Thomas William Bousfield
1917/09/29 - Born Durham
Son of L. and M. (Gray) Bousfield
1936/01/30 - Enlisted
7th Coast Regiment
Malayan Command Fortress
Slight wound in left leg
1942/02/17 - left Singapore in a small canoe for Sumatra with:-
Brigadier Watson, 7th Coast Regt. (PoW in Thailand)
Lance Bombardier Keats, 7th Coast Regt. (escaped to Australia)
Arrived Sumatra two weeks later
Helped by Chinese in hills, eating rice and coconuts
Netherlands Authorities informed the Japanese
1942/03/20 - Padang taken prisoner in hills near ‘Fort De Kok’
1942/05 - Padang, Sumatra
Commander Col. Warron, Royal Marines
Japanese Index Card - Side One
Japanese Index Card - Side Two
1942/05/09 - The British Sumatra Battalion was formed with 20 officers and 480 other ranks. The service personnel were mostly escapees and considered to be trouble makers.
Leaving Padang, Sumatra by train they travelled to Fort de Kok. The next day a convoy of lorries took them to Uni Kampong Camp, where Dutch civilians were interned.
1942/05/15 - They were packed into the hell ship England Maru bound for Mergui, Burma, to build new runways, the death rate at Mergui was twelve.
1942/08/10 - Another move on the hell ship Tatu Maru to Ann Hestletine Home at Tavoy, where the death rate fell to five.
1942/11/ - Transported to Thanbyuzayat Burma
New PoW No. IV 23048
Commander Brigadier Farley, A.I.F.
Worked on Burma end of Thailand-Burma Railway
1944/01/13 - Transported by train to Kanchanburi, Thailand
1944/03/23 - Marched to Tha Makhan, Camp - 300 Party
New PoW No. 3222
1945/09/01 - Liberated Thailand
Recommendations For Meritorious Service
Bousfield, T.W. 851940. Sgt. R.A.
From May 1943 to March 1944 Sgt. Bousfield acted as battalion Orderly Sgt. This work entailed parading all working parties, a most unpleasant task. These parties contained the minimum number of men required to satisfy the Japanese and so prevent them from turning the really sick out to work. Sgt. Bousfield did what was necessary with cheerfulness and tact despite opposition from some men who did not realise the true situation. He showed strength of character and carried out the responsibilities of his rank under most difficult conditions. It was part due to his work that the seriously sick enjoyed immunity from work.
1946/04/ - Married Jean Longbottom at Holy Trinity Parish Church ( now demolished) in Bingley, West Yorkshire.
1947/01/15 - Blessed with a son Malcolm Edward
1950/11/04 - Blessed with a daughter Margaret
‘The British Sumatra Battalion’ by A.A. Apthorpe
British Sumatra Battalion - http://www.roll-of-honour.org.uk/regiments/British_Sumatra_Battalion/
KEW:- WO 361/2172, WO 361/2171, WO 345/6, WO 361/1954, WO 361/1979, WO 361/2196, WO 392/23, WO 361/2168, WO 361/2165, WO 361/1987, WO 361/2184,