To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”



Battery Quartermaster Sergeant

Harry Cotterill


1901/09/02 - Born Chesterfield

Son of William and Hannah Cotterill

1920 - Enlisted in the Artillery which included a period in India.



 Completed 18 years service and retired on a pension.


1939 - WO102/28, Authority: Army Order 218/39. Reenlisted

Royal Artillery

3/6 Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment



After training in Wiltshire in 1941, the 6 H.A.A. were entrained to Nottingham and then on to Yorkshire were they were given leave before being transported to Liverpool where they were issued with Kaki Drill uniforms before embarking on the Monarch of Bermuda, bound for the Middle East.

Monarch Of Bermuda

Monarch Bermuda

They sailed North to the Clyde to join the Convoy William Sail 12X and sailed with sixteen ships plus escorts. Eventually sailing to the Middle East early November 1941.

Stopping at Freetown, Sierra Leone on the 28th November with shore leave. They then they sailed to Durban, South Africa, berthing 18th December 1941 and being given shore leave.

As Japan had then entered the war by attacking Pearl Harbour and invaded Malaya it was decided to split the Convoy, send half to the Far East and the other half to the Middle East.

Aorangi HMS


On returning from shore leave the 6th H.A.A. were transferred to the Aorangi, but because of the muddle, their stores were not loaded with them.

The convoy now became D.M.1 and sailed 24th December 1941, arriving at Singapore 13th January 1942.

The convoy disembarked together with the 18th Division to find the docks ablaze and the Japanese having control of the air. Singapore was under siege.

It was now found the shells had not been transported with the 6th H.A.A., an urgent message was sent for more shells but they did not arrive before Singapore fell to the Japanese.


1942/02/15 - WO 417/42, Casualty List No. 811. Missing


Japanese PoW

1942/02/15 - Captured Singapore

PoW No. VIII 21

Japanese Index Card - Side One


Japanese Index Card - Side Two


1942/04/04 - Transported in Nissyo Maru to Saigon

Nissyo Maru

Commander Lt-Col. Hugonin, RA, 3 H.A.A. Regiment

1942/04/09 - Arrived Saigon

New PoW No. VIII 5018

Saigon Camp 10-tn

As more PoWs arrived at Saigon in 1944 and 1945, the 1942 arrivals were known as ERTs (English Resident Troops)

British and Dutch paratroopers liberated the PoWs at Saigon and organised their departure

1945/09/08 - Liberated Saigon





Died whilst Prisoner of War






Casualty List No. 1901. Previously shown as Prisoner of War Malaya. Original source gives date of casualty as 07-17/09/1945. Missing






Casualty List No. 2029. Previously reported on Casualty List No. 1901 as Missing 07-17/09/1945  Home and Stations Abroad. Presumed Died


Plane Crashed Carrying POWS

Flight 66 of 117 Squadron RAF Dakota left Rangoon Mingladoon on the 8th September 1945 for Saigon to evacuate British Prisoners of War in the area who had been prisoners under the Japanese for three and a half years, all were suffering from starvation and tropical diseases.

On arrival the plane, loaded with 24 POW’s and the RAF crew of four, took off on the return flight, landing at Bangkok to refuel.

It is then reported that about 1pm on that day villagers to the village of Nuaunggangle about 13 mile north west of Moulmein in Burma and about 150 miles south east of the final destination of Rangoon heard an aircraft out at sea, followed by an explosion. The same evening at high tide they found various articles washed ashore and the next day at low tide saw the wreckage scattered over a sandbank. Several bodies which were unidentified were recovered but no trace of survivors were found.

The following is a list of crew and exprisoners who were known to be on the aircraft and died. All their names are recorded on the Singapore Memorial in Kranji War Cemetery Singapore.

Crew: Wing Cdr Samson AJDFC (30); Sq Ltd Grotrian RPD (36); Flt/Lt Bridge R (39); Flt/Lt Cuthbert JF DFC (37); all of 117 Squadron RAF.

POWs: Cpl Ablitt HR (33) RAMC; L.Sgt Arthur EA (34) 51 Fld RA; Gnr Bruce JB (38) k; Gnr Cotterill H (44) RA; Gnr Crawford JJ (29) RA; Bdr Daws F (33) RA; L/Sgt De Roux MF (40) RNF; Pte Edwards H (26) RAMC; L/Sgt Edwards EJ (29) Gordons; Sgt Hawthorn RH (37) RA; Gnr Hendy RH (37) RA; Pte Marskell GE (23) Suffolks; Gnr Payne JD (39) RA; L/Bdr Randell WJ (39) RA; Pte Ferrow J (25) 6 Norfolks; Pte Gadd RGV (23) E Surreys; Pte Jeeps L (24) 2 Cambs; L/Bdr Murfin R (28) RA; Gnr Pears JP (29) RA; Dvr Price M (33) RASC; Sgm Roy LFN (29) R Sigs; Pte Skeldon A (29) Argylls; Sgt Thomas V (29) RA; L/Cpl Warren FJ (31) RASC. 



Age 44

8th September 1945

Harry was on the first plane out of Saigon to Rangoon. The plane refuelled at Bangkok but after taking off it crashed, the cause is unknown but an explosion was heard, wreckage was found on a sand bank.



Singapore Memorial-3

Column 4.


Singapore Memorial



Sarah Carney

Andrew Snow

Tim Lloyds

‘6th Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment’ by Patrick Walker (Book)

‘The British Sumatra Battalion’ by A.A. Apthorp (Book)

Japanese Transport

Private 5779807

Commonwealth War Graves

KEW:- WO 361/2172, WO 392/23, WO 345/12, WO 361/2196, WO 304/4.


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