Sketch by Jack Chalker

Far Eastern Heroes

All the stories within the Far Eastern Heroes are owned by the writer, supplier of the story or the FEPOW Family and are not ‘Public Domain’.

Permission must be obtained before any part of these stories are copied or used.

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.


‘Walk Into a Story’ by using Search below to display a ‘Topic’



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2nd Lt. Robert Hartley

Article by  J.M. Ramsden

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


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

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

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

By Albert Morrell

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.



Alexander John James

With kind permission of Ian and Lynda

This is a verbatim copy of the record kept by me of events that happened between the time I left India (January 1942) and the end of the war when liberated at Korea.



Alf King

By 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.



Alistair Urquhart

65 years after being taken prisoner by the Japanese, a veteran is remembered. On the Thailand-Burma Railway and then sunk in the Kachidoki Maru on the way to Japan



And To Think I Volunteered

By Harry Thorpe

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

By Ron Taylor

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

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.



Ashley George Prime

Compiled by Ashley Prime Jnr

The information was compiled by son Ashley from letters sent to him by his father 1981/82. Ashley Snr. was Royal Signals, based at Singapore Fortress. Transported to Thailand then onto Nagoya 4B, Japan. Follows his homeward journey.



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.



Battle for Hong Kong

Talk by Douglas Bertram and Brigadier Cecil Templer

This talk for the West of England Medal Club in 1985 was transcribed by Andrew Templer from a Newsletter. It follows the Battle for Hong Kong



Berts Memories

Compiled by Diana Newson as told by Bert

After leaving my job as a boat builder and signing up, I found myself being Transported from Liverpool with the 18th Division to Singapore. Carrying troops and supplies to reinforce the defence of Singapore. I was travelling on the S.S. Empress of Asia.



Betrayal of the 18th

In the late October of 1941 men of the 1/5th Battalion the Sherwood Foresters sailed from Liverpool aboard a converted P&O liner in Convoy William Sail 12X, for an unknown destination, eventually Singapore. The loss of Singapore was later to be described by Churchill as ``The greatest disaster and capitulation in British history." He neglected to mention however the betrayal of a Division, the British 18th Division.



Bill Young

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



Biscuits and Nightmares

By James McNeil from Peter Ross’s diary

Taken from the diary of Peter Ross and rewritten by his grandson James McNeil. Peter was in Singapore and Japan



Brothers in Arms

By Maurice Rooney and compiled by Ron Taylor

Maurice and his brother Leslie enlisted on the same day in the Royal Engineers. Leslie was transported to the Thailand - Burma Railway and Maurice to Taiwan to work in the Kinkasaki copper mine.



Changi Ashes

Interview by Cyril Bix

My thanks to Ian Bix for supplying the information on his father Cyril's game of Test Cricket at Changi against the Australians, not a well known three-match Ashes series but one to remember.



Charles Robert Samuel

By David Lewis

The Diary contains a fascinating eye witness account of the above events and of the fate of Penang and deserves to be better known by those who are interested in this period of history. Also the SS Kuala and SS Tanjong Pinang.


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Ron Taylor is an Honorary Life Member of COFEPOW

(For starting the COFEPOW Website in 1998)



Far Eastern Heroes

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