Help required with a Japanese POW card

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Mike Selcon, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. Mike Selcon

    Mike Selcon Member

    This may be a long shot but hopefully someone may be able to help me? I am trying to decipher a Japanese POW card in an attempt to identify exactly where 1085384 Gunner Ernest Goodland 135 Field Regiment RA was captured and which camp he would have been sent to. I have managed to confirm the date of capture as the 15th of February 1942 but have had no luck with deciphering the Japanese characters relating to the place of capture and the camp he was sent to.

    Thanks in anticipation

  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, World War II Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: Ernest Goodland
    Rank: Gnr
    Military Date: 15 Feb 1942
    Service Branch: A
    Service Number: 1085384
    Description: 24: British Prisoners of War Held in Japan or Japanese-Occupied Territory: E - J

    Name: Ernest Goodland
    Rank: Gnr
    Military Date: 1939-1945
    Service Branch: A
    Service Number: 1085384
    Description: 2005: Prisoners of War, Far East: POWs sent to Japan from Thailand up to November 1944; Nominal Roll

    Name: Ernest Goodland
    Rank: Private
    Military Date: 1939-1945
    Service Number: 1085384
    Description: 2057: Prisoners of War, Far East: British POWs Missing due to Transport Ships being Sunk

    Name: Ernest Goodland
    Rank: Gunner
    Birth Date: 15 Jul 1909
    Birth Place: Tiverton, England
    Military Date: 1939-1945
    Regiment: 135 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
    Service Number: 1085384
    Father: Charles
    Mother: Clara
    Description: 20: Japanese Index Cards of Allied Prisoners of War and Internees, World War II: Geach-Goodwill
    You already have the POW card in your first post which is the image attached to this record

    Casualty Details | CWGC
    Service Number: 1085384
    Regiment & Unit/Ship
    Royal Artillery
    135 (The Hertfordshire Yeomanry) Field Regt.
    Date of Death
    Died 21 September 1944
    Age 35 years old
    Buried or commemorated at
    Column 36.
    Country of Service
    United Kingdom


    Hōfuku Maru - Wikipedia

    Hofuku Maru
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
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  4. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    What I can add to TD's information.
    He was captured in Singapore. From the RA Roll we can see he was transported OVL (Overland) to the Thai/Burma Railway on 24 Jun 42. This puts him in the First Mainland Party.
    The back of his Japanese Index Card shows:

    At some stage he must have returned to Singapore as he was then being transported from Singapore to Japan in the Hofuku Maru. Unfortunately the Hofuku Maru was sunk by US aircraft and Gnr Goodland did not survive. The Japanese Index Card shows the date of the sinking 21 Sep 44 and the Lat and Long.
    More info on the Hofuku Maru is here Hofuku Maru and more on the Thai/Burma Railway Death Railway

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  5. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    See this thread:
    Hofuku Maru

    There were thirty men from his unit on the Hofuku Maru, some of whom survived, a few died before the ship sank.

    The card is a replacement card. The Japanese katakana under the name has been completed by a non-Japanese hand, unlike the occupation characters.

    He travelled into Thailand on a train leaving Singapore on 24th June 1942.

    WO361:2094 Goodland.jpg

    No mention of previous working camps in WO361/2094. This is the Bureau of Record and Enquiry roll, completed in secret in Changi prison. The BRE was an allied organisation.

    His Japanese prisoner number is II: 918 so he was in Group II in Thailand. The Japanese called these "Groups" camps, but the Allies referred to groups because there was no single geographical camp.

    The index card for Goodland is in Index Volume 46 in file WO347/105 at Kew and this may reveal which hospitals he attended in Thailand.

    His last camp would have been at River Valley in Singapore.
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  6. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

    His casualty card.
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  7. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    First name(s) Ernest
    Last name Goodland
    Year -
    Service number 1085384
    Rank Private
    Regiment -
    Country of imprisonment -
    Prison camp or ship Thailand or Japan
    Conflict World War 2
    The National Archives
    Archive reference WO 361/758
    Document details Casualties at sea, China Sea (Philippines): Hofuku Maru (Japanese ship transporting prisoners of war) sunk
    Record set Prisoners Of War 1715-1945
    Category Military, armed forces & conflict
    Subcategory Regimental & Service Records
    Collections from Great Britain, UK None

    Attached Files:

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  8. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    There are many more files in WO361 relating to the sinking, former files of Casualty Prisoner of War Department, which can be hard to relate to the sinking of the ship on 21st September. This is because the ship was often referred to as the Toyofuku Maru and many POW used other names, also because the event is often referred to without a named ship, as in "casualty". NARA has several files and the US returned several files compiled in Japanese to the Japanese Government in the 1950's, originally compiled at some time by the Japanese Prisoner of War Information Bureau, possibly post war.

    Using a search for a name of a man electronically as internet publishers do ( in my experience it often does not work ) may not work because many names were mangled in the process of transmission by cable from Japan to Switzerland then from Switzerland to England ( or to Dutch authorities, given that there were Dutch on board. ) Interesting to see what the internet throws up. Fortunately I photographed WO361/758 before the internet publishers intervened !
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  9. Mike Selcon

    Mike Selcon Member

  10. Mike Selcon

    Mike Selcon Member

    Thank you all for your information it has really helped me and shed some lihjt on his time in captivity.

    Best regards and stay safe

  11. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Captured at Singapore.

    Attached Files:

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  12. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Post Edited 26th November thanks to Tim's eagle eyes: { Read last two paragraphs first to make sense of this post.. Apologies. John }

    The time the Hofuku Maru took to sink was very short: 10:32 in the morning to 10:38.

    IJA cards for the Hofuku Maru casualties usually say this:

    "The transport ship Hofuku maru was bombed and he went missing; Time of incident: 10:32-10:38, 21 September 1944; Location of wreck: 15º01′N 120º02′E, off Batan islands, north west end of Philippines; KA27; 船舶輸送中爆撃を受け行方不明 豊福丸; 遭難時期 19.9.21 10時32分~10時38分; 遭難位置 N15º01′ E120º02′ 比島西北端パタン沖; KA27; ) "

    {{ Warning: the first card found on searching for KA27 says this, which is wrong as to time i.e. 10.32 to 18.45 should be 10.32 to 10.38:
    " The transport ship (Hofuku Maru) was bombed and he went missing; Time of incident: 10:32-18:45 on 21 September 1944; Location of sinking: 15° 01′ N, 120° 02′ E. Off Batan islands, northwest end of the Philippines; KA27; 船舶輸送中爆撃を受け、行方不明。豊福丸; 遭難時期:昭和19年9月21日10時32分~18時45分; 遭難位置:N15°01′E120°02′比島西北端バタン沖; KA27; )" }}

    There were 906 or 907 casualties, one is uncertain.

    The Dutch Friends of their National Archive have a website in Japanese, Dutch and English which translates cards. For Dutch Hofuku Maru victims just use the search facility by typing "KA27". KA27 is a list prepared by the Japanese Prisoner of War Information Bureau which has the names of all the Allied casualties.

    Link here: Japanse interneringskaarten
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2020
  13. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    See Index Card at #4. I've done a random check against some others and they all seem to show 10:32-10:38. I rather think your times may be a transcription error.

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  14. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    Thanks for pointing that out. I took the first search return which was transcribed correctly but the original was at fault. The next card shows the generally accepted time it took the ship to sink: no time at all.

    If only the first quoted card was right, many more may have been saved.

    First card on searching for "KA27":

    Screen Shot 2020-11-26 at 08.41.33.png

    Next card:

    Screen Shot 2020-11-26 at 08.41.06.png
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