David Sydney Charles Blake
1920/04/09 - Born London
Son of Albert Edward and Edith May
Occupation Driver Mechanic
The Cambridgeshire Regiments had a fighting reputation and were nicknamed ‘The Fen Tigers’.
1941/10/30 - Left Britain in ‘Orcades’ with Convoy CT.5 from Liverpool to Halifax
Final Destination Unknown
1941/11/08 - Arrived Halifax
1941/11/10 - Transferred to USS West Point and departed Halifax in Convoy William Sail 12X
Convoy William Sail 12X continued with six American troopships, two cruisers, eight destroyers and the aircraft carrier Ranger, the Convoy William Sail 12X was under way, destination still unknown.
The convoy passed through the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico and St Domingo.
1941/11/17 - Arrived at Trinidad in glorious sunshine so troops changed to tropical kit, but no shore-leave, left Trinidad after two days of taking on supplies.
1941/11/24 - The equator was crossed, there was a crossing the line ceremony.
1941/12/08 - Japan attacked Pearl Harbour and Malaya
After a month the convoy arrived at Cape Town, South Africa..
By this time the Americans were in the war and the rumours were that they were heading for the Far East and not the Middle East as first thought.
1941/12/13 - The convoy left Cape Town and sailed along the coast of East Africa past Madagascar and into the Indian Ocean heading for Bombay.
1941/12/27 - After 17,011 miles at sea Bombay was reached.
1942/01/18 - The convoy sailed with a British escort, the H.M.S. Exeter and H.M.S. Glasgow with British and Australian destroyers. Destination was the far East. Passing Colombo, (Ceylon), crossing the equator for the third time, the convoy passed through the Sundra Straits between Java and Samatra and then the Banka Straits. The convoy was then bombed by Japanese Planes, there was no damage.
1942/01/29 - The convoy reached the safety of Keppel Harbour, Singapore. Ships were ablaze in the harbour, clouds of smoke drifted across the sky and the smell of fumes was overpowering, this was not the best of greetings. The Japanese had taken most of Malaya in the last three weeks and were only thirty miles away from Singapore.
The day after the 1st Battalion arrived the causeway over the Strait of Jahore which linked Singapore to Malaya was destroyed. This did not delay the Japanese who landed at the North West of Singapore Island on the 8th February.
The Battalion fought at the Sime Road Camp in Singapore defending Adam Park . For three days ‘The Fen Tigers’ held up the Japanese 41st Fukuyama, Regiment, which was part of the Japanese 5th Division. The fighting was intense but on the 15th February the 1st Battalion CO, Lt-Col. Carpenter, finding the Japanese bypassing his position, requested permission to withdraw from Brigade HQ. he was told to hold the position and lay down their arms as Singapore had surrendered.
1942/02/15 - Singapore Surrendered
After being herded into a tennis court the Battalion was marched to Changi.
1942/05/01 - WO 417/42, Casualty List No. 812. Reported Missing.
1942/02/15 - Captured Singapore
PoW No. M-10204
Japanese Index Card - Side One
Japanese Index card - Side Two
1942/11/06 - Transported overland to Thailand with ‘L’ Letter party, 13th Train
31st train to Thailand
Commander Lt-Col. A.B. Cubitt, 6th Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment
Party made up from:-
New PoW No. IV 273
Work Group 4
Tha Sao - 125km from Nong Pladuk
Tha Muang - 38.90 km from Nong Pladuk
Portrait sketched in camp as a PoW
1943/03/26 - Red Cross letter to parents
1943/10/17 - Thailand and Burma railway lines joined near Konkoita
New PoW No. IV 3049
Loincloth, or ‘Jap Happy’ as it was nicknamed, was worn by PoWs instead of underwear.
1045/08/31 - Liberated Thailand
Transferred to Allies at Bangkok
1945/10/ 17 - WO417/98, Casualty List No. 1886. Previously shown on Casualty List No. 812 as posted Missing 15/02/1942 now reported Not Missing.
1945/09/26 - Departed Rangoon
1945/10/22 - Arrived Southampton
Divid returned to his home in Anson Road N7.
In January 1946 David married Maisie Louisa Douglas
In November 1947 they were blessed with a baby girl Elaine Edith Blake.
Unfortunately in February 1948 David became ill with testicular cancer and died in University Hospital London.
Nicola Hunt- Grandfather
Andrew Snow - Thailand Burma Railway Centre
Adam Park - Jon Cooper
Convoy William Sail 12X
Thailand Burma Railway
KEW Files:- WO 361/2172, WO 345/5, WO 361/1954, WO 361/1979, WO 392/23, WO 361/1987, WO 361/2169, WO 361/2058, WO 361/2176,