Arthur Richard Peddie
1913/12/03 - Born Epsom, Surrey
Son of Robert and Emily (nee Risbridger) Peddie
Arthur’s Occupation, Postman
1939/02/19 - Married Jessie Taylor from West Street, Ewell, at St. Marys, Ewell
1940/06/27 - Enlisted at Cheam and sent to Crown Hill Barracks, Plymouth for training with the York and Lancs. Infantry.
Arthur was then transferred to Coy MT Driving, 1/5th Sherwood Foresters.
Next of kin - Wife, Jessie Peddie, 9 Church Road, Epsom, Surrey
1941/01/09 - Arthur’s Brother was killed
1941/10/18 - Arthur’s mother dies
The 1/5th (Derbyshire) Battalion was a Territorial Army formation originally serving with the 148th Infantry Brigade, part of the 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division. In December 1939, the battalion was reassigned to the 25th Infantry Brigade and saw service with the BEF in France and Belgium in 1940 and being evacuated at Dunkirk. In late 1940, it was again reassigned to the 55th Infantry Brigade, 18th Infantry Division.
1941/10/30 - The 1/5 Sherwood Foresters left Britain in ‘Orcades’ with Convoy CT.5 from Liverpool to Halifax
Final Destination Unknown
1941/11/08 - Arrived Halifax
1941/11/10 - Transferred to USS West Point and departed Halifax in Convoy William Sail 12X
Convoy William Sail 12X continued with six American troopships, two cruisers, eight destroyers and the aircraft carrier Ranger, the Convoy William Sail 12X was under way, destination still unknown.
(Above Photo supplied by the late Maurice Rooney)
Vought SB 2U Vindicator Scout Bomber - USS Ranger which was flying an Anti Submarine patrol over the convoy.
Ships Front Line Top to Bottom
USS West Point - USS Mount Vernon - USS Wakefield - USS Quincy (Heavy Cruiser)
The convoy passed through the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico and St Domingo.
1941/11/17 - Arrived at Trinidad in glorious sunshine so troops changed to tropical kit, but no shore-leave, left Trinidad after two days of taking on supplies.
1941/11/24 - The equator was crossed, there was a crossing the line ceremony.
After a month the convoy arrived at Cape Town, South Africa. By this time the 1941/12/08 - Americans were in the war as the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbour and attacked Malaya and the rumours were that they were heading for the Far East and not the Middle East as first thought.
1941/12/13 - The convoy left Cape Town and sailed along the coast of East Africa past Madagascar and into the Indian Ocean heading for Bombay.
1941/12/27 - After 17,011 miles at sea Bombay was reached.
1942/01/18 - The convoy sailed with a British escort, the H.M.S. Exeter and H.M.S. Glasgow with British and Australian destroyers. Destination was the far East. Passing Colombo, (Ceylon), crossing the equator for the third time, the convoy passed through the Sundra Straits between Java and Sumatra and then the Banka Straits. The convoy was then bombed by Japanese Planes, there was no damage.
1942/01/29 - The convoy reached the safety of Keppel Harbour, Singapore. Ships were ablaze in the harbour, clouds of smoke drifted across the sky and the smell of fumes was overpowering, this was not the best of greetings. The Japanese had taken most of Malaya in the last three weeks and were only thirty miles away from Singapore.
As a driver had many stories to tell of delivering military messages to the Raffles Hotel while the Battle for Singapore was raging about him.
1942/02/15 - Singapore Surrendered
1942/04/10 - WO 417/41, Casualty List No. 794. Reported ‘Missing’.
1943/07/26 - WO 417/64, Casualty List No. 1196. Previously reported Missing on Casualty List No. 794, 15/02/1942. Now reported a ‘Prisoner of War’.
1942/02/15 - Captured Singapore
1942/02/16 - Changi Camp
Commander Lt-Col. Lilly
PoW No. IV 584
Japanese Index Card- Side One
Japanese Index Card - Side Two
1942/11/01 - Transported overland to Thailand with Letter Party ‘Q’, train 8.
They were herded into a metal cattle truck, 33 men in a space for 15 men to sleep.
Commander Lt-Col. Douglas Rhys Thomas, 5th Battalion, Beds and Hearts.
After reaching Ban Pong, they became Group 4 06 (L) work battalion.
New PoW No. IV 43837
Working their way down river from Tha Sao to the Wampo Viaduct, living in different camps along the way.
Arthur’s Liberation Qestionnaire refers to him being under Major Paul Maltby Robinson, 1/5th Sherwood Foresters who was at:-
1942/11/11 - Tha Sao
1943/05 - Tonchan Spring
1943/08 - Tha Sao
1944/01 - Chungkai
The work was hard labour and for long hours with very little food a small amount of rice and watery soup. Pits for toilets. Very soon the men became infected with diseases, Cholera Beri Beri Dysentery Malaria to name a few.
Their body weights were reduced but still they had to work, 12 hours a day if they collapsed they were struck by the guards, ‘Speedo’ was the word they heard and began to hate.
1944/06/05 - Though barely weighing 7 stone Arthur was pronounced fit and transported back to River Valley, Singapore under Captain John Edward Pierce.
New PoW No. 5903
1944/09/04 - They marched 3 miles on to the docks to be transported oversea in Kachidoki Maru, with Japan Party 3 in Convoy HI-72, which included two ships carrying PoWs:-
Rakuyo Maru - 1317 PoWs (Australian and British)
Kachidoki Maru - 900 PoWs (all British)
1944/09/12 - No Flags were flown to show Prisoners were being transported, so not knowing, at 22.40 hrs, the USS Pampanito torpedoed the Kachidoki Maru.
For 16 hrs in the oil burning, shark infested south China sea Arthur managed to stay alive, he was rescued by Japanese trawlers and taken to mainland Japan in the Kibitsu Maru.
All of those who survived the sinking of the Kachidoki Maru jumped within the first ten minutes of the ship being hit. 435 POW’s lost their lives in the Kochidoki Maru. The Rakuyo Maru was also attacked and sunk, with an even greater loss of life.
On reaching Japan the survivors of the sinking were transported to Tokyo 22B - Sakata, Yamagata-Ken
Commander Captain Pierce
New PoW No. 3194
Arthur was in work party 75 with Captain Pierce, working for the Nippon Express on the docks, loading and unloading logs and coal.
During the worst winter Japan had known, he worked in a ‘Jap Happy’, which was basically a loin cloth.
Above is a the PoW hut at Sendai by George Otter. The hut was unheated but was wired for Electricity.
1945/04/14 - Contol changed to Sendai 9B - Sakata, Yamagata-Ken
1945/08/06 - An Atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. This prompted Korean Guards to make the prisoners start digging graves for the PoWs.
A few days later Arthur saw a silver plane high in the sky, he said it was like a sliver bird, the silver bird dropped the next Atom bomb on Nagasaki.
This forced the Japanese to surrender and save the prisoners from those already dug graves.
1945/09/14 - Liberated by USA troops
Arthur travelled back to Tokyo via Nagasaki and saw firsthand the devastation.
He was taken by a British Destroyer to Yokohama from there in a bomber plane to Okinawa, had to stay there for 5 days due to a hurricane. He flew on to Manilla where he received an American medical.
1945/09/25 - Arthur boarded the aircraft carrier HMS Implacable to Vancouver via a stopover at Pearl Harbour to let Americans depart. At Honolulu they were treated to tea and flower garlands.
1945/10/11 - Arrived Vancouver ‘A’ Pier. From Vancouver on the Canadian Pacific railway he travelled to Halifax where he stayed for two weeks, fattening up as he put it, with powdered milk.
The Ille De France brought him back from Halifax to Southampton.
Arthur sent a telegram to Jessie to tell her he was home. His best friend and Jessie went and collected him, 31st October 1945. 4 years from leaving.
Jessie had very little information only the odd letter one to say he was missing another to say he was a POW then a telegram from Arthur to say he was coming home. Jessie worked in the aircraft parts factory Swifts on the Ewell Downs motor site throughout the war.
1945/10/22 - WO417/98, Casualty List No. 1890. Previously shown on Casualty List No. 1196 as reported Prisoner of War now Not Prisoner of War. Previous Theatre of War, Malaya.
Arthur spent time in Horton Military Hospital for rehab on his return. Surgery to have a kidney stone removed, reoccurring bouts of Malaria. He had scars from leg ulcers cause by the bamboo in the jungle fortunately his were not infected by Strongyloides.
He also suffered mental stress now known as Post Trauma Stress Disorder, not recognised at that time. His Dr used to visit on Sunday afternoons. Medical bill’s met by Jessie taking all her savings as no NHS.
Arthur returned to the post office as higher grade and served 42 years. His hobbies were fishing, snooker and watching sport.
Arthur died aged 81, on the 23rd October 1995
The year of the 50th Victory Over Japan anniversary.
Arthur was cremated 31st October 1995, exactly 50 years to the day of him coming home.
Linda Martin - Daughter
Andrew Snow - Thailand Burma Railway Centre
Hell Shis - Kachidoki Maru
Japanese Homeland Camps
Liberation Questionnaire - COFEPOW
KEW Files:- WO 361/1742, WO 361/1970, WO 361/734, WO 361/1983, WO 392/25, WO 345/40, WO 361/2005, WO 361/2063, WO 361/2178,