Gordon Meredith Evans
1917/06/24 - Born Tregaron, Cardiganshire, Wales
Son of (nee Jones)
940/04/10 - Enlisted at Exmouth Royal Marine Recruitment Depot
Gordon had the intention of training to become a Royal Marine Commando but due to an appendectomy, he missed his opportunity.
1940/12/14 - H.O.6 Squad. 1st H.O. Squad to pass out for duty. Gordon is in the second last row, second from the right.
1941/03/11 - Gordon was deployed to the HMS Exeter.
On the entry of the Japan into the war in December 1941, Exeter formed part of the ABDACOM naval force which was intended to defend the Dutch East Indies from Japanese invasion.
On 27th February, 1942, she was badly damaged in the Battle of the Java Sea when she received a hit in the boiler room and was ordered to Surabaya. The destroyer HMS Electra was sunk covering her withdrawal.
On 1st March while Exeter was attempting to reach the Sunda Straits, she was again engaged by the Japanese cruisers Nachi and Haguro. Exeter was soon badly damaged by gunfire and a torpedo from the destroyer Inazuma. Taking on water she began to list to starboard, by noon on the same day she sank. Her escorting destroyers, HMS Encounter and USS Pope were also lost in this engagement. About 800 Allied seamen, including the commander of Exeter, Captain O.L. Gordon., became prisoners of war.
When morning came, his sea mates were fewer than when the night began. If there was a man missing, he was either killed in the explosion, drowned or eaten by a shark. The Japanese had just signed a prisoner Treaty (Geneva Red Cross), so they had to pick up survivors. They wanted to hit ships directly on. Not so much as to sink the ship; but if they got a direct hit, there was a less chance of survivors. If the magazine was hit the ship would blow up. In the morning the Japanese picked up the survivors from the sea battle.
The Japanese had taken over a Dutch hospital ship the ‘Up Ten Noort’. The survivors were put on that ship and taken to Makassar.
1942/03/02 - Captured Java Sea
1942/03/10 - Makassar
Commander Lt-Cdr Cooper, Royal Navy
Japanese Index Card - Side One
Japanese Index Card - Side Two
At Makassar Gordon lost teeth when the Japanese guard Yoshida Tomano set upon him with a baseball bat. On Gordon’s return he filled out illness he suffered, recurrent malaria, dysentery and "avitaminosis".
1945/07/26 - Gordon left Mariso Camp, Moeno, Makassar in the Nanshin Maru with 415 PoWs.
1945/07/29 - Arrived in Surabaya and transported by train to 10th Battalion Camp, Batavia.
1945/08/06 - Arrived Cycle Camp
New PoW No. 5673
1945/09/09 - Liberated Batavia, Java
Photo taken at the Cycle Camp after liberation.
Gordon is standing in the second row, far left.
1945/10/02 - The M.V. Cilicia , Anchor Line departed Singapore
Telegram from Colombo to his sweetheart, Mavis Oliver, and future wife.
Menu from Gordon’s last dinner aboard the M.V. Cilicia
1945/10/29 - Arrive Liverpool
Gordon is pictured back row on the left.
Gordon spent some time recuperating in the Newton Abbot Royal Navy Auxiliary Hospital before getting on a train home to Wales.
Train Ticket home after discharge
Permanently Unfit for Royal Marines Service
1946 - Married Mavis Oliver in Kensington, London
Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire
Kimberley Evans Pedersen
Liberation Questionnaire - COFEPOW
KEW Files:- WO 392/24, WO 345/17, WO 361/2010, WO 361/2010,