To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”



Aircraftman 2nd Class

Alec John Hughes

Hughes-Alec-John - big smile colourised-04tn

1921/10/21 - Born Folkstone, Kent

Son of  mother Edie Hughes

Grandson of William and Annie Clara Hughes from the Folkestone area.

1939 - Census has Alec living at 2 Coome Villas, Folkstone, with mother Edith and Grandparents, William and Annie. Mother Edith was bedridden.

Hughes-Alec-John and his poorly Mum, Edie c.1930-tn

1940/06/01 – Alec with his Mother Edie Hughes who died aged 36

Alec’s occupation Cycle Salesman


1941/02/04 – Enlisted into 242 Squadron RAFVR

Next of kin - Mrs W. Hughes, 2 Coombe Cott, Hawkinge, Kent


Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

242 Squadron




Warwick Castle-2


1941/12/08 - 242 groundcrew departed aboard Warwick Castle from Gourock, Scotland with Convoy William Sail 12Z

1941/12/21-25 - anchored at Freetown, Sierra Leone, shore leave denied

1941/12/29 - crossed Equator

1942/01/05-09 – docked at Cape Town, South Africa and allowed ashore.

1941/12/24 - Convoy DM1 (ex WS 12-ZM) with 232 Squadron, departed Durban. 

 1942/01/05 - Departed the Addu Atoll

1942/01/13 - Arrived Singapore. On arrival  in Singapore they were at Seletar and Kalang airports.  All accounts say that the ground component of 242 Squadrons, were working on Spitfires at Seletar.

En route its pilots (242) were flown off to Malta where they were later absorbed no No.126 Squadron. The ground echelon arrived in Singapore in January 1942, being merged with other personnel of Nos.232 and 605 Squadrons to service Hurricanes of a composite unit. The Japanese advance and air superiority forced a withdrawal to Sumatra and Java, where it was dispersed by 10 March 1942.

After arriving in Singapore, the Japanese were about to attack Singapore and the RAF squadrons were soon withdrawn to Sumatra and later Java.

1942/03/04 - The ground crews arrived in Batavia. and based at Tjililitan (Meester Cornelius) Airfield, in West Java  - inland from south coast of western Java- SE of Bandung. Squadrons 232 and 242 were amalgamated, and became 232 Squadron.

On 28 Feb, 232  Squadron volunteered to stay in Java and moved to Andir Airstrip near Bandung - ground parties also - by road. Planes did night attack against Japanese landings but the Japanese landed in Java.

As casualties increased and spares diminished the squadron began to get dispersed and by the end of February 1942, it had practically ceased to exist. 

1942/03/08 - The 234 Squadron were at Andir when Java surrendered to the Japanese


Japanese PoW

1942/03/08 - Captured Java

Japanese Index Card - Side One


Japanese Index Card - Side Two


1942/09/22 - Transported oversea to Singapore with Java Party 2

1942/09/26 - Arrived Changi, Singapore

1942/10/09 - Departed Singapore for Kuching, Borneo with 1203 PoWs

1943/04/08-18 - Arrive Sandakan

1945/03/28 - Died, believed at Sandakan, no known grave.

Death Certificate


 As the Japanese ‘Death Certificate’ records 1945/03/28, this date is used for Alec’s death, although we now know most of the death certificates at Sandakan were fabricated. In another certificate it records cause of death as  ‘Acute Enteritis’.

Of over 2500 PoWs, only six Australians survived Sandakan, as they escaped. The remaining died in the hands of the Japanese.

Please read ‘Sandakan’ for more information




28th March 1945

Believed to be Sandakan, no known grave


Loved Ones

William and Annie Hughes of Hawkinge, Nr. Folkstone, Kent



Column 456.

Singapore Memorial




1939-1945 Star-tn

Pacific Star

War Medal

1939-1945 Star


Sandakan Memorial

Sandakan Memorial

(Photo by Keith Meakins)



Claire Jordan - the photo Claire supplied was coloured by her husband Poppy Research

William Sail Convoys

Sandakan - Roll of Honour, ‘Atrocities’ section

Book:- ‘Sandakan - A Conspiracy of Silence’ by Lynette Ramsay Silver

Commonwealth War Grave Commission

KEW Files:- WO 345/26, WO 361/1499, WO 361/2207,


''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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