To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

Royal Engineers-tn



John Bamborough Gibson


1918/02/18 - Born Newcastle-on-Tyne

Son of Thomas (diseased) and Margaret Telford (nee Purvis) Gibson (Born 1878/11/19)

(Parents Thomas and Margaret married 1900)

John’s Occupation Builder Joiner

Mother: Margaret Gibson, 64 Courtfield Road, Walkergate, Newcastle-on-Tyne (in 1939 censis)

Royal Engineers

288 Field Company

55th Infantry Brigade

18th Division



1941/10/30 - Left Britain in Convoy CT.5 from Liverpool to Halifax

Final Destination Unknown

1941/11/08 - Arrived Halifax

USS West Point-3

1941/11/10 - The 55th Infantry Brigade were transferred to USS West Point

The 55 Infantry Brigade consistered of:-

55 Brigade HQ

(+ Section of RC of Signals, Light Aid Det., R.A.O.C. and Section of C.M. Police)

118 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

(+ Section of RC of Signals, Light Aid Det., R.A.O.C.)

288 Field Company, R.E.

55 Bde. Group Company, R.A.S.C.

197 Field Ambulance

1/5th Sherwood Foresters

1st Cambridgeshire Regiment

5th Beds and Herts Regiment

(3,250 troops)

1941/11/10 - Left Halifax with Convoy William Sail 12X, destination unknown, believed to be Middle East.

Convoy William Sail 12x

Above Photo of Convoy William Sail 12X supplied by the late Maurice Rooney

Vought SB 2U Vindicator Scout Bomber - USS Ranger which was flying an Anti Submarine patrol over the convoy.

Front Line Top to Bottom:-

USS West Point - USS Mount Vernon - USS Wakefield - USS Quincy (Heavy Cruiser)

Back Row Top To Bottom:-

USAT Leonard Wood - USS Vincennes (Heavy Cruiser) - USS Joseph T Dickman

(USS Orizaba Ap-24 also sailed with Convoy though not pictured in photo)

Convoy William Sail 12X continued with six American troopships, two cruisers, eight destroyers and the aircraft carrier Ranger,  the Convoy William Sail 12X  was under way, destination still unknown.


The convoy passed through the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico and St Domingo.

1941/11/17 - Arrived at Trinidad in glorious sunshine so troops changed to tropical kit, but no shore-leave, left Trinidad after two days of taking on supplies.

1941/11/24 -  The equator was crossed, there was a crossing the line ceremony.

After a month the convoy arrived at Cape Town, South Africa. By this time the Americans were in the war as the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbour and attacked Malaya and the rumours were that they were heading for the Far East and not the Middle East as first thought.

1941/12/08 - Japan attacked Pearl Harbour and Malaya

1941/12/13 - The convoy left Cape Town and sailed along the coast of East Africa past Madagascar and into the Indian Ocean heading for Bombay.

1941/12/27 - After 17,011 miles at sea Bombay was reached.

1942/01/18 - The convoy sailed with a British escort, the H.M.S. Exeter and H.M.S. Glasgow with British and Australian destroyers. Destination was the far East. Passing Colombo, (Ceylon), crossing the equator for the third time, the convoy passed through the Sundra Straits between Java and Samatra and then the Banka Straits. The convoy was then bombed by Japanese Planes, there was no damage.

1942/01/19 - The convoy reached the safety of Keppel Harbour, Singapore.  Ships were ablaze in the harbour, clouds of smoke drifted across the sky and the smell of fumes was overpowering, this was not the best of greetings. The Japanese had taken most of Malaya in the last three weeks and were only thirty miles away from Singapore.

1942/02/15 - Singapore Surrendered


1943/08/10 - WO 417/64, Casualty List No. 1208. Previously shown on Casualty List No. 791 as Missing, Now reported a ‘Prisoner of War’.


Japanese PoW

1942/02/15 - Captured Singapore

River Valley Camp, Singapore

PoW No. 5605

Japanese Index Card - Side One


Japanese Index Card - Side Two


1943/03/23 - Transprted overland to Thailand with ‘D’ Force, train 9.

58th Train to Thailand

Commander Lt-Col. G.G. Carpenter, 1st Battlion, Cambridgeshire Regiment

New PoW No. 11256

In Thailand attached to Group 4 23 (Takke) Bn. under Lt. Col Carpenter.

Thailand Camps for Work Group 4:-

 Kanchanaburi to Wang Pho, 52km-111km from Nong Pladuk

Tha Sao, 125km from Nong Pladuk

Kinsaiyok Jungle No.2 Camp, 167.70km from Nong Pladuk

Kinsaiyok Jungle No.2

 Photo of Kinsaiyok Jungle No.2

(Suplied by Andrew Snow)

(Edwin may have moved further up the line)

Tha Sao, 125km from Nong Pladuk

Tha Muang, 38.90km from Nong Pladuk


Transported back to Singapore


1944/09/04 - Convoy HI-72 sailed from Singapore. Two of these ships, Rakuyo Maru and the Kachidoki Maru carried PoWs. The Rakuyo Maru carried 1317 Pows (British and Australian) and the Kachidoki Maru a further 900 (all British).

Kachidoki Maru

With John in the Kachidoki Marum there were other Group 4 men from the Thailand-Burma Railway.

1944/09/12 - Not knowing there were PoWs on board the ships, the convoy was attacked by US submarines and both these ships were hit. The Kachidoki Maru was torpedoed by the US submarine Pampanito at 22:40 hours.

USS Pamanito

The Kachidoki Maru sunk off Hainan Island, Cina, 19.25 degees North, 114.23 degrees East.

All of those who survived the sinking of the Kachidoki Maru jumped within the first ten minutes of the ship being hit.

The Kachidoki Maru - Sunk North East of Hainan Island off China by USS Pampanito carried 900 British prisoners from Singapore to Japan, 400 were lost in the sinking, including John.



Age 26


In the sinking of the Kachidoki Maru


1945/05/07 - WO417/90.1, Casualty List No. 1725. Previously reported Prisoner of War in Japanese hands - Malaya on Casualty List No. 1208. Now reported ‘Missing at Sea’. Date not reported.

1945//12/10 - WO417/100, Casualty List No. 1932. Previously shown on Casualty List No. 1725 as reported Missing whilst Prisoner of War. Presumed Killed in Action whilst Prisoner of War.



Singapore memorial - Addenda Panel

Column 40.

Singapore Memorial

(No known Grave as died at sea)




1939-1945 Star-tn

Pacific Star

War Medal

1939-1945 Star



Larraine Pita

Andrew Snow - Thailand Burma Railway Centre (camp information on Thailand)

Japanese Transports

Thailand-Burma Railway

Hell Ships - Roll of Honour

KEW Files:- WO 361/1742, WO 361/2057, WO 392/24, WO 345/20, WO 361/2169, WO 361/1987, WO 361/2191, WO 361/2070, WO 367/2,


''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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