To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

Royal Army Medical Corps-tn



Frank Alcock

Frank Alcock

1911/04/02 - Born Mount Tabor, Halifax, Yorkshire

Son of John William and Mary (nee Blackburn) Alcock

Occupation Ambulance Man

Royal Army Medical Corps

197 Field Ambulance



The role of the Field Ambulance was to treat and evacuate the wounded from the front line to a Casualty Clearing Station where more advanced medical care could be given. This was done through a series of Dressing stations. Each unit had a Regimental Aid Post (RAP) as close to the front line as possible. This was usually the first stop for all casualties. Most casualties were brought to the RAP by Regimental Stretcher Bearers. Basic treatment and assessments were carried out by an RAMC doctor attached to the unit, before more serious casualties were evacuated to an Advanced Dressing Station (ADS) by Field Ambulance stretcher bearers. From here the casualty was again treated or assessed before being taken to a Main Dressing Station (MDS) before finally being evacuated to the Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) or hospital. The Field Ambulance was responsible for everything coming from the RAP and going to the CCS. Ambulances were driven by members of the RASC attached to the unit, who were also armed for the protection of the RAMC. The RAMC men did not carry or have access to any weapons and relied solely on the soldiers around them for protection.

The 197 Field Ambulance trained at Hillington, Near Kings Lynn, Norfolk. Later moving to Lynford Hall, Thetford. A limited number of rifles were issued so the medics could protect their patients.

The Field Ambulances travelled on the SS ANDES and the SS ORANSAY leaving Great Britain on the 30th October 1941 with Convoy CT.5.

USS Mount Vernon-2

1941/11/08 - At Halifax the 197 Field Ambulance were transferred to the Mount Vernon.

1941/11/10 - Left Halifax with Convoy William Sail 12X, destination unknown, believed to be Middle East.

Convoy William Sail 12x

Above Photo of Convoy William Sail 12X supplied by the late Maurice Rooney

Vought SB 2U Vindicator Scout Bomber - USS Ranger which was flying an Anti Submarine patrol over the convoy.

Front Line Top to Bottom:-

USS West Point - USS Mount Vernon - USS Wakefield - USS Quincy (Heavy Cruiser)

Back Row Top To Bottom:-

USAT Leonard Wood - USS Vincennes (Heavy Cruiser) - USS Joseph T Dickman

(USS Orizaba Ap-24 also sailed with Convoy though not pictured in photo)


1941/12/08 - Japan entered war by bombing Pearl Harbour and invading Malaya


The 18th Division diverted from Middle East, their new destination was Singapore.

1941/12/25 - The men spent Christmas Day on board and the meal was a typical Christmas, roast turkey, gravy, pickles and sage dressing.

1941/12/27 - Arrived Bombay, disembarked and arrived by train at Ahmednager, where they trained for two weeks when they were trained back to Bombay.

Empress of Asia - 3

1942/01/23 - The 197 Field Ambulance personnel boarded the Empress of Asia and sailed for Colombo (Ceylon), where they had shore leave before sailing next day.

 1942/02/05 - As the Empress of Asia had Singapore in sight, Japanese aircraft attacked. With bombs landing all around the ship, it was eventually hit and with the ship on fire, the order to abandon ship was given. The medics were given orders to look after their patients first as they were situated in the hospital on board.

Empress of Asia_on_fire_after_IJN_air_attack

Having left the burning ship in rafts they were picked up and taken to Singapore.

1942/02/15 - Singapore surrendered


1942/03/14 - WO 417/40, Casualty List No. 771. Reported Missing.

1943/03/18 - WO 417/58, Casualty List No. 1086. (Previously shown on Casualty List No. 771 as Missing, 15/02/1942). Now reported a Prisoner of War.


Japanese PoW

1942/02/15 - Captured Singapore

1942/02/27 - Changi Camp

PoW No. I 1004

Japanese Index Card - Side One


Japanese Index Card - Side Two


1943/06/25 - Transported overland with ‘K’ Force to Thailand

With 230 Medical PoWs, as below

Southern Area


Hospital Area (British)


A.I.F. Lines


Hospital Area (Australian)


Java Lines


Hospital Area (Java)





New PoW No. IV 50716

Medic on Thailand-Burma Railway various small camps

1943/09/06 - Tha Muang Hospital, Thailand

Commander RSM Christopher, RA

1945/05/12 - Pratchai, Thailand

Commander RSM Christopher, RA

1945/08/30 - Liberated Thailand

Liberation Questionnaire


1945/010/08 - WO417/98, Casualty List No. 1878. Previously shown on Casualty List No. 1086 as reported Prisoner of War now Not Prisoner of War. Previous Theatre of War, Malaya.



Flown from Bangkok to Rangoon, where they recuperated.

Ships home were shown on a notice board every day and the men had to wait till they were named on a roll for a ship home.


1945/10/02 - Embarked ‘Chitral’ and sailed from Rangoon

via Colombo - Suez Canel - Gibralter

(at Colombo 50 women and children boarded the ship)

1945/10/28 - Arrived Southampton




1939-1945 Star-tn

Pacific Star

War Medal

1939-1945 Star



Jon Alcock - Son

Convoy William Sail 12X

Japanese Transports

Thailand Burma Railway

Liberation Questionnaire - COFEPOW

KEW Files:- WO 367/2, WO 361/2196, WO 392/23, WO 345/1, WO 361/2058, WO 361/2202, WO 361/2202, WO 361/2024, WO 361/2180, WO 361/2070,


''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 Ronnie Taylor.


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