To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

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Private

Eric Gordon Barnes

Known as Barney

Eric Gordon Barnes

1916/01/31 - Born North Middlesex Hospital, Edmonton N9

Son of Ernest and Laura Barnes

1936/03/07 - Enlisted

(Gave false place of birth and date to enlist into Scottish regiment)

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

2nd Battalion

 

 

Service

Basic Training at Stirling in Scotland.

In March 1937 he was posted to India.

1937 - IGS Decoration

1938 to Waziriston, North West India frontier post where he stayed till September 1939 (Military Police).

The Battalion were then transported to the Far East  in where Lt-Col Ian Stewart prepared them for jungle warfare in Malaya, preparing them in the harshest terrain in tactics which gave them the nickname of ‘The Jungle Beasts’. They became part of the 12th Infantry Brigade.

On the 8th December 1941 the Japanese invaded the North of Malaya after landing troops on the South East coast of Thailand, they soon gained a foothold after ‘Operation Matador’ was not put into action.

The already battle primed Japanese Troops infiltrated behind the defending troops forcing them to fall back. The 12th Infantry Brigade gave rearguard action to the retreating 11th Indian Division, until eventually a stand was made at the Slim River on January 7th. The troops held until Japanese tanks arrived and turned the battle of the Slim River to their advantage. The Argylls were hit badly and it was left to every man to find his own way back to the safety of Singapore, later named the ‘Long Retreat’. Many Argylls found themselves trying to evade the Japanese and  survive in the jungle of Malaya.

Posted as ‘Missing’, Eric managed to survive but was eventually captured in Malaya and taken to Bukit Pegue.

 

1942/03/12 - Casualty List No.769. Missing

1943/02/20 - WO 417/57, Casualty List No. 1064. Previously shown on Casualty List No. 769 as Missing, now reported Prisoner of War.

 

Japanese PoW

1942/02/12 - First captured  South of Kuala Lumpur at Negri Sembilan.

1942/04/15 - Bukit Pegue, Malaya

Japanese Index Card - Side 1

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Japanese Index Card - Side 2

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1942/05/20 - Transported to Pudu, Kuala Lumpur

Japanese PoW Number I 11866

Commanding Officer Col. Hartingan

Capt. Boyle, A&SH

1942/10/14 - Transported overland to Thailand

Barnes-Eric-Gordon-04

Commanding Officer Lt. McLeod, A&SH

1942/10/23 - Tha Makhan, Thailand

Transported back to Singapore

1944/06/06 - Transported to Japan in Teia Maru, which was formally the Aramis, a French luxury passenger ship, captured in Saigon.

Teia Maru or Aramis-tn

Teia Maru, launched as the ‘Aramas’

Most of the PoWs had just returned from the Thailand-Burma Railway and were squeezed into the holds. German Measles broke out. All PoWs were allowed on deck for 15 to 20 minutes a day. After a PoW died the hatches were then left open. The ship sailed direct to Moji with no stops along the way.

 

1944/06/18 - Arrived Moji and the PoWs were stripped and disinfected before being split up to different camps.

1944/06/27 - Eric went to Osaka 15B - Funatsu

Commanding Officer Lt. Daracks, R.C.O.S.

New PoW Number I 39933

Work was Mining and refining of lead and zinc.

 1945/03/06 - Renamed Nagoya 3B - Funatsu, Japan

1945/08/06 - PFC James S Mann, beaten to death - Affidavit

 

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1945/09/07 - Liberated Nagora 3B Funatsu, Japan

 

Repatriation

Transported to Manila and hospitalised

Joseph T Dickman-tn

USS Joseph Dyckman

Recovery of Military Personnel

604 British Military

 Eric Gordon Barnes Embarkment No. 149

23rd September 1945 - Depart Manila, Philippines

Point of Discharge - San Francisco, California, USA

16th October 1945 - Arrive San Francisco

Queen Elizabeth 1

Departed Halifax, Canada for UK in Queen Elizabeth

5th November 1945 - Arrived Southampton

 

pacific-star-tn

war-medal-1939-1945-tn

1939-1945 Star-tn

Pacific Star

War Medal

1939-1945 Star

Post War

  1948 - Eric met and married Lillian A Easton at Edmonton

Three years later they were blessed with their daughter Janice.

Eric developed Parkinson’s disease

 

Died

11th October 1974

After an escalator fall in which he broke his neck.

 

Information

Janice Skilton

Jonathan Moffitt

Japanese Transport

Roger Mansell

Books:-

“A Cruel Captivity” by Ellie Taylor - Chapter 17

"Of Rice and Men" by Robert V. Reynolds

"Bataan, Only the Beginning" by Earl R. Oatman.

KEW Files:- WO 361/2171, WO 392/23, WO 345/3, WO 361/2005, WO 361/2166, WO 361/2199, WO 361/1985,

*

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