POW with the Japanese
Posted 27 November 2007 - 10:54 PM
Understandably my father would not talk about his experiences as a prisoner of war with the Japanese 1942 to 1945, but as I am building up my family tree I would like to possibly find out more than I have found up until now.
He was 3861631 Private Richard Staveley, b. 23/09/1915 at Dent, Yorks WR, and he was in the 18th. Recce Corps (Loyals based in Preston).
While on his way out to Singapore on board the Empress of Asia the ship was sunk in I think the Sultan Straits. After being rescued and re-kitted he fought at the fall of Singapore. While attempting to make a break for freedom with some Australians the boat they were on was sunk by Japanese aircraft in the Mallaca Strait near the island of Banka, where he was taken before moving to a prison camp at Palembang on 10/03/1942.
From this it may seem that I have a lot of information, but I would like to put more flesh on the bones, and maybe there is someone out there who could help me.
Posted 23 December 2007 - 12:49 AM
Posted 19 January 2008 - 05:36 PM
Also, the National Archives have 'liberation questionnaires' which were completed by many (but not all) returning POWs. See Liberation Questionnaires for more info.
Posted 31 January 2008 - 10:21 PM
My Grandad was the same he wouldnt talk on the subject until pressed in his final days.
He went down on the south Java sea on HMS Exeter and spent 24 hrs in the water.
Not sure of the exact location in Japan but it was fairly close to Nagazaki (please excuse the spelling). He saw the bombs mushroom and was almost starved to death, a 6ft Royal Marine Comando who went from 15 to 8 stone over 3 and a half years who witnessed be-headings and spend time in freezing mines barefoot digging coal.
He also died in 1997 HATING the Japanese and the lack of appology from their government not that im sure he would have felt any better for it.
In our eyes this man was a hero and was treated extremely well by the Americans in America on his long journey back to England.
The time spent in the US and the way he was looked after with regards to the re-intoduction to foods he always said added many years to his life. Comrades who came back via Australia were not so lucky and he said many of them perished in the 50s whos re-introduction to foods was pretty ad-hoc although at the time it was all meant to be for the right intentions.
Our generation and that of our sons will never forget the sacrafice of his and the other Brave men in the 40s.
Posted 31 January 2008 - 11:45 PM
& the Lychgate from Changi prison cemetery:
Both on display as memorials at the national arboretum near Lichfield, along with a section of the Sumatra railway, photographed last Friday.
The COFEPOW 'museum' recently built there is a grim testament to just how badly these chaps were treated and how strongly feelings still run.
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