- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Pat Goulden, Alan Christopher Winall
- Location of story:
- Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Japan
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 22 December 2005
Alan Christopher Winall
[Story told by Pat Goulden]
In the course of researching my family history, I came across my uncle Alan Christopher Winall, he was a gunner in the 89th Battery of the 35th Light AA Regiment of the Royal Artillery. On the 13th November 1941 the Regiment departed from Greenock on the Empress of Japan sailing down the river Clyde in convoy. They arrived in Durban SA on the 18th December 1941, where they enjoyed shore leave. They transferred to the Narkunda and sailed on the 24th December 1941 reaching Singapore on the 13th January 1942. After landing they were taken to a camp known as Chick-A-Boo very close to the village of Nee Soon. Two troops of the 89th (my uncle among them) were sent to Sumatra to re-inforce the 6th Heavies. The Japanese dropped from the sky on Sumatra and following some hand to hand fighting the British troops escaped to Java, where they were finally captured. They were then sent to Japan suffering an nightmare journey on the Singapore Maru, where 25 men of the 35th were buried at sea, the remainder going to Fukuoka camp on Kyushu island. After many privations my uncle succumbed to Beri Beri on the 26th December 1945 aged 32 years.
Following the capitulation, the American forces entered the camp finding a large wooden cross had been erected surrounded by a fence, under the cross were the funeral urns containing the ashes of some of the men who had died. A hundred urns all containing ashes of men who had died between December 1944 and March 1945 were taken to America and buried at St Louis Jefferson National Cemetery in Missouri.
Through contacting FEPOW (Far East Prisoners of War) I was put in touch with a Naval Officer based at Jefferson Barracks who had taken an interest in a memorial in the cemetery. Of the one hundred servicemen buried at the site most were American, with fifteen British, three Australian and a handful of Dutch. He has identified two of the Australians and eight of the British, my uncle being the ninth. I would like to help him identify the remaining seven British and one Australian. All of them were Royal Artillery Heavy AA and Light AA crews.
Bombadier WA Bell
Lance Bombadier D (?) AC Jarvis
Lance Corporal HG French
Sapper AJ Vedmore
Private JE Petty
Sergeant LE Osborne
Private JS Nicholl
Your help would be much appreciated
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