To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

Java Index


Compiled by Ron Taylor

Site started by the late Anthea Beckett


The Java Index is British & Commonwealth POWs held in Java 1942-45 and is compiled from various published sources. These are indexed in name alphabetical order.

After Anthea’s pages on the Internet were standing idle for some time,  the late Roger Mansell gave me encouragement to carry on her work and as the information is of great help to those researching Java, I felt the information should be made available and carry on adding information.

From taking over Anthea’s 3,500 names it has grown to almost 35,000 names. My thanks also to the late Brian Green who sent me a spreadsheet of Java Personnel, which I still have not finished entering.

The Java Index is in their memory -  God Bless Them

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Java Personnel

A B C D E F G  H  I J K L M N  O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



This list  show the sources from which Anthea has used to draw the names on the Index of POWs.

AITKEN, E F, "The Story of 2/2 Australian Pioneer Battalion", Melbourne 1953


Roll of Honour, Index of names, and in the Java chapter a detailed description of the defence by Blackforce of the Leuwiliang River crossing, 3-5 March 1942



AUDUS, Leslie J, "Spice Island Slaves", UK repr. 1998


Essential reading for Haruku Island, Liang, Ambon, etc. Interesting account of synthesising vital B vitamins from rice. Good maps and illustrations. Straightforward writing for general reader.





Vast archive of Honour Rolls, documents, photographs, maps, etc, etc. Contains much of interest concerning British POWs



BAKER, Alf 'Blackie', "What Price Bushido?", UK 1991


One of the few survivors of the Gunners 600 party to New Britain, most of whom moved on to Ballale Island. Plain and deeply moving account of the camps at Kokopo & Death Valley



CHALKER, Jack Bridger, "Burma Railway Artist", London 1994


Beautiful & moving paintings & drawings in colour and black-and-white of the Burma Railway, incl. the famous watercolour of Hintock Cutting





Roll of Honour, often giving family details. Records where the POW is buried or commemorated and describes the war cemetery, but does not state place or cause of death. Not illustrated. Records may be downloaded & printed off.



CORFIELD, Justin, "Java: British & Empire Graves 1743-1975", BACSA 1999


Burial records of Jakarta War Cemetery. This cemetery holds graves of POWs who died in Sumatra as well as in Java. In 1961, at the request of the Indonesian Government, Commonwealth War Graves from Palembang and Medan in Sumatra, Mentok on Bangka Island, and Surabaya, East Java, were amalgamated in Jakarta War Cemetery.



COWLING, Anthony, "My Life with the Samurai", Australia 1996


Young RAF man captured in Java, held in Surabaya Jaarmarkt, Semarang, Haruku, Ambon and Muna Island. Detailed account, with good maps (his journeys 1941-1945, Haruku, Ambon & Haruku), bibliography, index. Good source for this area.



DUFFY, Capt. George, USMM,


Unique personal account by American merchant marine officer of working on Pakanbaru Railway, Sumatra, reached via his home page. Duffy spent many weeks on the German raider which sank his ship. Handed over to the Japanese in Batavia, Java, he was eventually sent to Pakanbaru where he spent 13 months working on the death railway. One of the few English-speaking POWs to speak & read Dutch, he took part in the Junyo Maru commemorative service in the Netherlands. His page includes link to a brief Dutch history of the Pakanbaru Railway (English version). I've had most helpful emails from Capt. Duffy, and am very grateful to him for sharing his knowledge & experiences.
NEVER say people over 70 are uninterested in/incapable of using the Internet! Wake up, World, there are lots of us out here, making a contribution.



DUNLOP, E E, Sir, "War Diaries of Weary Dunlop", Australia 1987


Eminent Australian surgeon serving with AAMC in Syria, Java, Changi, Burma railway. Day-to-day account of these years, written up at the end of each day. Essential source for POW life in Java and on the Burma Railway, especially about the cholera epidemic on the railway, POW food, and POW hospitals.





History of RAF 242 (Canadian) Sqn, commemorating Harrison's grandfather, LAC1 George Henry Reid Slater, died on voyage Haruku-Ambon in 1944.



HOME, James, "Their Last Tenko", UK 1989


RAF man, 242 (Canadian) Squadron, Douglas Bader's squadron. Detailed acount of Java & Haruku. Stationed at Malang when the Dutch capitulated, he witnessed execution of 3 RAF men by Japanese for attempting to escape.



JOHNS, W E & Kelly, R A, "No Surrender", UK 1969, repr. 1989


CPO, HMS Exeter. Makassar Camp, Pamalla, Japan (Yoshikuma)



LEE, Flt Lieut Peter E, RAF, quoted in Don Wall, "Kill the Prisoners" (see below)


Long passages from his day-to-day diary, covering Java & Kuching. Detailed account of the latter



NELSON, David, "The Story of Changi, Singapore" Australia 1974


Spent 3 1/2 years in Changi camp administration where he recorded the movements of over 100,000 POWs. By war's end he and his team had compiled a card index of some 63,000 names. These cards and nominal rolls were distributed to service departments after the war, but since then many have apparently disappeared. The story of these 3 1/2 years is remarkable. The book has several appendices, listing Japanese POW ships believed torpedoed or lost; summary of vessels known to have sailed from Singapore and Java ports 1942; parties of POWs ex Java; and many other treasures. I grieve over the lost 63,000, but rejoice in the contents of the book



PALEY, Tony, "The Sparrows", UK 1989


The story of the 79th (Timor) Battery 21 LAA Regiment, RA. Five RA regiments sent to Java (not 3, as Churchill wrote), and Paley appends a Roll of Honour for each, also notes on their history. Chapters on the fighting in Sumatra, 3 chapters on Java, 3 on Timor. List of RAF squadrons Far East.



PHILPS, Richard, "Prisoner Doctor", UK 1996


RAF Medical Officer, experiences in Java & on Haruku. A good companion to Audus' book. A lovely man! Who else would give recipes for POW nasi goreng and frog pie?



RICHARDS, D & SAUNDERS, H St G, "The Royal Air Force 1939-1945", vol. 2. UK 1975


Chap III - "Sumatra & Java", brief account of events from 30/01/1942 on. Also map of Japanese invasion of East Indies.



SILVER, Lynette Ramsay, "Sandakan: Conspiracy of Silence", Australia 3rd edition 2000


Lynette Silver  is an authority on Borneo and POW burials. Essential source for Australian & British POWs in North Borneo, especially those in Sandakan and on the death marches to Ranau



WALL, Don, "Kill the Prisoners", Australia no date, but c. 1995.


Aimed specifically at British readers. Important chapters on Ballale Island massacre; Suez Maru massacre; and Flt Lt Peter Lee's diary (see above). Includes a number of carefully researched nominal rolls (Capt. J F D Mills' party; Sqd Ldr Hardie's party; Gunners 600; Suez Maru; Jesselton & Kuching deaths), also many personal photographs



WATERFORD, VAN, "Prisoners of the Japanese in World War II", USA 1994


This important reference book was compiled by an ex-POW who laboured on the Pakanbaru railway in Sumatra. It is an essential source for anyone interested in POWs in S E Asia, particularly for those concerned with the Indies. Includes a detailed chapter on Japanese transport ships with names & dates, also a comprehensive list of POW and civilian internee camps throughout the region plus much more background information. Unfortunately rather rare and expensive to buy. Best to try and borrow a copy through your public library service unless you have access to a specialist library like the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Alas! the day comes all too soon when the book has to be returned.....


In spite of all this reading there is a great deal yet to be discovered - every new book casts its own light on the Java POWs. With so many different bits of information, it is essential to cross-reference - inaccuracies creep in, especially when it comes to place names. Cross-referencing is enlightening, enabling you to build up a more accurate picture of the lives of individual POWs.

Anthea Beckett



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In Memory of Fred Taylor,  Anthea Beckett, John Weedon and Arthur Lane
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