Sketch by Jack Chalker

Far Eastern Heroes

To the many who have researched the men and women who fought in the Far East, they hold our utmost respect.

They fought an enemy who were not only trained for jungle warfare but who were also better equipped.

Their battle carried on into captivity, a battle to survive, many did not make it, the odds were stacked too high against them.

After three and a half years in Japanese hands, the ones left, still fought on, the battle would last their lifetime and hopefully end, the day they meet their maker.

These pages are dedicated to these men and women, all are heroes, Far Eastern Heroes.

One will never know the price they paid

Suffering themselves, a sacrifice they made,

When all was lost, didn't give in

Often lost hope and couldn't win,

They gave of themselves, desperate to survive

A frantic effort to keep their mates alive,

What finer glory could they achieve?

Their courage against adversity we must honour and believe,

What faith in those, for those that despaired

The gentle strength of those who cared,

Love has no equal one man for another

They are entwined brother for brother.

Win Rainer - A Fepow’s Wife

 

 

    2nd Lt Robert Hartley, my uncle, who was killed in action against the Japanese in Malaya on 10 January 1942 at the age of 30. I supplied all the information known to our family. 2nd Lt. Robert Hartley

    2nd Lt Robert Hartley was killed in action against the Japanese in Malaya on 10th January 1942 at the age of 30. Article by  J.M. Ramsden.

 

    15th February 15th February

    To Billy ‘Bigsy’ Biggs the 15th February is a date he holds in memory, having been shipped to Singapore with the 18th Division, later working on the Thailand-Burma railway.

 

    196 Field Ambulance 196 Field Ambulance by Clayton Ford

    On 1st December 1939, the 161 (East Anglian) Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps - Territorial Army, formed a training cadre for a new duplicate unit  -The 196 Field Ambulance of the Royal Army Medical Corps.

 

    A Letter To My Grandson A Letter To My Grandson by Willen Wanrooy

    My hellship journey began at Jakarta on September 15,1944.1 was 19 years old then. The day we all had been dreading for months, the day 2,400 of us would be riding on a prison ship, filled me with apprehension. Two long lines of men slowly moved up two gangways to an old, rusty freighter, the Junyo Maru..

 

     Alberts War

    This is the story of Albert Morrell`s war.  Albert sailed with the 18th Division to India then on to Singapore. Albert left Singapore with the West Point as he was in the Army Medical Corps, later to be seriously injured. This story describes in detail the journey to Singapore and the landing at Keppell Harbour.

 

    Alistair Urquhart Alistair Urquhart

    65 years after being taken prisoner by the Japanese, a veteran is remembered.

 

     Alf King

    After the sinking of HMS Exeter Alf was transferred from an oil tanker to Dutch hospital ship, “Up ten Noort”, which had been shelled and taken over by the Japanese,  all the doctors and nurses having been taken prisoner, and were to remain so right through the war. Alf’s story covers Makassar in the Celebes, then Japan.

 

    And To Think I Volunteered And To Think I Volunteered

    This was a very hectic day for us, we moved to the other side of the island, to what was in peacetime the Naval Base, and the first thing to catch our eyes was a dummy Anti-aircraft gun in a sand bagged gun pit. Not a very auspicious beginning. A party went back to the Wakefield to collect our baggage, and returned with the news that she had been bombed. Having one bomb down her Hold killing 5 American sailors. The story covers Changi and the Thailand-Burma railway.

 

    Arthur Scarf VC Arthur Scarf VC

    There is not much written about Arthur Stewart King Scarf, to me he seems to be a quiet hero. This page is in tribute to him. The story covers the defence of Northern Malaya.

 

    Arthur Stock Arthur Stock by Jan Krancher

    Arthur Stock was born on March 13, 1922, in England where he attended school. At 15 he joined the Royal Air Force, and after assignment in the U.K. he found himself on the way to Southeast Asia. He survived the war years as a POW after being captured in Java.

 

    A Borneo Story Baldwin - A Borneo Story

    A story of faith and endurance of those imprisoned who believed they would be rescued of those who fought to rescue them believing they must not fail of those who waited and prayed hoping their loved ones would return. Story covers civilian life in Borneo.

 

     Bill Young Bill Young

    A survivor of Sandakan, he survived the Death Marches where almost 2,500 of his fellow POWs died.

 

    Corporal William Rafter Corporal William Rafter by Michael Nellis

    Bill (Corporal William Rafter) was captured in Java and transported to a camp at Nagasaki where he was when the ‘A’ bomb destroyed the city.

 

    Constructing a Radio Constructing a Radio

    A 1995 transcript of a recording made by Lieutenant Colonel R G Wells, on the construction of radio equipment in a Japanese Prisoner of War camp.

 

    Courage in the Cause of Freedom Courage in the Cause of Freedom by Bryan Paul Lai

    Peter Raymond Lai Kui Fook was awarded the King’s Medal of Courage in the Cause of Freedom by helping relieve the prisoners torment at Sandakan.

 

    Deryck and Gladys Le Mare Deryck and Gladys Le Mare

    Their Journey from Singapore February 1942: his journey to captivity in Japan and hers to Glasgow

 

    Dick Swarbrick’s War Dick Swarbrick’s War

    The life of an agricultural labourer was not one that held any long-term appeal for him. Consequently, after some seven years, Dick left the land and enlisted in The Loyals on 24th July of 1937. He found himself in Singapore when the Japanese invaded. The story covers Singapore and Korean pow camps

 

    DataIcon05 Experiences of Cecil Saunders

    As a German and Japanese civilian prisoner of  war, captured by a German raider while being transported on the SS Nankin, synopsis by Tim Fogarty.

 

    F-Death Force ‘F’ - Death Force

    This is the tale of Bob Peacock, an Australian who was brought up during the depression and had to leave home at an early age to rough it in a man‘s world. After capture at Singapore he found himself off to Thailand with ‘F’ Force.

 

    Frederick Ernest Wiles Frederick Ernest Wiles

    In World War two Frederick Ernest Wiles, was serving in the Beds & Herts regiment when he was captured at the fall of Singapore in 1942. A prisoner of the Japanese, he worked on the Thailand-Burma railway where the chances of survival were very poor. Then transported on the Rakuyo Maru , destination Japan.

 

     Freedom Loosens the Memory

    This little story arrived at my office about five years ago, whoever sent it did not put his name or address to it. there was a note asking me to publish it in the NESA news, but it was too large for the paper. Maybe the man is still alive and wondering what happened to his manuscript. Maybe one of the members might recognise it. The story covers Tandjong Priok, Java and  Honshu, Japan.

 

    Freeing the Demons Freeing the Demons compiled by Mike Nellis

    A remarkable story, taken from records and cuttings kept by Alfred Edward ‘Pop’ Nellis. It follows his capture and transportation by cattle truck to work on the Thailand-Burma Death Railway. With maps and illustrations, it is a must read..

 

    Arthur John Stagles Good and Bad Times by Arthur Stagles

    When the war broke out in 1939 Jim Quadling and myself were working on a friends new house in Westfield Road, Dereham. We were building a gable wall and, on hearing that Britain was at war with Germany, Jim and I wrote our names on the back of a brick and layed it in the wall. Off home to get cleaned up and then up to the Drill Hall in Norwich Road, Dereham. If I remember correctly we were told to bugger off home and come back tomorrow! That was the start of a period in my life that was, in the earlier years, a unique experience learning to live a completely different lifestyle. The story covers the 5th Royal Norfolk’s and the Thailand to Burma Death Railway

 

    Gunner Ratcliffe Gunner Ratcliffe by Michael Nellis

    Dennis was a gunner with the 5th Field Artillery, fighting down Malaya, was captured at Singapore. As a prisoner he was transported to Taiwan to work in the infamous Kinkaseki copper mines

 

    Harry's War Harry’s War by Sgt. Harry Walton

    Harry’s War is the story of Harry’s time in service during World War II from October 1939 to November 1945, from the quiet Pill Boxes on the North Norfolk Coast to the Hellfire Pass in the depths of the Burmese jungle. The story is written in Harry’s own words with the factual text added from various other sources.

 

     Hell in Five by Jack Symon

    This is a remarkable story. Many of us who are old enough to remember the 1940´s, and who spent the last war in this country, in Europe or in North Africa, may think that all those years ago we had a rough time, but our discomforts were absolutely nothing compared with the almost unbelievable conditions in which those who were unlucky enough to be captured in the Far East lived, and many died. Sory covers Changi, the Thailand-Burma railway and Japan.

 

    Hell Ship Hell Ship - Singapore Maru by A.G. James

    George was born in Knightsbridge in 1915, nearly thirty year on he was on his way to Japan, as a prisoner of war on the Singapore Maru.

 

    How I Lost My Best Friend How I lost My Best Friend by Elizabeth van Kampen

    This is a heart rending story of a young family caught up in the war in Java.

 

    Jack Hart Jack Hart by Michael Nellis

    Corporal Joseph (Jack) Hart worked on the Thailand-Burma Railway.

 

    James McHarg Miller James McHarg Miller

    This is the story of James McHarg Miller from Glasgow of the 2nd Battalion Royal Scotts, army number 305 45 38, he was stationed in Hong Kong when the Japanese invaded. He suvived the Lisbon Maru sinking and was sent to Notogawa in Japan

 

    John MacMillan's Diary John ‘Johnnie’ MacMillan’s Diary

    John survived the sinking of the Prince of Wales, only to be captured off Banka Island, trying to flee the Japanese. He survived captivity in Palembang, Sumatra and later Changi, before returning to Tarbert, where he lived with his wife and two daughters.

 

    Keeping the Faith Keeping the Faith - ‘The Bishop’

    John Leonard Wilson was moved to Singapore as bishop. He was arrested on the 10th October 1943 as part of the ‘Double Tenth’ and taken to Changi Prison where he was tortured by the Kampetai.

 

    Life of Riley Life of Riley by Ted Marriott

    Dennis Riley, a veteran POW of Batu Lintang. Dennis now 89 years old, related all his experiences to me from memory over a three month period. I believe this is the nearest I will ever get to finding out what happened to my dad. Although in the same outfit, they were not to meet 'till they were in Batu Lintang. Hopefully ,someone reading this may be able to fill in some missing details, or get in touch with me.

 

    Love Sprang From Batu Lintang Love Sprang From Batu Lintang by Carole Burnett

    Interned in Batu Lintang love is born out of the Japanese POW camp.

 

    Memoirs of Douglas Morris Memoirs of Douglas Morris by Douglas E D Morris

    I have decided I must answer the pressure from a number of relatives and good friends to put on paper a little of our life story. This I will try to do with all humility but it is the wonderful story of the life and accomplishments of Joan Richardson, the girl who in March 1940 came out to Malaya to marry me and was my beloved wife for 62 years and in spite of many hazards, wonderfully happy before being called to her eternal rest in October 2001 at the splendid age of 92. Thailand-Burma Railway.

 

    Memoirs of Reg Bulled Memoirs of Reg Bulled by Reginald Charles Bulled

    A Group of about twenty men, they have to be men - they live breath and function as men; after all they are not quite animals, are sitting and talking about the last 3.5 year they had survived as slaves of the Japanese Army. Changi, Thailand-Burma Railway.

 

    Mister Sam Mister Sam by Ray Watson

    A professional footballer playing for Middlesbrough and Watford and also an army nurse – Sam survived the Japanese prison camps long enough to see the Setting of the Rising Sun. Changi, Selerang.

 

    My Dad and Me My Dad and Me by John Parkinson

    My father, Philip was transported with the Loyals to Singapore but escaped to Sumatra and then on to India, where he fought in Burma. I have included a good background of our family history.

 

    Private 5776807 Private 5776807

    The following chapters are taken from a diary and letters of a young man in his late teens and early twenties. When writing down his thoughts he didn't think them to be spectacular, but from the time he went to fight for his country his life changed and it will take longer then his lifetime for the memories to fade. POW on the Thailand-Burma railway.

 

    Norman Norman Riddel by Capt. Jim Blackburn, EAL, Ret.

    It was in early winter of 1983 when I first met Norman Riddell. In our earlier flying days, we had both been bomber and transport pilots, and the great fraternity of aviation, with its many shared experiences, provided us with topics of discussion to last a lifetime. Let me tell you a bit about the life of this great man.

 

    Reg Rainer Returns Reg Rainer Returns

    A visit back to the Death Railway in Thailand with Reg and some of his wife’s poems. The Far Eastern Heroes poem above specially written.

 

    Reverend John Thirwell Wanless Reverend John Thirwell Wanless

    Evacuated from Singapore as it fell, Reverend John Thirwell Wanless was taken prisoner at Tasik Malaje, Java on 8th March 1942. Transferred to Jesselton in North Borneo and then on to Sandakan, he died on 30th June 1945 of starvation, sickness and savage treatment in Jungle camp no 2, at Ranau, Sabah (then British North Borneo) East Malaysia.

 

    Secret radios Secret Radios by J.K. Gale

    From the Diary Of J.K.Gale, S.S.V.F., who was at Wampo with Alfred Edward Nellis (Freeing the Demons), comes the following information about Radios

 

    Signalman Wagner Signalman Wagner supplied by Ann and Jesse

    A  newspaper article published in 1946 by the Foxton paper, on prison life in Macassar as experienced by Signalman R.J. Wagner.

 

    Standing on My Grandfathers Shoulders Standing on My Grandfathers Shoulders by Andrew Finn

    Isaac Newton said ‘If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ I have got further in life by Standing on the shoulders of my Grandfather, Nevil C.C.Benham. (1918-1999)

 

     Sukoshi Matte - A Short Wait

    George Idlett, known to his friends  as ‘Doug’, was a member of the American Forces captured in the Philippines. His identification number at the Niigata ( Camp was 497). He now resides in Virginia, USA.

 

    DataIcon13 The Dairy of James O’Toole Transcribt by Mike Peaker

    Staff Sergeant James O'Toole found himself thrown into action when the Japanese attacked Hong Kong on December 8th 1941. He was later to find how the Japanese treated their prisoners when the British Colony fell on Christmas day of the same year.

 

    The Rising Sun On My Back The Rising Sun On My Back

    This book is an autobiography of Ernest S. Benford’s life during World War II, 1939 - 1945, in which he and his dad, were prisoners of the Japanese Imperial Army. His dad died at Kanchanaburi Hospital during captivity. Sadly, Ernest, did not live to see his autobiography printed, he died in 1984. The story covers Changi, Thailand-Burma railway, Fukuoka and Nagasaki.

 

    DataIcon11 The White Flag By Tommy Thompson

    Born in old Killingworth village on the 12th September 1918, Tommy worked as a Joiner before joining the army in 1939 when he was still only 20. This is his story of the time he spent as a Japanese POW for three and half years between 1942 and 1945, and for a large part, working on the infamous Burma Thailand ‘Death’ Railway.

 

    The Will to Live The Will to Live

    John Emmett, a Scotsman by birth and inclination joined the Gordon Highlanders in 1935, just four years before the war, which was to involve most of the known world, began to erupt. He no doubt signed on  for nine years, not the “Duration of Hostilities which became the norm as soon as conscription was authorised by Parliament. As a regular soldier he became one of the core around which the British Army of volunteers and conscripts was created. His story is centred on Formosa.

 

    Where Are All The Madmen Where Are All The Madmen

    Full length book by Arthur Lane based on the battle for Malaya and Singapore

 

    William Stobbs Kirsop William Stobbs Kirsop

    Because of a request from my daughter, and a little gentle nudging from my wife, Ive been asked to record the happenings of my life as a POW under the Japanese. Worked on the Thailand-Burma Railway also the Mergui Road, the escape route for the Japanese Army from Burma.

 

    WX6865 8th Division AIF WX6865 8th Division AIF

    Cecil ‘Don’ Cooper joined the AIF 8th Division and was shipped to Singapore in February 1941, captured he worked and died on the Thailand-Burma Railway.

 

    http://www.far-eastern-heroes.org.uk/Your_Gods_Stronger_Than_Ours/ Your Gods Are Stronger Than Ours

    Pte. Frank Percival, R.A.S.C. wrote a vivid story for the Willesden Chronicle in  November 1945 of his experiences as a prisoner in the hands of the Japanese since February, 1942. He was on the Thailand-Burma Railway

 

 

Sharing information with others is rewarding in itself, the pieces from the jigsaw begin to fit together and a picture begins to appear. Improve your knowledge and help make the Fepow Story an everlasting memorial to their memory.

Any material  to add to the Fepow Story please send to:

Ron.Taylor@fepow-community.org.uk

and their story will live on.

 

Subscribe to Fepow-Community
Powered by groups.yahoo.com
 

 

[Far Eastern Heroes]

 

Search for
This Site
The Web
Get a Free Search Engine for Your Web Site
 

 

 

Far Eastern Heroes

Compiled by

 

 

Ron Taylor -

Ron.Taylor@far-eastern-heroes.org.uk

 

Design by Ron Taylor

© Copyright RJT Internet Services 2003