To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

Royal Artillery-tn



William John Lewis


1917/09/04 - Born , Senghenydd, Wales

Son of Theophilvs and Elizabeth Lewis of Senghenydd, Wales

Occupation Civil Servant


1939/02/03 - Enlisted

Next of Kin - Wife, Ann, 22 Coedcae Road, Abertridwr, Glamorganshire

Royal Artillery

77 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment

239 Battery



239 battery. 77 HAA Regiment

1941/12/09 - The 48 L.A.A Regiment, 77 H.A.A.  and 21 L.A.A. Regiments of the Royal Artillery left the Clyde for the Middle East, assembling off Oversay to form  Convoy William Sail 14.

1941/12/08 - Japan attacked Malaya entering the war against Britain.

1942/01/13 - By the time WS 14 had reached Durban, South Africa their destination had changed to the Singapore and they sailed in Convoy DM-2 (Durban Malaya -2).

1942/01/19 - Off Mombassa at 01.05 N, 91.28 E they merged with Convoy BB-12 (Bombay Malaya -12) and were re-routed to Batavia, Java with their supplies.

Empress of australia-3b

1942/02/03 - Arrived Batavia in Empress of Australia.

48 LAA Regiment, Royal Artillery, on arrival in Batavia, deployed the 49 Battery around Kalidjati airfield, North of Bandoeng. The 95 Battery were deployed at Andir airfield, Bandoeng and HQ together with 242 Battery were in Batavia.

The 77 H.A.A Regiment less 239 Battery, were transported by train to Surabaya setting up their guns to defend Eastern Java against enemy aircraft. The 239 battery stayed in defense of Batavia.

1942/02/06  -  At 0300 hrs a troop train carrying part of 77 HAA Regiment crashed into an ammunition train on a single track bridge just outside Surabaya, 30 were killed and 100 were injured.

1942/02/28 - A strong Japanese force landed  on the North Coast of Java at Eretenwetan. Using tanks they soon reached Kalidjati airfield, destroying the 49th Battery of the 48 L.A.A. Regiment.

1942/03/04 - By this time the Dutch forces in Java were being severely hit by the Japanese advance. The 239 Battery, 77 H.A.A and the 242 Battery, 48 L.A.A were ordered to move and defend the Bandoeng area.

1942/03/08 - Java surrendered to the Japanese.


1943/03/16 - WO 417/58, Casualty List No. 1084. Reported ‘Missing’.

1943/07/15 - WO 417/63, Casualty List No.1187. Previously shown on Casualty List No.1084 as Missing, 01/02/1943. Now reported a ‘Prisoner of War’.


Japanese PoW

1942/03/08 - Captured Java

Tanjung Priok Camp, Java

PoW No. J-1630

Commander Col. Lane

Japanese Index Card - Side One


Japanese Index Card - Side Two


1943/02/09 - Transported to Singapore from Java in Roko Maru with Java Party 13. 1000 PoWs, 299 were 77 HAA, which included cousin John Herbert

Commander Col. Holmes

Part Consisted of:-



Other Ranks


Royal Air Force

















Of the list above 299 of the Army were 77th HAA Regiment

1943/02/13 - Arrived Singapore


1931/05/05 - Transported overland to Thailand with ‘H’ Force, train 1

This was the 77th train to Thailand

Cousin Clifford was on the same train.

Commander Major George Frederick Gerald Gaskell and Lt-Col. R.R. Humphreys, 77th HAA Regiment, RA

New PoW No. 6880

1943/05/09 - Arrived Ban Pong and were marched six days, 100km to Hin Tok Road/Valley camp where they worked on Three Tier Bridge and Hin Tok Cutting.

1943/06 - PoWs from H5 and H6 joined them and a new camp at Hin Tok River was started a few kilometers away to work on Pack of Cards Bridge and Compressor Cutting linking the railway around the mountain towards Kinsaiyok.

Cousin Clifford remained at Hin Tok Road with the sick.

1943/10 - Thailand and Burma railway lines joined near Kinsaiyok.

1943/09 - The PoWs started to be moved back to Kanchanaburi ‘F’ and ‘H’ Hospital Camp for transfer back to Singapore.

The death toll 252 men from H1 42% left in Jungle Graves in Thailand now remembered at Kanchanaburi and Chungkai War Cemeteries.


1943/12 - Transported back to Changi, Singapore

1945/04 - Adam Road

1945/11/02 - Liberated

 Liberation Questionnaire

General Seishiro Itagaki, Japanese Commander of Singapore, would not accept the surrender. Plus it gave him time to cover up all Japanese Atrocities in Singapore. The allied naval landing force 'Operation Tiderace' were delayed as it was still understood the Japanese would dispose of all the PoWs in Singapore if they landed. Mountbatten ordered British paratroopers into Singapore to protect the camps. To many of the PoWs in Singapore, those red berets of the paratroopers were the first signs that the war had ended. All this delayed organising the PoWs. It wasn't till the 12th September that Lord Mountbatten accepted the Japanese surrender at the Municipal Building. Hospital cases were the first to leave Singapore 1945/09/10 on the HMHS Koroa. They were soon followed by Repatriation ships which started reaching the UK about the 15th of October 1945. Why many of the liberated PoWs on these ships had November on their Japanese Index cards, I don't know as in other areas of the Far East, PoWs were marked as Liberated at their PoW camps with the correct date. Unless General Seishiro Itagaki did not make the cards available when the camps were liberated.


1945/12/22 - WO417/100, Casualty List No. 1943. Previously reported on Casualty List No. 1187 as Prisoner of War now Not Prisoner of War. Previous Theatre of War, Netherlands East Indies.




1939-1945 Star-tn

Pacific Star

War Medal

1939-1945 Star



Diane Bossom - Granddaughter

Glenda Godfrey

Tim Lloyds

Andrew Snow - Thailand Burma Railway Centre

Convoy William Sail

Japanese Transports

Java Index

Thailand-Burma Railway

Liberation Questionnaire - COFEPOW

KEW Files:-  WO 392/25, WO 345/31, WO 361/2009, WO 361/2216, WO 361/2233, 


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