bruises,luckily he survived.

    Sgt Edward Sawyer of the 79th Battery was working in a ships hold in Hiroshima on that day.

    " I was in the hold of a merchant ship when a brilliant white light filled the dimly lit hold.It was followed by a shaking and rumbling noise.Then the sea pounded the ship,which was bounced around in the water.
    Then the sky turned grey and it became dark. An Australian voice said, " what was that"? Someone replied," could of been a bomb on the deck". Then we heard footsteps on the upper deck followed by a Japanese voice. " Terrible danger, fire many dead, wait"
    We stayed where we were told,we had no idea of the devastation above.

    (Taken from The Sparrows by Tony Paley) a great read.

    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
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  20. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

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