847494 John Wesley JACKS, 7 Coast Regiment RA : FEPOW

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Andrew Rowley, May 7, 2022.

  1. Andrew Rowley

    Andrew Rowley Member

    Hi I'm trying to find out some information on my grandfather John Wesley Jacks who was a POW in Thailand. I know his service no 847494 and he was in the 7 Coast Regiment. I know that you can apply for his service record, but they want his death certificate and after speaking to my mom she doesn't fell safe sending it it the post in case its lost. Is there any other sources that i could use. Sorry if this has been asked many times.

    Any help would be appreciated greatly, or a push in the right direction of where I could find the information myself.
  2. Richard Lewis

    Richard Lewis Member

    Hello Andrew,
    The MoD will accept a copy of the death certificate. That is what I sent last year for an army service record.
  3. Andrew Rowley

    Andrew Rowley Member

    thanks Richard I thought they needed the original document. Ill get a copy done and apply.
  4. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Here is John's entry on the RA Roll maintained by the BRE in Changi. It shows he was sent OVL (Overland) to Thailand on 12 Oct 42.
    John's Japanese Index Card:
    John's Liberation Questionnaire which he completed himself and shows the camps he was in on the Railway is here:
    Jacks, John W

    You should contact the very helpful TBRC (Thailand-Burma Railway Centre) who in all probability will have a data card on John.

    You will find this link helpful in understanding the camps on the Railway:
    Death Railway

    Whilst the Service Record will provide a lot of information there will be next to nothing about his time as a FEPOW.

    papiermache likes this.
  5. Andrew Rowley

    Andrew Rowley Member

    Thank you Tim that's very helpful. We never new much about his time in the Army until now. We didn't even know he enlisted in 1935. I will contact the TBRC as you say. I've sent the forms off for his service record already. My mom remembers him saying that he was on a ship that was bombed so there maybe some info on that in there.
    On behalf of me and my family I thank you one again.
  6. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Have you seen his RA Tracer Card?

    It shows him joining 7 Coast Regt on 18 Dec 41. Unfortunately the dates of joining the other Batteries have not been given but all will become clearer once you have the Service Record, which may be a long time coming. Just in case it rings any bells with the family, was John in France with the BEF?

    ozzy16 and papiermache like this.
  7. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

  8. Andrew Rowley

    Andrew Rowley Member

    No Tim I've never seen that before. We have no info of his time in the Army so not sure if he was in France. He died when my mom was very young and like many he never spoke about it.
    Thanks for the link David i will check that site out too.
  9. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    The regiment was redesignated as 7th Coast Regiment on 14 December 1940. It was captured
    by the Japanese on 15 February 1942.

    There are a small number of threads here on the HKSRA, which might help. For a short history of the HKSRA see: THE HONG KONG AND SINGAPORE BATTALION ROYAL ARTILLERY | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

    The organization of the Singapore Fortress: https://www.britishmilitaryhistory....es/124/2019/12/Singapore-Fortress-1941-42.pdf Which refers to the 7th Coastal as:
    papiermache likes this.
  10. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    There is a danger of confusion here. Without dates on the Tracer Card it is difficult to tell when John joined 8 HKSRA. He may have originally been with 7 Coast but by Mar 1941 (probably earlier) 8 HKSRA was part of 11 Coast Regiment. 11 Coast Regiment were in Penang manning two positions, 20 Battery at Batu Maung and 8 Battery at Cornwallis. On 17 Dec as the Japanese advanced they were ordered to destroy their guns and withdraw to Singapore. They reached Singapore on 18 Dec. From the Tracer Card it looks as though this is when John was allocated to 7 Coast Regt.

    Enigma1003 and ozzy16 like this.
  11. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Had a look on FMP at his casualty records.
    He is shown as missing 15/2/1942 with 11 coast regt.
    On the 12/10/1942 he is shown with 7 coast regt.
    Not now pow, 2/9/1945 he is shown with 11 coast regt.

    timuk and papiermache like this.
  12. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    According to his WO 356 card he was at Mergui ( JC/17 ) and Wampo ( JC/96 ), and swore an affidavit about Wampo. Mergui is not mentioned on his liberation questionnaire as displayed by COFEPOW. The London JAG files for Mergui and Wampo are not at Kew. The file for Tamuang is ( WO 311/547.) There is a file for Wampo at Australian Archives but it has not been digitised:
    Control symbol
    336/1/929 PART 14.

    I cannot see a reference to Wampo in WO 325 ( Singapore JAG files ). WO 325 is a series that is "accruing." ( JAG is short for Judge Advocate General. Their London office was in Spring Gardens, Westminster, just to the south of Trafalgar Square. )

    Jacks WO356:16-5.jpg
    Last edited: May 10, 2022
    ozzy16 and timuk like this.
  13. Andrew Rowley

    Andrew Rowley Member

    PoW Record Jacks[1298].jpg Thanks again everyone for helping me.
    I have contacted the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre and they have provided me with some more details. Confirming all the above info.
    This was taken form the email provided by Andrew at the TBRC
    On arrival in Thailand he was attached to Group 4 05 (D) Work Battalion working at Wang Pho then Tonchan South
    before becoming sick and transferred to Tha Sao Hospital in August 1943. From Tha Sao he was
    transferred to Tha Muang in June 1944 then to Nakhon Pathom in Late 1944
    where he remained until the end of the war.
    Last edited: May 10, 2022
    papiermache and timuk like this.
  14. Andrew Rowley

    Andrew Rowley Member

    paplemache, could you please explain to me what you picture shows you say he swore an affidavit about Wampo what would that be.
    Sorry for my ignorance.
  15. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    An affidavit is a sworn statement used in court proceedings. For the details of making a sworn statement see here:


    The photo is of card 5 in the box labelled WO356/16 held by the National Archives, or actually a photograph of the card which had been microfilmed.
    The Judge Advocate General's military department investigated war crimes after WW2.
    The card shows that the JAG read Gunner Jacks' "Q" Form which he completed post war, probably at the same time as completing his liberation questionnaire. The JAG gave this form their number of C167: see the top line.

    The National Archives do not have the file the affidavit should be on - Wampo, or JC/96..

    So we just have the card.

    Investigators wrote to Mr. Jacks ( now a civilian ) and found they were interested in the further details he gave, not about Mergui, but about Wampo.

    Investigators kept their correspondence in files and clerks went through the files and noted what steps had been taken on their card system. This was a very tedious process.

    My transcription of the card, with explanations, is: ( most of the cards were completed in 1946.)

    "JC/71 Letter sent to Records Re inf(ormation) & possible interview JC/17 24 Jan(uary 1946)

    Above now a civilian JC/17 11 Feb(ruary 1946)

    Letter written to JAG Shrewsbury enclosing Q form ( "s" appears to be crossed through )

    Copies of Affidavit to be fwded (forwarded) to this office with the return of the Q form. JC/17 13 Feb(ruary 1946)

    Reply recd. ( received ) 11 April (1946) JC/17 [ 1 E ]

    Statement recd. April 27th JC/96 [ 1F ]

    Covering letter JC/ 17 [ 1 E ]

    Affidavit 926A - JC/96

    Expenses fwded 1/23 ( 1 H ). May 25 ( 1946 ) ( Imprest o/c file ) "

    Where there are references to 1E, 1F, 1H these are to separate sections of the Judge Advocate General's office: these are the executives, ( not always officers, or investigators.) "Imprest o/c probably means "Imprest Office Copy": probably details of a postal order or money payment for someone's expenses.

    "Shrewsbury" refers to a small office of the Judge Advocate General's at that place.

    "926A" is the number given by London JAG to the affidavit. "A" is for Affidavit. Very often statements were prepared by civilian police officers, but not in this case. The JAG prepared over 2,400 affidavits relating to the Far East. They also dealt with German, Italian, Greek etc., etc., cases: they used the JC file identity system to help distinguish Far East cases from European cases..

    Where "minor" war crimes trials were held in Singapore about the railway there were live witnesses in many cases but the Rules of Procedure for Court-Martials as laid out under the Army Act 1881 were amended or relaxed to allow for witness statements to be read in court without the witness being present. Thus the defence lawyers could not cross-examine the witness.

    As for Wampo, a Dr. Pavillard gave evidence in person about Wampo and a long statement by him is on file WO 235/963 at the National Archives. He says that comparatively speaking it was not the worst camp. In this trial the Japanese colonel in charge of Group 4 ( Gunner Jacks was in group 4 ) was prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to death. Wampo could mean Wampo central, north or south. The TBRC know more: I've not been there.
    Last edited: May 11, 2022
    timuk likes this.
  16. Andrew Rowley

    Andrew Rowley Member

    Thank you paplermacho
  17. Andrew Rowley

    Andrew Rowley Member

    Just got my grandfather's service records only 7months wait, not that bad. I'm just going through it ,28 pages total with two pages redacted. I'm struggling to read the handwriting.

    Attached Files:

  18. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Can you post the B103, which you should have received with the documents - it will have more detail.

  19. Andrew Rowley

    Andrew Rowley Member

    Yes Tim
    I think this is the one.

    Attached Files:

  20. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Getting there. There should be another page. It will have the same info as your first attachment #17 but with more detail.


Share This Page