Sketch by Jack Chalker

Out of the Frying Pan

This story is not Public Domain. Permission must be obtained before any part of this story is copied or used.

Far Eastern Heroes



Thomas Taylor Morrison

Thomas Taylor Morrison-05

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire


Corporal Thomas Taylor Morrison

(Supplied and permission given by John Morrison)

Army life commenced for myself in early 1939 as a driver in the Territorial Army 528 Company Royal Army Service Corp (R.A.S.C.), 52 Lowland Division,Yorkhill Barracks, Glasgow.


At summer camp 1939, I was continuing my own trade as a Butcher. At the outbreak of war in the same year the company were moved to a distillery at Wishaw, and I continued Butchering.

We were then transferred to Aldershot, and in December of 1939 transferred on to France with the British Expedition Force(B.E.F).

We moved on to Belgium and then retreated to Dunkirk due to the German advancement. Some of the Lads in the Company were taken as Prisoners of War (PoW) by the Germans, but I managed to return back to the United Kingdom on 6th June, 1940. Between then and late 1941, I was stationed at many places in England before arriving at Kirkham in Lancashire with a large holding company. After many months as a driver, 1 eventually got what I wanted - back to my own trade as a Butcher. As a result of this I was transferred again to Rochdale, 77th Royal Army Service Corps and attached to 77th Heavy Ant-Aircraft Regiment, R.A.

Empress of australia-3

December 7th, 1941,we boarded the 'Empress of Australia" with tropical clothing kit, and believing we were heading for the Middle East.

Empress of Australia

Then came the bombing of Pearl Harbour, and we were re-routed to the Far East, travelling via Freetown, Cape Town, The Maldive Islands and into the port of Batavia, Java, this was early February of 1942.

On our arrival we were then stationed at "Cycle Camp", Batavia, (Jakarta). The 'Cycle Camp' belonged to the Dutch Troops - as this was the Dutch East Indies, the camp was known as such, due to the battalion riding bicycles. We moved on once again to Surabaya to discover it was being attacked by Japanese aircraft, and this was the first action that the 77th had seen. My job as a butcher, was to supply meat rations to our men at the gun sites. Tillijap was to be our next destination, and that was also being heavily bombed. I'm quite sure, that at this point, we were looking at some form of escape from the island, but all large ships had already sailed. Moving up to the hills was our only option to prevent capture by the Japanese, but on approximately 8th March, 1942, I was taken Prisoner of War at Bandoeng.

It was THEN I started to wonder would I have been better off with the Germans – “Hence 'Out of the frying pan - into the fire”.  NOW I know.

Next Chapter

Into the Fire


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:

and their story will live on.


[Out of the Frying Pan Into the Fire] [Into the Fire]



Visitor    Counter


Design by Ron Taylor

© Copyright RJT Internet Services 2003