Clem Cook, R.A. 600

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by Sniper617, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. Sniper617

    Sniper617 Member

    Hi All,

    You guys really helped me with my list last time so i am hoping you can help me with this one. I thought i had Gunner Clem Cook's story but there are a few un-answered questions i hadn't looked into as i thought i already had the answers but this seems to of been turned on its head.

    Cook, Gunner, Clement, 1709678, died 21/2/43. Part of the Royal Artillery 600 who were sent to Rabaul and died of Malaria.

    I am trying to find out where he was captured and date, plus the history of the unit leading up to his capture. Any other information leading up to him being put aboard the ship to Rabaul would be most useful.

    Also looking for further info on the following:

    Horton, Gunner Arthur, 1709689, 5 Searchlight Regt RA, died 12/9/44 aboard the Hellship Kachidoki Mari. He was in the same Regt as Clem Cook but would like to find out what he did before being put on this ship as he was not one of the R.A. 600. Did he work on one of the other slave projects the Japanese had going before he boarded the ship? Anything would be useful.

    Minshull, Gunner, John William, 1786689, 9 Coast Regt RA, died 26/6/44 aboard the hellship Harugiku Mari. Again anything on his capture and was he used by the Japanese before boarding the ship. Also his unit history from its departure from England to his capture including date and place and if possible his movements as a prisoner.

    Any help you guys can give will be hugely appreciated.

  2. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member


    Have a search through on the Cofepow database, this will give you at least their date of capture. Date of 15/02/1942 is an almost guaranteed fall of Singapore POW.

    The fact that these men feature on the database, probably means they have a Japanese index card to their name at the National Archives. I've probably mentioned these before, usually they contain information concerning a prisoners pathway and demise. Unfortunately, these details are recorded in Japanese Kanji script.

    Other forum members will know more about unit histories and placements.

    Good luck

  3. Sniper617

    Sniper617 Member

    Thanks Steve, I have been through the COFEPOW but can't seem to find a date of capture. I'll be trying to get to the National Archives sometime this year but if anyone is going before i do i would appreciate them having a look, and of course will be more than happy to pay for photocopying etc.

  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  5. Enigma1003

    Enigma1003 Member

    Hi Mike.

    I can give you a little information on Gunner Horton.

    He was in the first shipment of POWs sent overseas on 4th April 1942, under the command of Lt.Col Frances E. Hugonin. These 1,118 men thereafter became known as the Saigon Battalion.
    Upon arriving in Vietnam the men were put to work in the docks or were sent to Hanoi to help with airfield construction.
    In June 1943, 700 of them were sent to help with the Burma Railroad at Kinsayok.

    After the completion of the railroad he was returned to River Valley Camp on Singapore.

    On 04.09.1944 he sailed on the Hellship Kachidoki Maru.

  6. Sniper617

    Sniper617 Member

    Thank you Mike, that really fills a lot of gaps for Gunner Horton. Using websites etc i should now be able to put his life together within the POW camps he was in and hopefully will now be able to tell his story to the Cheshire town he came from. It seems that 5 Searchlight Regt were split up very early on during the first few months of captivity. What threw me with Clem Cook is that he was under the command of 35 LAA and if i am not mistaken they were captured in Java.

    Thank you Steve, not sure how i missed that one. Still can't bring anything up on 5 Searchlight Regt on the COFEPOW website though. Just leaves me Minshull to find on movements and hopefully that will be my lot for the Far East.

    Thank you both again

  7. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I'm glad the other Mike came along, he always adds something to a man's story. :)
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member


    I was up at the NA this afternoon. I dived into box 26 for a Chindit officer Brian Horncastle, he was not there, but Arthur Horton was.

    See attached, something at least for you're research on him.

    Horton Arthur JIC 1.JPG Horton Arthur JIC 2 copy.JPG
  9. Sniper617

    Sniper617 Member

    Thank you very much Steve, that was very kind of you. Don't suppose anyone knows someone who can speak Japanese to translate the back page for me, lol.

    Again thank you Steve.

    Kind regards

  10. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

  11. mapshooter

    mapshooter Senior Member

    Singapore Fixed Defences
    9 Coast Regt, CO Lt Col CP Heath, Changi Fire Command
    7 Bty - Johore Bty 3 x 15 in, Betang Kusar 2 x 6 in
    22 Bty - Tekong Bty 2 x 9.2 in, Sphinx Bty 2 x 6 in, Ladang 1 x 12 pdr, Pulau Sajahat 2 x 12 pdr, Calder Harbour 2 x 12pdr
    32 Bty - Pengarang Bty 2 x 6 in, Changi Bty 2 x 6 in, Changi Outer 2 x 6 pdr, Changi Inner 2 x 6 pdr

    Source: Annex A, History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery, The Far East Theatre 1941 -46, Gen Sir Martin Farndale, 2002.

    5 Searchlight Regt, CO Lt Col RAO Clarke
    13, 14, 315 & 316 Btys. All in Singapore, 315 Bty reformed in Ceylon.

    Same source.

    33 RA/Indian/HK&S Regts were lost in HK, Singapore & Java, incl 1 regt lost at sea when the Empress of India was sunk, plus 3 RAA regts.

Share This Page