Arthur Robert Jones
1917/12/04 - Born East Dereham, Norfolk
Son of Arthur and Carrie (nee Bush) Jones
Arthur was the first son of six boys
(Father, Arthur Edgar Jones, was in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in WW1)
1922/23 - Arthur’s parents and two brothers returned to live in Haverfordwest Wales where another three boys were born.
Arthur remained with his grandparents Martha and Robert Bush at their home in Dereham where he was brought up. He attended a church school at Dereham, leaving school at 14 years old.
After various jobs he moved from Dereham to live with his married aunt and uncle Mabel and Harry Hunt in Oak Street, Norwich where he worked for Steward and Patterson as a lorry drivers mate delivering beer to local pubs.
1940/01/15 - Enlisted
Royal Norfolk Regiment
September 1st 1939 in Norwich saw the battalion mobilised with 24 officers, 27 warrant officers and sergeants, and 483 other ranks. Lt.-Col. D.C.Buxton was in command and Maj. H.S.Ling MC was second in command. The battalion was organised into three rifle companies at the outbreak of war with a further “D” company being formed on November 30th when the battalion reached a strength of 785 in all ranks. At the end of 1939 they were moved to Sheringham and were billeted in the town. During the bad winter of early 1940 the brigade helped the Norfolk County Council with snow clearing in the area, it was very cold work with high drifts of snow. As the spring came night patrols were performed and the Sheringham golf course became their training ground with a rifle range in Upper Sheringham.
On May 22nd, Lt.-Col. Buxton was relieved in command by Lt.-Col. F.L.Cubitt. Further coastal defences were laid.
In August they were relieved of their coastal duties by the 2nd Cambridgeshires and moved to the Gresham School at Holt for a month of training. During this period Lt.-Col. J.F.Ross took over command and Maj. F.M.E.D.Drake was put as second-in-command from the 1st Battalion.
The 6th Battalion relived the 5th Battalion at Weybourne on September 21st, training continued till October when the battalion was relieved by the 9 Lincolns, this took the whole of the 18 Division into reserve with quarters at Swaffham in Houses and farms.
In January 1941 a move to Scotland for the 18th Division saw more advanced training, the 6th Battalion being entrained for Dumfries. The day before their departure a German bomber dropped its bombs on the Swaffham Railway station, causing the death of six privates who were loading the train.
February saw the Scottish weather prove hostile with snow on most days, training continued in the companies and it wasn’t till the weather improved during March that battalion, Brigade and Divisional exercises could take place.
The hills helped develop the men physically, and by the beginning of April 1941 the battalion looked in shape.
1941/10/30 - Sailed from Liverpool in ‘Duchess of Atholl’
Within Convoy CT.5 sailing for Halifax
1941/11/08 - Reached Halifax
1941/11/08 - Transferred to USS Mount Vernon
1941/11/23 2000 hrs - Crossed Equator
After a brief visit to Trinidad to refuel, Cape Town was reached on December 9th. Shore leave was granted before sailing on the 13th December for Bombay only to be then ordered on the 23rd to sail for Mombassa and then finally Singapore. She was escorted by the H.M.S. Emerald and reached Singapore Harbour on January 13th 1942, the battalion disembarked in heavy rain and moved to Tyersall Park Camp by truck.
No training was given before they were dispatched and the hope they were to receive any in Malaya was quickly demised as they were put straight into the battle for Malaya.
On January 16th Advance Battalion H.Q. were moved along with “C” and “D” companies by transports to Yong Peng, on the following day Maj. A.B.Cubitt and the rest of the battalion joined them.
Moving west from Yong Peng “C” and “D” companies took up defensive positions along the Bakri Road at the defile marked on the map. “A” and “B” companies were moved in just to the rear to support. The battalions task was to cover the lines of communication with the 45 Infantry Brigade who were under heavy attack near Muar.
The 19th January was spent patrolling the road and the Simpang-Kanan River although they made no contact with the enemy, the Australian “B” Echelon transport passed through the battalion lines and was attacked six miles north.
On the 20th a patrol suffered casualties when attacked near the river, then later a full attack took place. The Japanese attacked from the forward positions and also having infiltrated got behind “C” and “D” companies and attacked them from the rear, cutting off help from “A” or “B” companies.
On the 23rd the battalion was moved to Skudai, just south of Ayer Hitam. Early on the 24th the battalion moved up again to Benut on the coastal road, where it was reorganised as Battalion H.Q. and “A” and “B” companies, their support was by the 4.5 Howitzers and one section of Royal Engineers. There orders were to keep the road open for the 5th Norfolks and 2nd Cambridgeshire’s, this also included a mixture from the Leicestershire and East Surrey Regiments. “A” company supported at Rengit whilst the remainder moved forward to Senggarang, eight miles south of Batu Pahat. Although no enemy were reported in the area the rear of the force came under heavy machine-gun fire and suffered casualties, snipers did not help their situation neither.
Having taken control of Senggarang, they could not cover their rear and the enemy infiltrated and set up road blocks behind them. cutting them off from “A” company. The 15 Brigade was then ordered to withdraw from Batu Pahat to help at Senggarang. Late on the 26th the Cambridgeshire’s were ordered to fight their way south and “A” company to attack from the south, to try to clear the road, both failed. The bridge at Senggarang was then blown and the 250 transport vehicles destroyed, the troops were ordered to find their way back through the jungle.
After the withdrawal from Senggarang about 200 men made their way through the jungle to Ponggor on the coast, where they were taken off by Royal Navy gunboats to make a rather uncomfortable trip back to Singapore, they were then housed near the Seleltar River.
1942/02/15 - Singapore fell to the Japanese
1945/05/02 - WO 417/42, Casualty List No. 813. Reported ‘Missing’.
1943/10/07 - WO 417/67, Casualty List No. 1258. Previously posted Missing. Now reported ‘Prisoner of War’.
1942/02/15 - Captured Singapore
PoW No. M-3328
Japanese Index Card - Side One
Japanese Index Card - Side Two
1943/04/25 - Transported oversea in Kyokko Maru with ‘G’ Force to Japan
1500 PoWs (300 British, 200 Australians, 1000 Dutch)
Commander Major R. Glasgow, 8th Div. AIF
1943/05/21 - Arrive Japan
Transported to Tokyo 9B - Omi
1943/05/23 - British arrive at Tokyo 9B Camp
New PoW No. 2480
Work involved Open hearth furnaces and chipping out the carbon ingots. To carry out the work identification photos were required, as Arthur’s above.
1943/08/01 - Name change to Tokyo 7D - Omi
1945/08 - Camp renamed Tokyo 13B - Omi
Royal Norfolk Group (1945)
1945/09/06 - Liberated Tokyo men transported by train to Yokohama
1945/10/26 - WO417/98, Casualty List No. 1894. Previously reported on Casualty List No. 1258 as Prisoner of War now Not Prisoner of War. Previous Theatre of War, Malaya.
Travelled from Yokohama to Okinawa, in B42 bombers, and then to Manila.
1945/09/12 - Empress of Australia travelled from Hong Kong to Manila.
Arthur boarded the ship, embarkment No. 23 (Roll 8/1)
1945/09/18 - Sailed for the UK
1025 with PoWs on board
1945/10/27 - Arrived Liverpool
On Arthur’s return he went to live with his aunt and uncle who were then living in Narborough as Oak Street had been bombed out during the war.
1947 - Arthur married Netta M. Taylor from the near by village of Pentney.
(Photo taken on wedding day)
1947- Netta and Arthur were blessed with daughter Linda
The family lived in Narborough a few years where he was employed at the local maltings. Later moving to work at the Whitbread malting's King's Lynn in1950.
In 1965 one of his brothers, Basil, visited him unexpectedly. This led to Arthur and Netta visiting Wales for the first time in 1966 to meet up with two other brothers and their families. And then going back again in 1968. Athur’s mother had died in 1935 and his father died in 1962 both in Haverfordwest South Wales where three of his brothers were born.
1965 - Daughter Linda married Kevin Nicholls
Arthur worked at the Whitbread maltings King's Lynn until it closed in the seventies. Then working at a local factory, Foster Refrigerator for a number of happy years making several friends at their social club until his retirement.
Arthur’s time as a FEPOW stopped his wanting to holiday abroad so preferred to holiday mainly at Great Yarmouth and other UK resorts.
Arthur’s main interests were gardening, cooking his and Netta’s meals, DIY, playing his records and watching television.
He was mainly a quiet kind family man and enjoyed seeing his family, his two grand daughters and their children.
8th February 2008
Linda and Kevin - Daughter and Son-in-Law
Royal Norfolks in the Far East
Japanese Attack Malaya and Singapore
Convoy William Sail 12X
Tokyo 13B - Omi
Tokyo 13B - Roger Mansell
Empress of Australia
Liberation Questionnaire - COFEPOW
KEW Files:- WO 361/1745, WO 361/1970, WO 392/24, WO 345/28, WO 367/2, WO 361/1984, WO 361/2070,