To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

Royal Artillery-tn


Lance Bombardier

Harold Leonard Burd


1920/11/07 - Born Deptford, London

 Mother:- Alice Amelia Miller

Born 1880/11/05, St. Saviour Southwark, London

1939 - Cafe Kitchen Hand

Died 1957 at Greenwich, London

Father:- Arthur Walter Burd


Royal Artillery

512 Bty., 148 (The Bedfordshire Yeo.) Field Regt. 


Japanese PoW

1945/02/15 - Captured Singapore

PoW No. IV 4386

Japanese Index Card - Side One


Japanese Index Card - Side Two


1942/10/30 - Transported overland to Thailand with Latter Party ‘S’

650 PoWs - From Changi, 18th Division

(Included 148 Fd. Reg. - 7 Officers, 173 Ranks)

22nd Train from Singapore to Thailand

Commander Lt-Col. C.E. Mackellar, RA, 118 Fd. Regiment

New PoW No. 40402

Transported back to Changi, Singapore


1944/09/04 - Transported to Japan in Rakuyo Maru with Japan Party 3

The Rakuyo Maru was built by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Company in Nagasaki. It was 477 feet overall length with a displacement of 9,500 tons. The ship was equipped with 12 lifeboats, most of these being on the boat deck in the mid-ships passenger area, the remainder were on the raised stern or poop deck. The ship was painted battle grey and flew the merchant marine flag, which was a red ball in the centre of a white field. It had no red cross markings.


The Japan party consisted of 2,250 prisoners, 1,500 were British the remainder Australian, the number who actually sailed with the convoy was 2,217. The Rakuyo Maru held 1317 PoWs and The Kachidoki Maru a further 900 (all British).

The HI-72 Convoy consisted of 13 ships, among others the POW ships  AsakaMaru, Kachidoka Maru, Shincho Maru.

The holds of the Rakuyo Maru also contained bauxite and the ash of Japanese soldiers.

On 4th September 1944, the two ships joined convoy HI-72 and sailed from Singapore.

1944/09/11 - Joined another convoy from Manila.

1944/09/12 - At 2:00 am the convoy was attacked near Haanan  Island by the submarine US Growler and an escort ship was sunk.

The PoW’s were kept in their hold.

USS Sealion
USS Sealion

At 5:30 am the convoy was attacked again, by submarine USS Sealion torpedoed a tanker, a freighter and the Rakuyo Maru. The tanker and freighter sank but Rakuyo Maru did not sink with one torpedo in the fore and one in the engine room (mid-ship). The PoW’s left their holds and some jumped over the side into the sea, but the Japanese, who had evacuated the ship took the life boats.

At 6:15 am the US Growler attacked the convoy again at Lat 18.0 N Lon 114.0E, a frigate was hit, depth-bombs were jumped in the water, nearby the drowning men of the Rakuyo Maru.

At 7:10 am the Rakuyo Maru was still afloat, some of the oil soaked PoWs who had jumped over the side returned to the ship.

At 5:30 pm the ship was near sinking and all the PoW’s left the ship. Two frigates and a freighter saved only the Japanese, the PoW’s were left behind with only two lifeboats between them, the Duncan-group (136 men) and the Varley-group.

1944/09/14 - The Duncan-group were rescued by a Japanese ship but the Varley-group had disappeared. The Duncan-group were taken to Hainan Island.

1944-09/15 - 5:00 pm the submarine US Pampanito arrived at the site of the sinking looking for more Japanese ships and found the survivors in the water clinging to wreckage, they save 63 PoWs. Relaying a message, the US Sealion saved another 44 POW’s, but there were many more left in the sea.

Harold was one of the 1159 who died in the sinking.


Reports Received

1942 - WO 417/41 - Reported Missing

1943- WO 417/72 - Previously reported Missing, now PoW

1944 - WO 417/86 - Previously reported PoW, now Missing

1945 - WO 417/100 - Previously reported Missing, now Killed in Action as a PoW



Age 23


Died when the Rakuya Maru was sunk



Loved Ones

Son of Mrs. A. A. Burd, of Dunstable, Bedfordshire



Singapore Memorial-3

Column 36.




Michael J Dack

Japanese Transports

Thailand-Burma Railway

Rakuyo Maru

KEW:- WO 361/1742, WO 361/2057, WO 345/8, WO 361/2025, WO 361/734, WO 361/2005, WO 392/23, WO 361/2169, WO 361/1987, WO 361/733, WO 361/2058, WO 361/2069, WO 361/734, WO 361/2160, WO 361/2184,


''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.


[FEPOW Family] [Roll of Honour] [B]


Honorary Life Member-1tn

Honorary member of COFEPOW


Email Ron Taylor 


Copyright © FEPOW Family