To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”



Lance Corporal

William Patterson


1915/02/21 - Born Armagh, Northern Island

1934/01/15 - Enlisted

Manchester Regiment

1st Battalion

Malaya Command

Machine Gunner




At the outbreak of the Second World War the 1st Battalion Manchester Regiment were assigned to a beach defence role, which entailed setting up of Machine gun posts, searchlights and ant-ship, and landing craft obstacles.

In November 1937 the battalion had become a machine gun unit and in January 1938 with a strength of 980 officers and men the 1st Battalion were transported to Palestine as Jewish Community protectorates. They were housed in Tiberius at ‘The Central’ and ‘Elizabethan’ Hotels. A B C and D companies occupied trouble spots at Mielia, Safad, Sarafand Jeruslem and along the Jordon border


Under orders on 4th October 1938, the 1st Battalion sailed in the ‘Dilwara’ for the Far East and Singapore. At Port Suez they had a few days in the Western Desert while peace talks took place between Chamberlain and Adolph Hitler. Then back on the ship, arriving in  Singapore on the 20th October 1938. As part of the 2nd Malaya Infantry Brigade, they saw action during the Japanese invasion of Singapore island in February 1942.

1942/02/15 - Singapore surrendered to the Japanese.


1942/03/24 - WO 417/40, Casualty List No. 779. Missing

1943/06/28 - WO 417/63, Casualty List No. 1172. Previously reported Missing on Casualty List No. 779, 15/02/1942 now reported Prisoner of War.


Japanese PoW

1942/02/15 - Captured Singapore Town

PoW No. 8424

Japanese Index Card - Side One


Japanese Index Card - Side Two


1942/02/15 Singapore Working Camps

Camp Leader Col. Holmes


Photo Taken at Changi

William is left front row

1945/09/02 - Liberated

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.

Liberation Questionnaire


1945/10/27 - WO417/98, Casualty List No. 1895. Previously reported on Casualty List No. 1172 as Prisoner of War now Not Prisoner of War. Previous Theatre of War, Malaya.




1939-1945 Star-tn

Pacific Star

War Medal

1939-1945 Star



David Patterson

Arthur Lane - FEPOW Community

Liberation Questionnaire - COFEPOW

KEW:- WO 367/3, WO 392/25, WO 345/40, WO 345/40, WO 361/2063, WO 361/2229,


''Our Thanks are for being a Chapter in Life.''




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