To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”



Aircraftman 1st Class

William Briggs


1920/05/01 - Born Durham

Son of John William and Elizabeth Briggs

Occupation Motor Mechanic

1940/08/15 - Enlisted at Padgate

Royal Air Force

41 Air Stores Park



1940/08/14 - Enlisted as Mechanical Transport

Stationed at RAF Weeton

1941/01/03 - Stationed at Morecambe

1941/04/04 - Obtained R.A.F. 8 Service Technical Training

8 School of Technical Training-Bl

William completed a course and is given ‘Home Holding’ as he had an overseas posting but the transport was not available so home on leave.

1941/07/22 - Stationed at Leeming, North Yorkshire

1941/11/29 - Oversea Service Posting

1941/12/06 - Far East


1942/03/08 - Java surrendered to the Japanese


Japanese PoW

1942/03/08 - Captured Java

PoW No. 10238

Japanese Index Card - Side One


Japanese Index Card Side Two


1942/10/21 - When the draft for transportation was assembled, there were many stretcher cases and many of the PoWs collapsed on the march to the docks. At the Tandjong Priok Docks the Tanjong Priok P.O.W. Camp draft of 1000 ( 90 Officers and 910 O.R.s approx ) was joined by a draft of 300 R.A.F., under command of Wing Commander Frowe, and 500 R.A. personnel under command of Lt. Col. Saunders R.A.


At 1600 hours the daft of 1800 PoWs embarked onto the Yoshiba Maru and were crammed into the holds. They including men from the 12th and 15th Batteries

1942/10/22 - The Yoshida Maru sailed  from Batavia with the 1800 PoWs to Singapore in very bad conditions as the tarpaulins leaked and the water entered the holds.

1942/10/25 - Yoshida Maru arrived at the Roads of Singapore.

1942/10/26 - Reached Keppel Harbour, Singapore. 32 sick PoWs were taken to  Changi-Hospital. The remaining PoWs were herded onto the quay, disinfected and tested for dysentery and cholera (rod test). Then herded back aboard the Yoshida Maru

1942/10/28 - Wing Commander Frowe was instructed to draft 200 of his men to join Lt. Col. Saunders' party of 500 and transfer to another ship. Fourteen of the more seriously sick from Tanjong Priok Camp were then transferred to Singapore Hospital.

1942/10/27 - The Singapore Maru (1100 PoWs) and the Dainichi Maru (1200 PoWs) set sail to Japan. Some of Java Party 5a, 5b and 5c who had sailed earlier from Java and taken to Changi, joined the PoWs in this Japan daft.

1942/11/25 - Arrived Moji, Japan

Many of the PoWs were then hospitalised at Moji

1942/11/30 - Hakadate 2D - Ohasi, Japan

New PoW No. III 3667

1943/10/17 - Fukuoka 3B - Yawata, Japan

Work at Yahata Steel Mills

Hyama was the foreman of the steel works and was responsible for beating the prisoners until they collapsed. He also made them kneel for several hours and hold iron bars over their heads. Men incapable of working were still made do very heavy work. Later on, many of those men died in hospital.

The Camp Commander was Maj. Rikitake for the last twelve months and was held  responsible for the deaths of approximately 150 mainly dying from pneumonia. Other deaths were caused by malnutrition and starvation.

1944/08/20 - The camp was bombed, no loss of life.

 1945/08/08 - Camp bombed again an American was killed and another lost his arm.

Nationality at Camp
















West Indian






South African




1945/09/17 - Liberated at Fukuoka 3B (Service Record 106)




Embarked HMS Implacable

Boarding No. 633, Camp No. 3726

Ex-PoWs Boarded - 2000 Men and 135 Officers

1945/09/25 - Departed Manila

1945/05/10 - Americans departed ship US Naval Base, Pearl Harbour, Ford Island

1945/10/11 - Arrived Vancouver, ‘A’ Pier


Post War

1946/01/28 -  Security Briefing (Service Record 116)

1946/08/10 - Date of Release from Royal Air Force (Service Record 104)


1947/09/03 - Married Elizabeth Donald

  He joined his father Williamin’s coal merchants business.

 Had two daughters Sheila (Tracey’s mum) 1949/02/04,

 and Brenda 1953/07/10.

  Two grandchildren, Tracy and her brother Geoff.

Three great grandchildren, but unfortunately William only met two before he died.



 16th June 2014



Tracy Crow - Granddaughter
Cliff Phillips
Glenda Godfrey
Japanese Transport
Java Index
Liberation Questionnaire - COFEPOW
Roger Mansell - Centre for Research - Fukuoka 3B

KEW Files:- WO 361/2009, WO 392/23, WO 345/6, WO 361/1254,


''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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