To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

Northumberland Fusiliers-tn



John Tait


1916/08/11 - Born Berwick-on-Tweed

Son of George and Margaret

Occupation Plater

Royal Northumberland Fusiliers

9th Battalion

18th Division



The 9th Battalion, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers were formed in 1939 as an offshoot of the 7th Battalion. In August of that year they were amalgamated into the 18th Division and transported to Norfolk, defending the coast between Wells-on-Sea and Great Yarmouth.

 In January 1941 they moved to the Scottish Boarders for training with their HQ at Bowhill House.

Warwick Castle-2

1941/10/30 - Equipped for Middle East the 9th Royal Northumberland Fusiliers left Liverpool in the Warwick Castle, Convoy CT.5.


1941/11/08 - Arrived Halifax and after much debate amongst the troop at Halifax the 9th Battalion eventually boarded the USS. Orizaba, which was not a luxurious ship.

1941/11/10 - The 18th Division left Halifax in Convoy William Sail 12X and was escorted by the US Navy.

Convoy William Sail 12x

Convoy Willam Sail 12X

(USS Ranger was flying on antisubmarine patrol for the convoy)

The convoy passed through the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico and St Domingo, arriving at Trinidad on 17th November in glorious sunshine so our tropical kit came out, but unfortunately no shore-leave, the convoy left after two days of taking on supplies. On 24th the equator was crossed and there was a crossing the line ceremony.

1941/12/02 - USS Orizaba was refuelled at sea

After a month the convoy arrived at Cape Town, South Africa. By this time the 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 and the troops disembarked for training.

Felix Rousell-tn

1942/01/17 - Embarked  Felix Rousell and the convoy sailed the next day with a British escort, the H.M.S. Exeter and H.M.S. Glasgow with British and Australian destroyers. Japan had entered the war by attacking Malaya on 8th December 1941, destination was the far East. The Prince of Wales and the Repulse had both been sunk by the Japanese off Malaya. Passing Colombo, (Ceylon), crossing the equator for the third time, the convoy passed through the Sundra Straits between Java and Samatra and then the Banka Straits. The convoy was then bombed by Jap Planes, there was no damage

1942/01/29 - The Convoy reached the safety of Keppel Harbour, Singapore on the 29th January 1942. 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.

1942/02/15 - Singapore surrendered to the Japanese


1942/04/16 - WO 417/41, Casualty List No. 799. Missing.

1943/08/02 - WO 417/65, Casualty List No. 1217. Previously posted Missing, 15/02/1942, Casualty List No. 799. Now reported a Prisoner of War.


Japanese PoW

1942/02/15 - Captured Singapore

PoW No. M-6679

Japanese Index Card 1 - Side One


Japanese Index Card 1 - Side Two


Japanese PoW Card 2 - Side One


Japanese Index Card 2 - Side Two


1942/03/11 - Transported overland to Thailand with ‘O’ Letter Party

26th Train from Singapore to Thailand

Work Group 4

Commander Lt-Col. F.I.N. McOstrich, R.C.O.S, 18th Division

New PoW No. IV 1334

1943/10/17 - Line from Burma met line from Thailand at Konkoita

Tha Soa

New PoW No. IV 15534



Age 27


Cause of Death Malaria, Quinine Convulsions

Place of Death Tha Soa (Camp 4), Thailand

Grave No. 460, No. 2 Cemetery, Tha Soa

After the war John was moved to a Commonwealth War Grave


1945/10/20 - WO417/98, Casualty List No. 1889. Previously shown on Casualty List No. 1217 as reported Prisoner of War. Previous Theatre of War, Malaya. Now reported Died.


Loved Ones

Son of George and Margaret Tait, of Cornhill, Northumberland

John’s brother William is also buried at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery




4. D. 47.

Tait-John-Kanchanaburi War Cemetery Site Plan

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery




1939-1945 Star-tn

Pacific Star

War Medal

1939-1945 Star





Convoy William Sail 12X

Japanese Transport

Thailand Burma Railway

Commonwealth War Grave Commission

KEW Files:- WO 361/2172, WO 361/1531, WO 361/1529, WO 361/2053, WO 392/26, WO 345/50, WO 361/1956, WO 361/1955,  WO 361/2169, WO 361/1987, WO 361/1623, WO 361/2235, WO 361/2064, WO 361/2179, WO 361/2069,


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




Keeping The Candle Burning


Fepow Family

In Memory of FEPOW Family Loved Ones
Designed and Maintained by Ron Taylor.


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