Singapore Memorial (Addenda Panel - pending) - Special Operations Executive (2 names)

Discussion in 'War Grave Photographs' started by bucklt, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. bucklt

    bucklt Bucklt

    This post is very similar to to the one I shared with you last week (view here:Thailand Dec.1941 - British Special Forces). In it, and based on what little data we have, I mentioned 3 British Army Captains who were operating in enemy terrritory (Thailand) and were subsequently captured and executed by the Japanese on Dec.16th 1941.Their graves can be found in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand.

    This particular post concerns 2 men who would also appear to have been operating in a similar background and were captured and executed by the Japanese on Dec.10th 1941. The ONLY information (refer to 3 attached images - via CWGC database) we have about these 2 men is as follows:

    GEORGE POWELL - Volunteer - Special Operations Executive - died 10-12-1941 - Husband of Mrs G.Powell, Chatham, Kent
    WILLIAM E.J. BIRD - Volunteer - Special Operations Executive - died 10-12-1941

    I'm unable to determine if they were civilians or military or seconded to military etc.
    I'm unable to determine if they were operating within Thailand or Northern Malaysia at the time of their capture.
    Initially, they must have had graves....locations lost as the war progressed?

    As with the 3 men mentioned in my previous post, these 2 men are unique in the sense that they are the only members, from a list of 27 SOE Operatives, to be commemorated outside the UK. The remaining 25 members are commemorated on the Brookwood 1939-1945 Memorial.
    (link to CWGC list here: Results)

    Concerning both Powell and Bird, the CWGC confirm the following:

    This casualty has recently been accepted for commemoration by the Commission.
    However, it will not be possible to add his name to this Memorial immediately.
    Please contact the Commission before planning a visit, for more information.

    The Addenda Panel consists of the outer-facing wall on the extreme right-hand side of the Singapore Memorial and comprises columns 461-474. The last entry, on columns 465-466, was for Parsons W. (Sherwood Foresters).

    The early capture and execution of these 5 men (assuming their dates-of-death are correct) would indicate that the Japanese were extremely lucky in finding them OR had assistance from other sources? When I think along these lines, I'm reminded of Heenan and, accepting that the names of SOE operatives only entered the Public Domain in recent years, find it ironic that Heenan's name has been on this memorial since the 1950's whilst these 2 men still await their names to be added to it.


    Force 136 - Wikipedia
    List of SOE agents - Wikipedia
    NUS: Library: A Sense of History: Singapore, 1941-1945: The Military Campaign

    Further information concerning these 2 men appreciated - Thank You.

    Tony Buckley :poppy:
    2 soe agents - singapore memorial(names pending).jpg POWELL G..jpg BIRD W.E.J..jpg
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
    Recce_Mitch and CL1 like this.

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