William James Alexander Seaton
East Surrey Regiment
The 2nd Battalion, East Surrey Regiment fought in Malaya against the Japanese invasion force which landed at Singora and Patani in Thailand and Kota Bharu in Malaya.
During the retreat defences were set up at Gurun, these were occupied by 28 Indian Brigade with the East Surrey Regiment holding positions just behind the front line. On the night of 14th December 1941 the Japanese attacked the Indian Brigade, driving a gap through the Punjabi lines they reached the East Surrey Regiment Head Quarters. There they killed the officers and staff of the East Surrey H.Q., the only one to escape was the Brigadier himself. Throughout the 15th December the East Surreys fought bravely, holding the Japanese attack and later in the day helped cover the withdrawal from Gurun.
The losses at Gurun were so large that the 2nd Battalion East Surrey Regiment and 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment were amalgamated to form the ‘British Battalion’ on 20th December 1941 under the command of Lieut. Col. C.E. Morrison, D.S.O., M.C., of The Royal Leicestershire Regiment.
It is believed that William lost his life at the Battle for Gurun.
15th December 1941
Youngest son of Francis and Florence Seaton of Croydon