Aircraftsman 1st Class
1915/04/18 - Born Sandbach, Cheshire
Son of Henry and Margaret Jones
Enlisted at Padgate between September 1939 and February 1940
Royal Air Force
1942/03/08 - Captured Java
PoW No. III 1438
Japanese Index Card - Side One
Japanese Index Card - Side Two
1943/04/13 - Medical examination by Japanese at Surabaya for fitness to travel, no one rejected, all classified fit by the Japanese.
Next morning in front of paraded PoWs, Squadron Leader Pitts was severely beaten up in an unprovoked assault, which lasted for about 15 minutes. It is thought it was to impress upon the 2,075 PoWs who were being transported that the Japanese were in charge.
1943/04/17 - After several days after embarking the ship set sail for Haruku. The conditions on board were bad with the PoWs confined to the holds with buckets as latrines and little ventilation dysentery soon caused problems.
1943/05/05 - After 1, 200 miles at sea they arrived at Haruku where the atap hut roofs leaked letting in the consistent rain.
The work at the camp was to flatten the top of the volcanic island and building an air strip. For the work the PoWs were paid 15 cents a day. As the food was poor the moey was spent in the camp shop which was run by the Japanese Guard Mori. Mori kept the camp food rations poor so the PoWs had to spend their money in his shop.
1944/6 - Without warning the PoWs were ordered to embark to leave Haruku. It is believed the reason for this was the Japanese were retreating. 415 PoWs were left behind in graves at Haruku mainly due to a dysentery epidemic in the first three months.
The PoWs were divided into two parties, 650 of the fitter, including Oswald were taken to Ambon to work loading ships at the docks.
1944/08 - The PoWs were split into two groups, one group of 500 boarded the Maros Maru, an old steamship, Oswald was in this group.
Conditions onboard the Maros Maru were very bad as the PoWs were kept on deck and it was stormy weather. Illness soon broke out on a starvation diet. After 14 days the PoWs were dying in large numbers, about 15 a day.
The engine was giving plenty of trouble and slowed the voyage down to Makasar in the Celebes. After reaching Makasar the PoWs were kept on the ship while the repairs were carried out, this took days and the PoWs wre still dying.
Repairs completed the ship got underway to Java but Oswald and 370 more PoWs had died during the 60 day voyage from Ambon to Java.
Cause of death Acute Pneumonia
Buried at sea from the Maros Maru
119.19 degrees East, 5.05 degrees South
Son of Margaret Jones, of Sandbach, Cheshire
Husband of Doris Jones, of Elworth, Cheshire
Commonwealth War Grave Commission
‘Prisoner Doctor’ by Richard Philps
KEW, WO 361/1616, WO 361/1222, WO 361/1222, WO 392/24, WO 361/1530, WO 345/28, WO 361/1945, WO 361/2008,