To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

Royal Engineers-tn


Staff Sergeant

Leo Wilfred Joseph Snell


Date of Birth:-

12th June 1903

Place of Birth:-

Toxteth, Liverpool

Trade on Enlistment:-

Painter and Decorator


Roman Catholic


Service Record

Enlisted at: Liverpool (Economic Recruitment)

Date of Enlistment: 13 October 1925

Royal Engeneers


War Record

Shanghai 1938 - 1940

Malaya (Kota Bahru) 1940 - 1942 S/Sgt

13th September 1940 posted form Shanghai to Malaya. Arrived Malaya 10th October 1940 to form part of the permanent Garrison. Deployed to Kota Bahru and employed in the construction of fixed and beach defences.

At Kota Bahru, defended by the 8th Indian Brigade (Comd Brigadier Berthold W. ‘Billy’ Key (3/17th Dogra Regt/2/10th Baluchistan Regt/2/12th Frontier Force Regt/1/13th Frontier Force Rifles)), home of No. 1 Sqn RAAF. SSgt Snell engaged in preparing beach defences. Kota Bahru, the most vital link in the Kelantan air-power chain. Situated a mile and a half inland from the beachfront.

2345hrs Sunday 07 Dec 1941 the Dogras reported x3No enemy transports anchored in heavy seas of their section of coast.

1225hs Saturday 08 December 1941 Japanese troops begin their attack on the Malay Peninsula (Japanese 25th Army under command of General Yamashita). Japanese troops swarm ashore. Key’s requests air support but the request is denied by Brooke-Popham.

1640hrs rumours spread that Japanese troops had reached the perimeter of KB airfield. An unidentified source put the airfield denial scheme into operation. The rumours were false but it was too late to save the airfield. It was closed down under orders from Pulford. The premature evacuation of the airfield sealed the fate of Kelantan.


Malaya (FEPOW (Kranji)) 1942 - 1945 S/Sgt-WOII

SSgt L W Snell along with others commandeered a furniture van and began their long trek towards Singapore and ultimately captivity. Imprisoned at Kranji. Remained a FEPOW for three and a half years.


Home (Liverpool) 1945 WOII

Med discharged 1946 Mr L W Snell

Date of Discharge: 15 April 1946 (Discharged as medically unfit – 18mths short of 22 yrs service – no full career, no pension)



Help Wanted

I am the grandson of the above named soldier. Like my Grandad I too have served in the Royal Engrs. I'd like to be able to liaise with a soldier(s) who may have known my Grandad ?

Contact:- Graham George Hayes -




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