Willis Butler, Air Force Reserves, Java POW 1942

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by pittadj, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. pittadj

    pittadj New Member

    Hello, I am researching Willis Butler, an RAF Reserve Leading Aircraftman. He was taken prisoner in Java in March 1942, and died in November of that year. Records show he had Beriberi and dysentery.

    He was my great uncle (mother's mother's brother) and was 22 when he died. He was from Ilkeston in Derbyshire, and ironically had never travelled anywhere but is now buried in Jakarta.

    We did not know what had happened to him, other than he was captured by the Japanese, until recently when we found out where he was grave was, and then managed to trace more information about him (mainly via 'Findmypast') once we knew he was in Java. He was in Jakarta/Batavia Branch Camp 3. My mother cried despite not knowing him, because she wished her mother had known what had become of him.

    Heartbreakingly, I found that his medals and photograph were auctioned in London in 2015. I wish I had known.
    If anyone knows anything of him I would be grateful, but equally I am happy that we found what became of him and where his final resting place is.
    Laura Burrows likes this.
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hello and welcome to the forum

    Simply for the record, CWGC link:
    Leading Aircraftman BUTLER, WILLIS
    Service Number 1156929
    Died 16/11/1942
    Aged 22
    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Son of William and Ethel Mary Butler, of Ilkestone, Derbyshire.
    Location: Indonesia
    Cemetery/memorial reference: 5. J. 14.
  3. pittadj

    pittadj New Member

    Thank you for taking the time to reply, I will save those documents.
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  5. ozzy16

    ozzy16 Patron Patron

  6. pittadj

    pittadj New Member

  7. pittadj

    pittadj New Member

  8. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

  9. Laura Burrows

    Laura Burrows New Member

    Hiya Willis Butler is also my Great Uncle. My Grandad is Samson and my Dad was named after Willis. I'm also looking into our family history. I've got some letters that were sent to my grandad in the war I don't know if they might be of interest. I can't help much on the Willis front I'm afraid. Good luck on your search.
  10. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    His entry in POW listing WO392/23. Captured on the 8th March 1942:

    Butler Willis.jpg
    Laura Burrows and timuk like this.

Share This Page