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Moji 4 in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- Moji 4 during the Second World War -

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Moji 4

       Fukuoka Moji 4 was a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp located at the Mitsui Kozan Miike Kogyo-Sho coal Mine and Mitsui Zinc Foundry, at Shinminato-machi, Omuta-shi, Fukoka-ken on Kyushu Island, Japan.


    If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

    Those known to have been held in or employed at

    Moji 4

    during the Second World War 1939-1945.

    • Johnson Bert Richard. Gunner (d.30th Nov 1942)This page is new, as yet no names have been submitted.

    The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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    Gunner Bert Richard Johnson 89th Bty. 35th L.A..A. Regt (d.30th Nov 1942)

    Burt Johnson was born in 1922. He served with 89 Bty., 35 L. A. A. Regt. Royal Artillery. Whilst serving in Singapore, Bert evaded capture 112 days after the British capitulation of The Battle of Singapore from the 8th - 15th of February 1942 due to critically low ammunition and essential supplies. The Battle also known as the Fall of Singapore and was fought in the South-East Asian theatre of World War II when the Empire of Japan invaded the British stronghold of Singapore nicknamed the "Gibraltar of the East". Bert was captured on the 8th of May 1942 along with 28 members of his own unit Singapore was the major British military base in South-East Asia and was the keystone of British imperial interwar defence planning for South-East Asia as well as the South-West Pacific. The fighting in Singapore lasted seven days although this was preceded by two months of British resistance as Japanese forces advanced down the Malaya peninsula.

    Once captured, Bert along with 40,000+ British soldiers were marched to the north-eastern tip of the island where they were initially imprisoned at a military base called Selarang, which was near the village of Changi. Soon after they were then transferred into Changi prison, soldiers were chosen in groups at random to work long periods of hard labour at the dock of Changi loading and offloading cargo and supplies. Eventually the POW numbers at Changi dropped as soldiers were eventually shipped off to Japan to various POW camp destinations.

    After his capture by the Japanese on the 8th of May 1942, Bert would have at least spent one month at sea transiting from Singapore to Japan. During this time Bert along with 28 other soldiers from his battalion (89 Bty., 35 Lt. A.A. Regt. of the Royal Artillery) developed Acute Colitis. Around Late October 1942 Bert along with over 100 other POWs were boarded on one of two transport ships: The Singapore Maru or The Dainichi Maru both destined for the shipping port at the Fukuoka Moji 4-B POW camp, this was built specifically for the weakest and the poorest health soldiers who were captured was then destined to work still work but on lighter duties at both the Moji dock and Moji transport railway. Upon arrival at port they was then identified, processed and incarcerated the same day on the 28th of November 1942. Two days later on the 30th Bert finally succumb to his Acute Colitis illness whilst under Japanese concentration and was pronounced dead by Chief Medical Officer Captain Allan Berkeley and Minoru Yoshida Probational Medical Officer.

    Between November 1942 to May 1945 Bert, along with another 301 victims of Fukuoka Moji 4-B from Britain, Australia, Holland and the United States of America were cremated and entombed in a single urn which was buried on the hillside above Hongan-ji temple in Kusunoki-machi, in the city of Moji. After the fall of the camp circa 15th of August 1945 the grave was beautified by the Japanese, by direct order of the Allied Occupation Forces of the city. Their ashes still remain at this location today. (WO311/557) After the war, the Commonwealth Graves Commission now supervises the Yokohama Cremation Memorial where now all 302 victims from the camp, have remembrance plaques dedicated to their memory.

    I have conducted research into my long forgotten uncle to piece together his last months of service, Bert was my Great-uncle through my Grandmother Hilda Harle (nee Johnson) If anyone has any further information regarding Bert R Johnson please could you contact me. As a further note, if a relative of yours was also in the same battalion and regiment as Bert, I have lots of photos of Fukuoka 4-B Moji on request.

    Daniel J Harle

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