WW2 researching my grandfather advice - Page 2




 
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November 2nd, 2015  
Lisleowen
 
Thanks for all the information. Already I have a much better picture. So much information available it's just knowing where to look. The conditions must have been horrendous. It's good to see information from somebody who was in his battery. It's really fascinating trying to get all the facts. Thanks for all your help, really helpful. I will carry on with my research as I am going to put it altogether and present to my auntie as she was very young when her father went to war. She remembers as a small child him leaving one night never to return. One day I may find him in a photograph with his mates. You have all been a really big help as I have a much better picture, just need to put it altogether. Still waiting for my grandfathers service records but been told not to get to excited as they were very basic. I was hoping they would of had a photo. Through the information you have sent me I found an article about a camp called Boei Glodok camp where RA soldiers were held. I am going to look at this camp, as the only thing that doesn't make sense is why my grandfather ended up in Jesselton camp. Thanks again really kind you have put yourselves out to help me in my request. Fab.
November 2nd, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
I would suggest trying to contact the others sites about personnel from the same battery as they may have photos and if nothing else be able to rule out their relatives.

You can achieve some results simply by knowing who he isn't, I think you said you have a picture of his unit and a battery in a 1941 field regiment was about 200 all ranks, a medium battery was 253 so if you can rule a few out (ethnicity, age etc) and other people can rule a few more out then you are well on the way to identifying him and who knows of those remaining there may be one that "looks" a lot like a relative.

I am currently searching through my library for the few books I have on the Commonwealth at war with Japan to see how many of those mention Jesselton camp, I have a few books on the subject but the one I am looking for is "Kill the Prisoners’ by Don Wall" as that one apparently has a list of 51 Royal Artillery and R.A.F. Personnel who died at Jesselton, the remains were later taken to Labuan. It may be that he is mentioned in that book or that there is some further information in there for you.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kill-Prisone.../dp/0646278347
November 3rd, 2015  
Lisleowen
 
You have been so helpful. I will look into trying to get hold of the book. Thank you so much it is appreciated.

Paul
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November 12th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
Looking around the net there appears to be several photos of 48 LAA 242BTY gunners, some of them are 1943 origin so it would appear the regiment was reformed later in the war but there are a few pictures that date from 1939-41 prior to leaving the UK.

Maybe those sites can help narrow down your search.
November 27th, 2015  
Lisleowen
 
That's appreciated thanks. I managed to get hold of the book kill the prisoners and to my total and unexpected astonishment my grandfather is mentioned in a diary. It mentions gunner hitching was cremated after dying from malnutrition etc and he is on the roll of honour for those who died in Jesselton camp. I have bought a copy for my auntie also who will be overwhelmed. I am really glad you mentioned this book as I would never have come across it. It is eary to think the guy I believe an RAF pilot who kept the diaries mentions my grandfather and was in the same camp and possibly met him, so thanks for that. I will now cherish this book as will my auntie no doubt. I haven't give her it yet as she lives a few hundred miles away from me. I will certainly keep going with my research and now believe he was captured at garoet, Java so now looking into that. It's all coming together. Thanks for all your help, the photo would be the icing on the cake. Thanks again.
November 28th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
No problem, when I get some time I will try and look further but I really think at this stage you need someone that can start ruling out aspects and people from photographs which is probably best done by the reletives of other 242 Battery personnel.

But I will hunt around and see what pictures from the period are available.

Oddly enough I really enjoy doing these sort of searches as if nothing else it gives me a chance to learn about aspects of the war at a more personal level.
December 4th, 2015  
Lisleowen
 
Hi I no I keep thanking you but it really is appreciated. I am looking into speaking with other people to try and chip away at getting a photo. I have already sent quite a few e mails to people, relatives of POWs etc. I have just received my grandfathers service history. I was surprised to see he was actually recruited into the 234th, it looks like s/l regt, I can't really make the writing out, he is then re designated to the 234th LAA and again can't read the writing but looks like frg regiment RA. He is then re designated to 242 Bty 48 LAA when he is posted overseas possibly on 08/07/41 hard to make out as its all real writing and quite difficult to read. His casualty card shows Boei Glodock camp and Jesselton camp. I have also managed to download my grandfathers POW card held by the Japanese. Most of it is in Japanese but it does show he was captured at Garoet, Java on the I think 08/03/42 as on the card it displays 17 3 8 and as I have researched 17 is 1942 as the Japanese do there years on the number of emperors and start back at 1 when a new emperor takes over ??? I am going to try and get this translated. Anyway I now have another line of enquiry to try and find a photograph the 234th ?. I can't find much info on the the surrender at Garoet but will keep looking.

Thanks again
Paul
December 5th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
The very early part of the war with Japan is fairly confused due the rapid nature of the Japanese advance, the rushed nature of getting troops to the area to confront them (many mixed units thrown together with little or no planning) and the distance of the combat zone from Europe.
It will as such be very difficult get data on what were essentially small actions in the wilderness.
December 5th, 2015  
Lisleowen
 
Okay thanks. Could you recommend any books to read on the subject. I already have the Far East theatre 1941-46, the sparrows, from Java to Nagasaki and of course as recommended by yourself kill the prisoners. I have also just noticed my grandfather is on the role of honour in the book the sparrows which will probably be repeated by many authors. Could you recommend anything or any good internet sites I may have missed.

Regards
Paul
December 5th, 2015  
MontyB
 
 
I take it you have this photo of some 242 battery Gunners taken in 1941 prior to leaving the Uk?


Alternatively you could look into the 234 S/L Battery connection as he must have been trained on Search lights at some point.

A somewhat longer shot would be the Imperial War Museum as they have a massive cataloged collection of photos and documents from the period.
For example:
http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/it...ect/1030015225

Private Papers of J Surr


Content description Wordprocessed memoir (52pp, plus appendices), written in (?) the late 1990s, describing his employment as a nineteen year old railway clerk at the Salford goods depot near Manchester (1939 - 1940), his conscription and basic training in the Royal Artillery in Carlisle (April - June 1941), his further training and service, eventually as a lance bombardier, in 242 Battery, 48th LAA Regiment RA in East Anglia and Somerset (July - November 1941) and his marriage, against his bride's parents' wishes, to his pre-war girlfriend while on his embarkation leave (September 1941), his Regiment's voyage on the troopships DUCHESS OF ATHOLL and DUNERA from the United Kingdom via South Africa to Java (December 1941 - February 1942), his Battery's deployment on airfield defence near Batavia until the capitulation of the Netherlands East Indies (February - March 1942) and his experiences as a prisoner of war in Java in the camps at the Koan School, Boei Glodok and Tandjong Priok, Mater Dolorosa and St Vincentius hospital camps, and Cycle camp, Batavia (March 1942 - June 1944), his transfer by sea to Sime Road camp, Singapore (July 1944) and then to Sumatra where he worked in various camps on the construction of the Pekanbaroe - Moero railway until Japan's surrender (July 1944 - August 1945), his liberation and repatriation, via Singapore, to the United Kingdom (September - October 1945) and his demobilisation and return to work for the railway (winter 1945 - 1946). The memoir offers some indication of his adjustment to the demands of Army life and of how a mixture of good fortune and resourcefulness enabled him to survive the privations and serious illnesses that he experienced during his period of captivity.
 


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I Really need some advice here.. :(