3rd HAA Regiment RA, POW Singapore 1941 to 1945

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by gryalln1969, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. gryalln1969

    gryalln1969 Member

    Can anybody help me. I have recently started researching my grandfathers army career and i am struggling to piece together the information i have found. I believe he was sent to singapore in 1941, Captured in 1942 and liberated in 1945 but i have no information on where he was sent or what happened to him during his time as a POW. I have managed to obtain some documents online but given my limited knowledge of singapore during ww2 i am struggling to understand them. His name was Henry Lynes ( misspelt lynnes on some records ), born in 1920 army number 1797362. Attached are some of the documents i have found on find my past.com. Many thanks

  2. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    You will find some useful information on my 'Does anyone here speak Japanese?' thread.

    You also need the second side of his POW card as that will state, albeit in Japanese, exactly where he was for the duration and when he was liberated and where etc etc. Don't be put off by the Japanese translation requirement: there are some amazing people who visit this forum as I've found out recently with a similar enquiry relating to my uncle.

    Please be patient because I happen to know that one key forum member who will be able to help you is currently out and about for a couple of weeks or so.

    Sorry I can't be more specific at this time: working day and all that!
  3. gryalln1969

    gryalln1969 Member

    thanks for the advice SDP . Unfortunatly i do not have the second side of his pow card as i obtained the image from an geneaolgy website. I have discovered one thing . the second document is from the

    WO 361/2196

    Prisoners of war, Far East: British POWs in Thailand and Saigon as at 1st August 1945; nominal roll
    so he must of been moved from singapore upto thailand at some point but what else happened i have no idea.
  4. RCG

    RCG Senior Member, Deceased

  5. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum, gryalln.

    You have posted an interesting set of records found on the internet, now, unfortunately, separated from their National Archives references, but thank you for discovering and giving one of the file numbers.

    People often don't bother to give Kew file references, and it is a complete waste of everybody's time then trying to work out which file to look in for the originals.

    I fully appreciate that this is none of your doing and you have had to spend time finding the original file number.

    A photograph of the reverse of the IJA card will be found if you have a subscription to Find My Past. It used to be possible to look at the originals at Kew in file series WO345 but if you go to Kew you can look on the computers there at Find My Past for free but you can't download. If you have a digital camera a picture of a computer screen is one way, or you can pay for a printout for about thirty pence: it may be more.

    Your grandfather may have completed a liberation questionnaire and the originals are in WO345. One of the members here, Lee or PsyWarOrg has a useful finding aid on his website.There are 98 files in the WO345 series so Lee's guide is very useful. The liberation questionnaire usually gives a list of camps written by the PoW himself. Good luck with that. Lee will find the form if your grandfather completed one and copy it for you at very reasonable charges.

    File number WO361/2101 has a nominal roll of 3 HAA. In the Kew catalogue search engine "Discovery" search for "3rd HAA " or 3rd Heavy Anti Aircraft."

    These rolls were prepared in Changi PoW camp Singapore by the British, Australians, Dutch etc. under the umbrella of a record-keeping organisation, working in secret, known as the BRE or "The Bureau of Record And Enquiry." File WO361/2101 will have the original list. This could also say when your grandfather was sent away to Thailand. It is possible that the file is now on Find My Past.

    Here is some more substantial information you won't find on Find My Past.

    In microfilm at Kew in reel WO356/16 card number 1115 there is a card with your grandfather's name on it. This says he was at JC26 which means Japanese Camp 26 otherwise known as Tamuang. You will find the Thai word is different. The card just gives his name, rank, number, unit and the codes below. Nothing else.

    The card has two reference numbers D307 and C472 which relate to Q Forms completed by your grandfather. I do not know where the original forms are now. Q forms have not been released by the Ministry of Defence. They are also known as Atrocity Forms. They are details of war crimes, often limited to two or three sentences.

    Kew does have an index of Japanese and Korean war crimes suspects also in WO356.

    In microfilm file box WO356/4 at cards 195, then 211,212,213 and 214 the references D307 and C472 can be found against one Korean Guard's name: Motiyama, nickname, "King Of The River" against C472 at JC26 and Motoyama, Kinzo nickname "The Black Prince" against D307 again at JC26. I believe these references are to the same person.

    ( Japanese and Korean names are given as surname first, then given name.)

    Motoyama, amongst other defendants, was tried for war crimes by a British Military Tribunal in August 1946. He was sentenced to death by hanging but subject to confirmation. Upon confirmation by the Commander, Singapore District, in November 1946 the death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

    Motoyama was probably released from prison in about 1953 or 1954.

    For the full proceedings see file WO235/918. It is about two inches thick.

    Unfortunately for your grandfather Motoyama or "The Black Prince" was described as " ..very vicious and would attack PoWs on the slightest excuse."

    If you search for Motoyama on the internet you may find newspaper reports of the trial proceedings.

    Search for Tamuang and you will find photographs of the camp.

    Good luck with your researches.

  6. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    I have a list of the 700 men under Colonel Hugonin and Gunner Lynes is on it. It's a list of the men who went from Saigon to the Burma Railway in June 1943. Below is the information transcribed from the list. Not much I'm sorry to say.

  7. gryalln1969

    gryalln1969 Member

    Many thanks to all who have helped . I am now, with your help got a massive amount of information to process . Thanks also to the cofepow website and the help they have given me. I know now he was definatly in the saigon battalion and can therefore research the many documents relating to it. John your help has been much appreciated. The only mystery left is the fact ( from my own knowledge of my grandfather ) that he was shot in the leg during his captivity. His limp and occasional use of a stick stayed with him the rest of his life as constant reminder. The reason for being shot i never knew as he never spoke about his experiences to me. I will piece together all the information i have and post it to help others .
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member


    If you ever do get up to the National Archives, or ask someone to research Henry for you. These references might help:

    For the POW index card reverse: WO345/32

    For the possibility of a Liberation Questionnaire: WO344/388/2

    I visited the Archives last Thursday and managed to order two of the POW index card boxes for viewing. So it may still be possible to handle the actual card yourself.

    Good luck going forward.
  9. gryalln1969

    gryalln1969 Member

    Thanks again. I have used the information above to piece together a pretty accurate story of his time in the far east. Unfortunatly most of the sources i have used to trace his movements have been related to the saigon battalion and richard kandlers " prisoner list ", as it appears most of his time was spent in this group of brave men building the railway. Documents filled out by my grandfather are few. This may be because his reading and writing skills were very basic and he often relied on others to help, often avoiding it completely. I highly suspect he was shot in captivity as i doubt he would of been picked to work the railway with this injury or even survived. This may also explain the atrocity forms mentioned by John earlier. I believe i will have to visit the national archives now to investigate further but as i live in suffolk it may be some time before i can organise some time to do so. Any help in the mean time will be greatly appreciated .
  10. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Witness card for Gnr Lynes ( see reference above.)

    Attached Files:

  11. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Typed atrocity form found in WO235/918. Typical example of a "Q" form.

    Attached Files:

  12. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member


    Since you haven't been to Kew this is what a bit of it looked like in September 2013 when I looked at WO235/918, which is the file on the right side of the picture. Looks more like three inches of paper. I definitely did not copy the whole of it.

    Attached Files:

  13. gryalln1969

    gryalln1969 Member

    Of to kew it is then for me. thanks i can definatly see the task ahead. i think i'll book a hotel. Finally found the reverse of his IJA card next task figuring out what it says.

    Attached Files:

  14. Enigma1003

    Enigma1003 Member

    Hi Gryalln,

    Cant add much to this topic except to maybe summarise some of the paperwork, and add from a file I also have:

    My file for the 3 HAA Regiment which was completed in Changi clearly states that he was sent OVS (Overseas) on 04/04/1942.
    This was the sailing to Saigon when they became known as the Saigon Battalion.

    The rear of the Index Card is rather vague as this was only completed from August 1942 onwards and therefore is missing the information about the April 42 sailing.
    I cannot read Japanese, but the top line would read that in year Showa 18 (1943) he was transferred to join Group 4 on the Railroad. (you have the Group 4 page).

    The bottom line of Showa 20 / 8/ 30 is 1945 / August / 30th and probably merely states "handed over to allied forces"

    Hopefully someone will do an exact translation, but I believe that is the gist of it.

  15. Bulldog65

    Bulldog65 New Member

    Good morning I'm new to this site what I'm looking for is help .
    My farther-in-law was in the R.A and was taken at the fall of Singapore all i can tell you is his name and were he came from
    William Riley (Bill) from Wigan Lancashire he was a survivor and died in 1985,
    He was sent to Malta before going home to England.
    i know this is a long shot but any help would be much appreciated.
    thanks Bulldog
  16. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Bulldog, welcome to the forum.

    Using "Google" search for "Cofepow" ( stands for Children of Far Eastern Prisoners of War") and about four paragraphs down on the first page you'll get "Search the online database." Put in your relative's name and see if you can find him. If he was captured at Singapore then his date of capture will be 15th February 1942. If he was captured elsewhere the date will be earlier ( Hong Kong ) or later ( Java ).

    If you have access to "Find My Past" you will find more details, or visit the National Archives. You will need more information to start with. After that you could apply for his army records but others on the forum may be able to help if you can give us his full name and initials, number and unit. Members here have copied files about units captured at Singapore actually created in Singapore in secret but now in the National Archives. Some of these files are now digitised on "Find My Past".

  17. Bulldog65

    Bulldog65 New Member

    Thanks John i'll give it ago
  18. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA


    I found a Lance Sergeant W Riley, Service No 2692418 of 3 Battery, 6 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, who was captured at Singapore on 15 February 1942. He is in the list of survivors, recorded in a book by Patrick Walker about this Royal Artillery Regiment.

    In my search for Liberation questionnaires for the author, to help identify survivors, I did not come across one for this particular W Riley. His initial is only listed in the book and in prisoner rolls, so I don't know if this man was a William. Was your William Riley a Sergeant would you happen to know?




    There is also a Gunner William J T Riley, Service No 843718 captured 15/2/1942.
  19. Over Here

    Over Here Junior Member

    Korea was annexed by Japan in 1910 and the Japanese names of the Korean guards may not have been their proper names, unless they were Japanese settlers in Korea. By "Imperial Decree 19" of 1939, all Koreans had to give up their Korean names and adopt Japanese ones. It was the declared policy of Japan to completely "japanize" Korea, by extinguishing of the Korea language and culture. Ironic since the so-called "Yamato people" who first settled in Japan around AD 400-500 came from the Korean peninsula. Korea had also been rather successful in repelling several Japanese invasions over the centuries, which of course rankled the Japanese historical memory.

    It was said by one Japanese observer after WWII that "in Japan, the Korean is lower than the n------r." Even today, Many Koreans who may have been there for three or four generations are denied citizenship and have a kind of permanent resident status. They are referred to as "Korean Japanese" in English.

    PoWs meant that at last they had someone to kick around who was lower than they were.
  20. Paulsquire

    Paulsquire Member

    Hi guys I'm new to here. I am looking to find any details of my maternal grandfather. He was 872656 L/Bdr John Thomas Abbott born 8 June 1914 in Grindale , East Yorkshire , all I know is that he served with 3 H.A.A. Royal Artillery during WW2 was captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore 15.02.42 died on 26.11.43 in krian Krai camp Thailand of dissentry and tropical ulcers. He was exhumed and reburied in kanchanaburi war cemetery on 09.02.46 in grave 2.Q.16.
    Could you find anymore information or is this about all I could get?

    I know his father was called George and his mother was either Annie or grace and he had 2 sisters called Clara and Ellen , also had a brother Edward who died in 1957 aged 49.

    Many thanks for any information if there is anymore. I was hoping for a regt photo but I realise that is a big ask.

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