Gunner Stanley Weston 797493 12BTY 6HAA

Discussion in 'Royal Artillery' started by Harrison, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. Harrison

    Harrison Junior Member

    Gents I am attempting to find out how my wifes Grandfather was captured and eventually died as a Japanese POW, his name is on the Singpore memorial in Chengi, we believe that he was involved in action in Borneo and then captured possibly at an action when acting as Infantry at an Airfield , if any of you have any information re him or his unit that could help us piece this missing element together we would be very grateful . Fantastic site for all things RA Thanks
     
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Welcome Harrison
    I wish you luck with your research.
    Regards
    Diane

    Always a good idea to link in the full CWGC details:
    :poppy: Gunner STANLEY WESTON 797493, 12 Bty., 6 H.A.A. Regt., Royal Artillery who died age 37 on 07 May 1945
    Son of Frederick and Gwendoline Weston; husband of Ellen May Weston, of Slough, Buckinghamshire.
    Remembered with honour SINGAPORE MEMORIAL
    Grave/Memorial Reference: Column 33.
    CWGC :: Casualty Details
     
  3. Harrison

    Harrison Junior Member

    Thank you for the tip I can see I am going to spend some quality time here also need to find out about PVT Alfred Brennan 10605 Gloucester Regiment DOD 20/08/1915 Gallipoli
     
  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    also need to find out about PVT Alfred Brennan 10605 Gloucester Regiment DOD 20/08/1915 Gallipoli

    Harrison, just to keep things tidy - when you are ready, start a thread about him in the PreWar forum
    http://www.ww2talk.com/forum/prewar/
     
  5. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Hi Harrison and welcome.

    I have e-mailed one of the Forum Members and asked him to logon and contact you. He has extensively researched 6 HAA Regiment and has a wealth of information on this unit. He is always pleased to talk to anyone with a connection.

    12 Battery was also with the BEF in France as well. Do you know if your wife's Grandfather was out there. I have copies of the war diary of this Battery if he was.

    Regards - Rob
     
  6. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    6 HAA Rgt was diverted from the Middle East to Singapore in late 1941. When convoy WS14 was diverted also to Singapore it was decided to move all remaining aircraft to Sumatra and Java to avoid air attacks. The convoy was then diverted again on the 30 Jan 42 to Batavia (Djakarta) taking with them 6 HAA less 3 Battery, which remained in Singapore.

    6 HAA was sent to Sumatra and by 3 Feb 42 they had 15 Bty (8 x 3.7 in guns) at P1 Airfield near Pangkalanbentang and 12 Bty (4 x 3.7 in guns) at P2 Airfield near Praboemoelih. Attacks on the airfields began on the 14 Feb and 12 HAA Bty and 78 LAA Bty were in action all day shooting down 16 enemy aircraft. They also defended the nearby oilfields from ground attack until some Dutch troops arrived.

    The situation at P1 became critical and the troops moved to Palembang still under attack by Jap paratroops. At last light they destroyed the remaining equipment and set out for P2. The Japs continued to press forward and the Dutch Commander, on hearing that Singapore had surrendered, decided to pull out on the 15th. The plan was to head south for Oosthaven and cross the Sunda Strait to Java.

    Several of the bridges on the route had roofs built over them and it was necessary to cut these off to allow the gun tractors to cross. Some bridges had already been blown resulting in some equipment having to be destroyed and long detours made. However most eventually arrived at Oosthaven.

    Only a few LAA guns made it to the harbour where they were then destroyed and 6 HAA, 78 LAA Bty and the remains of 89 LAA Bty crossed to Batavia without their guns and were organised to act as infantry but not having had any training to do so.

    6 HAA with the LAA men under command were sent to defend Tjililitan and the airfields near the north coast. The Jap invasion force headed for the islands and despite attempts by British, American, Australian and Dutch naval units to stop them (Battle of the Java Sea) they began landings on the night of 28 Feb/1 Mar. 2nd Jap Division landed at Merak and Bantam Bay and by 0800 hrs on the 1st 230 Rgt was at Soebang and heading for the airfields.

    The airfield at Kalidjati was captured after a bloody fight and by 1230 hrs the garrison was wiped out. Fighting continued and on the 4th a move was made to Bandoeng where A Troop of 12 Bty was overwhelmed losing both their Bty Commander and the CO. The few who remained then moved to Garoet in central Java to await further orders.

    The remaining British troops were formed in to Blackforce. They took on the Japs at Leuwiliang on 2 March holding them all day and night. On the 3rd with the help of the US field artillery they again stopped them from crossing the river. They then joined the garrison of Batavia at Bandoeng. Bercause of the number of refugees in the town the Dutch thought it would be impossible to hold the town so the British moved into the surrounding hills.

    The Dutch commander surrendered on the 7th and although the British commanders wanted to fight on it was realised that with little food, ammo and medical supplies it would be hopeless. So on the 8th all British, Australian and American troops were ordered to lay down their arms.

    Gnr Weston would have been captured somewhere among all that action. If you are right about it being at an airfield then the fighting around Kalidjati is the most likely. Hope this helps.
     
  7. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

  8. Harrison

    Harrison Junior Member

    Hi Harrison and welcome.

    I have e-mailed one of the Forum Members and asked him to logon and contact you. He has extensively researched 6 HAA Regiment and has a wealth of information on this unit. He is always pleased to talk to anyone with a connection.

    12 Battery was also with the BEF in France as well. Do you know if your wife's Grandfather was out there. I have copies of the war diary of this Battery if he was.

    Regards - Rob

    Rob thanks for the response we think he was with the BEF in France by his age alone but thnaks for all the help so far . I have posted re Kranji photos
     
  9. Harrison

    Harrison Junior Member

    Drek , Rob , thankyou for all the help so far been great , feel like we may be getting somewhere regards
     
  10. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

  11. Patwalker

    Patwalker Junior Member

    Dear Harrison,
    Ramacal pointed me to your post because he knows of my interest in anyone from this Regt and we are working together on their story.
    I have been researching for 2 years on this forgotten unit and there is very little around since they lost much at Dunkirk and all after capture in the far east. If you use WW2 Talk site and type into the previous posts I have got under the heading `Penn Common HAA gunners.` you will find a lot of details. I have looked up your relative and he died on 7/May/1945 and this gives a bit of a clue. so close to the end of the war. After 12 Bty landed in France they travelled around and ended up in several places but were all evacuated in May/June 1940 at La Panne north of Dunkirk. They were used in the defence of Southampton and then moved to help the defence of London during the Blitz. After the Coventry raid they were moved to the Midlands and spent a year on multiple sites. I live to the west of wolverhampton and my initial searches were to try and identify the Battery that was on the Common near my present house. it took me 6 months just to get their I/D as 6 Regt. and the fact that the batteries rotated every so often and were 3rd,12th and 15th of 6 Regt. HAA. They were detailed off for Iraq at the end of 1941 but were diverted to Singapore just in time to be captured. (3 Bty first in Feb 1942 ) 12 and 15 bty went first to Sumatra and then Java. In Sumatra they were involved defending P1 airfield and two oil refineries. Attacked by Jap paratroops they got out from there to Java but without their guns which had to be destroyed. They then acted as infantry round two airfields one at kalidjati where 12 Bty lost many men. By Mar 8/9th 1942 they were all in the bag. Survivors were rounded up and imprisoned in local POW camps. Your man may have been captured in Sumatra or Java, records are virtually non existant. However some of those who survived were sent to Sandakan in the East of Borneo to build an airstrip which took over a year. Conditions were as usual horrendous, starvation rations and over work and hundreds died. When the US bombed the airfield later in the war many men were moved inland towards Jessleton. These were the infamous Sandakan marches and hundreds died from exhaustion or were murdered.
    I have your relative down as one of those who died at Sandakan. From the date of death, if it is accurate, he most likely survived the airfield but died on the marches out. The Japs could see the war was lost by Mar 1945 and decided to move everyone away from possible capture by US or Allied forces. Sadly of the 2700 men who originally were sent there to work including many Australians only six men survived, all Australians who managed to escape early on.
    The fact that your relative is noted on the memorial at Changi suggests his grave site is not known like the many hundreds of others.
    Since information from relatives of those who died is very hard to come by, I am most interested in anything you can tell me of your relative which I would hope to include in my book for publication.
    Details of where he joind up, previous occupation before 1939, anything about his service history,married, anecdotes etc anything that could be woven into the facts that I already have. Even a picture of him in uniform since these are extremely rare with this regt. I have accumulated the names of 471 men from the Regt who died and another 220 who survived capture. Some can be woven in knowing the facts about them. Anything is of great interest even if it seems to you rather mundane. I must admit his name has not come up in any of my researches but very few of the others have either. Sadly just as a casualty.
    Whatever else he was one of an extremely brave set of soldiers who were subjected to the most inhuman of treatment and the fact he survived for so long is a testament to his resilience.
    I can be reached on Patwalker37srpen@aol.com and I await anything you may be able to tell me and hopefully answer any questions you may have.
    Patrick Walker
     
  12. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    As promised, a photo of S Weston's name on the Singapore Memorial kindly supplied by Bucklt.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Patrick,

    Thanks for your kind words about working together on the 6 HAA story. All I have done is check some casualty details for you. The hard work and research is all credit to you.

    Regards - Rob
     
  14. Harrison

    Harrison Junior Member

    Pat and Ramacal thank both very much and of course BuckLt for all the info supplied thus far , Pat I have sent you an e mail with regard to your enquiry about further information , once again thank you and regards
     
  15. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    He is recorded in the Fepow Db as captured 8th March 1942


    Surname: WESTON
    First Name(s): Stanley
    Rank: Gnr.
    Service No: 797493
    Service: A
    Date of Capture: 08/03/1942
     
  16. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Appreciate this thread is old,
    I came across an image which might be useful here.In January 1942, RHQ, 12 and 15 HAA Batterys moved to Sumatra where they took part in the defence of P1 airfield at Palembang already mentioned above.
    Graham. 15haa.jpg
     
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  17. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    According to '6th Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment' by Pat Walker P1 Aerodrome was defended by 15th Battery whilst 12th Battery was split between P2 and the oil refineries.
    Gunner Stanley Weston was later captured in Java and was transported in Java Party 2 on 22/09/42 to Singapore, arriving on 26/09/42. He left Changi, Singapore on 9/10/42 in the Hiteru Maru on 9/10/42 for Borneo. Died 7/4/45 at Sandakan.
    We Database
    Of the 641 British and 1787 Australian Prisoners of War at Sandakan only 6 Australians survived.
    Sandakan
    Report of the Investigation into Sandakan is here:
    Part Two

    Tim
     
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  18. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Hi Tim,
    Have a look at this page. I'm not saying it's the correct version, but interesting all the same.
    Graham. 6haa.jpg
     
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  19. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Hi Graham,
    Noted but I think I would go with Pat Walker's information as he carried out much more detailed research on 6th HAA than the above abbreviated version. My interest is with the 35th LAA part of which were attached to 6th HAA at this time. All very difficult as the 35th's War Diary ends 31 Jan 42.

    Tim
     
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  20. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    Cheers Tim,

    I will have a look among'st the dust and cobwebs see if I can find anything on 35th LAA and come back to you.

    Graham.
     
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