To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”



Leading Aircraftman

Leslie Montague Bennett


1916/03/08 - Born London

Son of Francis and Emily

Enlisted at Uxbridge

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

242 Squadron








The 242 Squadron flew from British bases in operations over France in May 1940 and moved to Chateadun Airfield in France in  June, helping in the evacuation of  St. Nazaire and Nantes.

After moving back to Coltishall in Norfolk the squadron took part in the Battle of Britain from June to October 1940.

Moving to North Wales in December 1940 the squadron flew escort for bombers over France until September 1941. In December 1941 the squadron was prepared for a move to the Far East.

The 242 planes were joined into the 126 squadron in Malta but the ground crew carried onto Singapore, arriving in January 1942. They merged with 232 and 605 squadrons to service Hurricanes. Before the Japanese attacked Singapore they were withdrawn to Sumatra and later Java. Heavy losses occurred in March and the squadron was dispersed.

1942/03/08 - Java surrendered to the Japanese


Japanese PoW

1942/03/08 - Captured Java

PoW No. III 1630

Japanese Index Card - Side One


Japanese Index Card - Side Two


Before leaving Sarabaya Camp the PoW were examined, well they walked past the doctor in single file, that was the examination, everyone was passed fit.

1943/04/17 - The morning of the transport  Squadron Leader Pitts was without warning badly beaten in front of the assembled PoWs. it went on for about 15 minutes the assailant was Sergeant Mori who was trying to impress the 2,060 British and Dutch awaiting transport.

The holds of the two ships Cho Saki Maru (1,030 PoWs) and Amagi Maru (1,030 PoWs) were very cramped with just enough room for the PoWs to lie down, head to toe with those next to them. The latrines were two buckets with holes in them suspended over the side of the ships. The ships remained in Sarabaya harbour for days and dysentery broke out due to cramped and unhygienic conditions on board. Eventually the ships got under way in convoy.


1943/05/05 - The ships arrived at Haruku in the Spice Islands. No deaths on voyage but many with illness.

The huts were of bamboo and made by the Haruku natives but many did not have any atap roof and the PoWs were faced with heavy rain on arrival. Some latrine pits had been dug for the native workmen’s use, but with the heavy rain they were overflowing. The camp was situated on a slop and the huts were lower than the latrines so their contents flowed into the camp and the huts.

Walking in this mess caused infection to spread quickly and dysentery spread, as there were no bunks in the huts the PoWs had to sleep on the floor and it developed into an dysentery epidemic.

The Japanese decided the illness was caused by flies and gave orders that each PoW had to catch 100 flies per day.

Dysentery was not the only illness the men suffered, the symptoms of another illness was a burning sensation in the feet. This was caused by a lack of vitamin B. The men called it ‘Happy Feet’ and most of the camp suffered from it. At night there were many walking up and down the huts as this was the only way to relieve the burning pain in their feet.

May and June was a nightmare for the doctors with little medicine to cope with the epidemic, it reached it’s peak in July with 350 deaths mainly from Bacterial Dysentery.

The work was strenuous as it involved hard labour flattening the top of a vilcano and building a runway. Food was important to keep the PoWs fit, but food on Haruku was a big problem as the rations supplied by the Japanese were insufficient. It was found that the Japanese were selling the rice supplied for the PoWs to the local natives so the PoWs only received 400-600 grams rice a day, green vegetables 10-30 grams daily and meat 30 grams weekly. The  polished white rice had very few vitamins and without meat would lead to vitamin deficiency disease. The meat supplied was water buffalo and sometimes a  dog, so the PoW sought to supplement their diet, after a few months the leaves off bushes and plants had disappeared but the grass kept growing and was added to the rice by the PoWs, but was of very little nutritive help.

The working PoWs received 15 cents a day and  was spent in the Camp shop to buy vegetables, the shop was run by Japanese Sergeant Moyo who was also in charge of the work parties, so the money was given by one hand and taken back with the other.

The PoWs health was slowly deteriorating.

Camp 3, Cape Marakee, Haruku Island



Age 25


Cause of Death Beri-beru

Buried Kapiu Cemetery, Haruku

(After the war Leslie was reburied in Commonwealth Cemetery)


Loved Ones

Son of Francis John and Emily Bennett

Husband of Annie Bennett, of Battersea, London




8. A. 7.

Bennett-Leslie-Montague - Ambon War Cemetery Plan







Nathan White - Great nephew of Leslie

Glenda Godfrey

Alan Hilton

‘Prisoner Doctor’ by Richard Philps

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

KEW Files:- WO 361/1222, WO 361/1222, WO 345/4, WO 361/1945, WO 361/1945, WO 361/2008, WO 361/2008, WO 392/23, WO 361/1516, WO 361/1530, WO 361/1616,


''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 Ron Taylor.


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