To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

Royal Artillery-tn



Thomas William Bousfield


1917/09/29 - Born Durham

Son of L. and M. (Gray) Bousfield

1936/01/30 - Enlisted

Royal Artillery

7th Coast Regiment

Malayan Command Fortress



Slight wound in left leg

1942/02/17 - left Singapore in a small canoe for Sumatra with:-

Brigadier Watson, 7th Coast Regt. (PoW in Thailand)

Lance Bombardier Keats, 7th Coast Regt. (escaped to Australia)

Arrived Sumatra two weeks later

Helped by Chinese in hills, eating rice and coconuts

Netherlands Authorities informed the Japanese

1942/03/20 - Padang taken prisoner in hills near ‘Fort De Kok’


Japanese PoW

1942/05 - Padang, Sumatra

Commander Col. Warron, Royal Marines

Japanese Index Card - Side One


Japanese Index Card - Side Two


1942/05/09 - The British Sumatra Battalion was formed with 20 officers and 480 other ranks. The service personnel were mostly escapees and considered to be trouble makers.

Leaving Padang, Sumatra by train they travelled to Fort de Kok. The next day a convoy of lorries took them to Uni Kampong Camp, where Dutch civilians were interned.

1942/05/15 -  They were packed into the hell ship England Maru bound for Mergui, Burma, to build new runways, the death rate at Mergui was twelve.

1942/08/10 - Another move on the hell ship Tatu Maru to Ann Hestletine Home at Tavoy, where the death rate fell to five.

1942/11/ - Transported to Thanbyuzayat Burma

New PoW No. IV 23048

Commander Brigadier Farley, A.I.F.

Worked on Burma end of Thailand-Burma Railway

1944/01/13 - Transported by train to Kanchanburi, Thailand

1944/03/23 - Marched to Tha Makhan, Camp - 300 Party

New PoW No. 3222

1945/09/01 - Liberated Thailand


Recommendations For Meritorious Service

Bousfield, T.W. 851940. Sgt. R.A.

From May 1943 to March 1944 Sgt. Bousfield acted as battalion Orderly Sgt. This work entailed parading all working parties, a most unpleasant task. These parties contained the minimum number of men required to satisfy the Japanese and so prevent them from turning the really sick out to work. Sgt. Bousfield did what was necessary with cheerfulness and tact despite opposition from some men who did not realise the true situation. He showed strength of character and carried out the responsibilities of his rank under most difficult conditions. It was part due to his work that the seriously sick enjoyed immunity from work.


          That his name be brought to the notice of authority for his excellient work.


          D.P. Apthorp, The Royal Norfolk Regt.

          30th November 1945


Post War

1946/04/ - Married Jean Longbottom at Holy Trinity Parish Church ( now demolished) in Bingley, West Yorkshire.

1947/01/15 - Blessed with a son Malcolm Edward

1950/11/04 - Blessed with a daughter Margaret






Margaret Hart

‘The British Sumatra Battalion’ by A.A. Apthorpe

British Sumatra Battalion -

KEW:-  WO 361/2172, WO 361/2171, WO 345/6, WO 361/1954, WO 361/1979, WO 361/2196, WO 392/23, WO 361/2168, WO 361/2165, WO 361/1987, WO 361/2184,


''Our Thanks are for being a Chapter in Life.''




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