To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”




Arthur George Heffer


1920/07/21 - Born Swaffham Prior, Cambridgeshire

Son of Henry James and May (nee Fuller) Heffer

(Father was a Farm Labourer for Charles C. Ambrose)

Brother to Kathleen Sarah (b.1919), Jean, Mildred, Florence and Leslie John Charles

Arthur’s Occupation Labourer


Next of Kin - Parents, H J & M Heffer, 15 Martin Road, Burwell, Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire Regiment

1st Battalion

55 Infantry Brigade

18th Division



1st Battalion

1st Cambridgeshire Regiment at Lichfield in 1941



The Cambridgeshire Regiments had a fighting reputation and were nicknamed ‘The Fen Tigers’.


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

Final Destination Unknown

1941/11/08 - Arrived Halifax

USS West Point-3

1941/11/10 - Transferred to USS West Point with the 55th Infantry Brigade. Departed Halifax in Convoy William Sail 12X.

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 Sumatra and then the Banka Straits. The convoy was then bombed by Japanese Planes, there was no damage.

1942/01/29 - 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.

The day after the 1st Battalion arrived the causeway over the Strait of Jahore which linked Singapore to Malaya was destroyed. This did not delay the Japanese who landed at the North West of Singapore Island on the 8th February.

The Battalion fought at the Sime Road Camp in  Singapore defending Adam Park . For three days ‘The Fen Tigers’ held up the Japanese 41st Fukuyama, Regiment, which was part of the Japanese 5th Division. The fighting was intense but on the 15th February the 1st Battalion CO, Lt-Col. Carpenter, finding the Japanese bypassing his position, requested permission to withdraw from Brigade HQ. he was told to hold the position and lay down their arms as Singapore had surrendered.

1942/02/15 - Singapore Surrendered


1942/05/06 - WO 417/43, Casualty List No. 861. Reported ‘Missing’.

Casualty List No. 1148 as reported Prisoner of War in Japanese Hands. Previous Theatre of War, Malaya. Now Reported a ‘Prisoner of War’.


Japanese PoW

1942/02/15 - Captured Singapore

PoW No. IV 35506

Japanese Index Card - Side One


Japanese Index Card - Side Two


1942/10/12 - Transported overland to Thailand with River Valley Road Party, train 4

This was the 9th train to Thailand with 650 PoWs

Now PoW No. IV 5043

Attached to Group 4 10 (C) Work Battalion

 Under Major Ian James MacKinlay, 85 A/Tank Reg.

Worked at Tonchan Central and South

1943/08/27 - Admitted to Tha Sao Hospital

 With Diarrhoea, Avitaminosis and Malnutrition.


Died of Dysentery at Tha Sao

Buried at No.2 Cemetery, St Lukes Cemetery, Grave 259, Tha Sao


1945/07/06 - WO417/94_1, Casualty List No. 1801. Previously shown on Casualty List No. 1148 as reported Prisoner of War in Japanese Hands. Previous Theatre of War, Malaya. Now reported ‘Died’.



Age 23


Cause of death Dysentery

Buried Tha Sao, Thailand

After the war Arthur’s body was moved to a Commonwealth War Cemetery


Loved Ones

Son of Henry James Heffer and May Heffer, of Burwell, Cambridgeshire





Heffer-Arthur-George-Kanchanaburi War Cemetery Site Plan

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery



Post War


Lesley laying flowers on her uncle Arthur’s grave at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery




1939-1945 Star-tn

Pacific Star

War Medal

1939-1945 Star



Lesley Serrao Da Veiga - Niece

Andrew Snow - Thailand Burma Railway Centre

Convoy William Sail 12X

Cambridgeshires in the Far East by the late David Langton

Fall of Malaya and Singapore

Thailand-Burma Railway

Commonwealth War Grave Commission

KEW Files:- WO 361/2172, WO 361/1531, WO 361/1526, WO 392/24, WO 345/24, WO 361/1955, WO 361/2053, WO 361/2060, WO 361/1520, WO 361/1623, WO 361/2169, WO 361/2235, WO 361/2177,


''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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