To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”




Frederick Henry Hewerdine


1917/06/06 - Born Wisbech

Occupation Labourer

Cambridgeshire Regiment

2nd Battalion



Fred was the company boxing champion.


1941/10/30 - Transported in Sobieski in Convoy CT.5 to Halifax

USS Mount Vernon-2

1941/11/08 - Reached Halifax and transferred to USS Mount Vernon

1941/11/10 - Sail in Convoy William Sail 12X

1941/12/08 - Japan entered war by Invading Malaya and pearl Harbour

1941/12/14 - Left Cape Town for Kenya

1941/12/21 - Arrived Mouth of Duruma River, Kenya

1941/12/29 - Mount Vernon joined Convoy DM1 left Kenya and sailed for Singapore

1941/01/13 - Reached Singapore

The 2nd Cambridgeshire Battalion was attached to the 15th Indian Brigade and sent to Batu Pahat, Malaya to relieve the British Battalion. Full report here .

Retreated back to Singapore, full report here .

1942/02/15 - Singapore surrendered but Fred escaped to Sumatra

1942/03/17 - Captured Sumatra


Japanese PoW

Was placed in the British Sumatra Battalion, these were what the Japanese thought were troublemakers.

The British Sumatra Battalion was formed on the 9th May 1942 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. On the 15th May they were packed into the hell ship England Maru bound for Mergui, Burma, to build new runways, the death rate at Mergui was twelve.

The 10th of August saw another move on the hell ship Tatu Maru to Ann Hestletine Home at Tavoy, where the death rate fell to five.

The next move to Thanbyuzayat in November was the start of a hard toil on the Thailand to Burma railway.

PoW Number 3526

As a medic Fred was nicknamed the 'mud doctor of Burma' on account of his many remedies in treating tropical ulcers and the like. 

Japanese PoW Card - Side One


Japanese PoW Card - Side Two


New PoW Number 42199

As a medic Fred worked with Australian military doctor Sir Weary Dunlop

The British Sumatra Battalion helped form the 51 Kumi Party  bound for Saigon, French Indo China.

With 3 Group Saigon

1945/09/12 - Liberated


Post War

Moved to Australia, with Weary's help in the 1950s.

He was heavily involved in the RSL in Bairnsdale Victoria in his later years.

His wife Lucy passed away in late 1979.





Loved Ones

Fred and Lucy are survived by three sons




Convoy William Sail 12X

‘British Sumatra Battalion’ book by AA Apthorpe

Hell Ships

Jan Hewerdine - Grandson of Fred

Kew:- WO 361/2171, WO 361/2022, WO 345/24, WO 361/2001, WO 361/2177, WO 361/2168, WO 361/2060, WO 361/1987


''Our Thanks are for being a Chapter in Life.''




Keeping The Candle Burning


Fepow Family

In Memory of FEPOW Family Loved Ones
Designed and Maintained by Ron Taylor.


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