847572 Harold WILLS, 9 Coast Regiment, Royal Artillery

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by JimmyC1983, Nov 14, 2021.

  1. JimmyC1983

    JimmyC1983 Member

    Evening all

    I’m trying to find some information about a friend’s great uncle. Harold James Wills served with the Royal Artillery 9th Coastal Regiment and was killed on 5 March 1943. He is on the Singapore memorial. His service number is 847572. He was from Barnstaple, Devon.
    Gunner Harold James Wills | War Casualty Details | CWGC
    Any service information, photos would be greatly appreciated. Does anyone have a photo of the grave or his name on the memorial?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. CL1

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

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  3. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    James, the Regiment's page on my site will tell you which gun positions the Regiment was manning and which battery was where.
    9 Coast Regiment
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  4. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Gunner H W Wills is listed on the RA Roll at Changi as OVS (Overseas) 18/10/42. This puts him in the 'Gunners 600' Party.
    There is a lot of information on the 'Gunners 600' with details of the attrocity in this link and you will see Harold listed in the Roll.
    600 Gunners Party

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  5. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Here is his Japanese Index Card - Captured at the Fall of Singapore 15/2/42.

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  6. JimmyC1983

    JimmyC1983 Member

    Hi - thank you for this. So much information. It sounds horrific what they endured
  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939-1945
    Name: Harold Wills
    Given Initials: H J
    Rank: Gunner
    Death Date: 5 Mar 1943
    Number: 847572
    Birth Place: Devonshire
    Residence: Devonshire
    Regiment at Enlistment: Royal Artillery
    Branch at Enlistment: Royal Artillery
    Theatre of War: Malaya
    Regiment at Death: Royal Artillery
    Branch at Death: Royal Artillery
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  8. papiermache

    papiermache Well-Known Member

    The Ballale Is. case was still being investigated in January 1950 by Australian war crimes investigators. See Australian Archives Item No. 10526043.

    This should be the link to a 5 MB file:


    I note that the IJA card has no red diagonal line through it ( indicating the individual has died ). Such a marking was the practice of the Japanese Prisoner of War Information Bureau. Presumably they were not informed of the death, but the Japanese PWIB was notoriously bad and the US occupation forces spent many years post war trying to trace Allied POWs by working with the Japanese PWIB, whose offices were in Tokyo, although they moved premises during the war to try and avoid destruction of the records by US bombing.

    By January 1950 British war crimes investigators had ceased investigating.

    The International Military Tribunal For The Far East ( IMTFE ) received evidence on the case in January 1947, where the island is referred to as "Ballah Island."
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2021
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