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L/Bdr. Desmond Bettany . British Army 88th Field Regiment Royal Artillery from Burnleigh, Lancashire)
Taken from Dad's website of his art work: www.changipowart.com
Life as a Prisoner of War (POW) from Feb 1942 to Sept 1945 As a response to a request from the Singapore Tourism Promotion Board, To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle for Singapore Re-typed from the original manuscript written by Des Bettany in 1991
On our arrival in Singapore, in November 1941, we entrained up country to Mantin. The unit, the 88th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery became part of the 9th Indian Division, and the three batteries were sent to Ipoh, Alor Star and Kuantan, where the Repulse and Prince of Wales were sunk. Eventually the Battery was moved back over Fraser’s Gap to the West Coast, north of Kuala Lumpur and took part in the fights, skirmishes and battles down the Peninsular to Singapore. After capitulation we were all marched to Changi, after disabling and destroying our guns.
The passage of 50 years has reduced the mass of incidents and memories as P.O.W.’s to general feelings, impressions and attitudes. Between February 15th 1942 and September 1945, the completely alien existence we led has become blurred. What is left is a lasting profound distrust and dislike of the Japanese and Koreans.
What remains clear is that throughout the period of privation, starvation and slavery, hope, faith and confidence in our eventual release remained optimistically constant. Rumours abounded but I particularly remember the night of the ‘D’ Day landings in Normandy. When the report reached us, the whole camp within and without the jail began to stir and murmur, to the consternation of the Japanese. This was accepted as fact, but the stories of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs, were met with disbelief.
Some things remain clear however – the never ending struggle for means to bolster woefully insufficient rations; the treatment of working parties by third class Japanese and Korean privates, some of whom had never seen a European before; the road side display of severed heads; the lashings and tortures of Chinese and Indian labourers as well as P.O.W.’s; and complete disregard of the sick and injured by the Japanese. But there was also the ingenious use of material and primitive resourcefulness shown in building accommodation, chapels, theatres and essentials. The concerts, shows and plays were quite excellent as were talks and lectures by experts. Many miracles of surgery occurred under very trying conditions.
At an early date, working parties left Changi for camps in Towner Road and Sarangoon Road, etc. We worked at clearing up the damage in Singapore and the Dock area. For a while we collected abandoned military and private transport. What could not be repaired was broken up and shipped to Japan as scrap. Ingenious methods of sabotage were used both here and other working parties, such as transit camps for the Japanese troops from the Islands and the War Memorial to Japanese dead on Bukit Timiah Hill.
At this time the Selarang Square incident occurred in Changi and parties began leaving there to work on the Burma Railway. After returning to Changi we were moved to the jail and surrounds, and from there until repatriation went daily to work, clearing a corner of the Changi area and creating a fighter strip. This still exists, but has grown into Changi International Airport.
My personal worst moments came when I had to appear before the Japanese Commandant and an assortment of interpreters, to try and explain away, to humourless Japanese officers a book of political cartoons I had drawn. I had lent the book to a careless person who allowed it to fall into the hands of Japanese guards. This was at a time when the war was going badly for Germany and Japan and this was reflected in the cartoons. I was extremely lucky to get away with a whole skin. The Japanese did not approve. I never saw the book again. I am now retired from a life of tertiary art education, and enjoy the benefits of family and eight grandchildren.
Signed: Desmond Bettany, Royal Artillery, 1991
70th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore 15th February 2012 ‘Lest We Forget’ The Triumph of the Human Spirit in the Face of AdversityKeith Bettany
Sergeant L E Bettis . RAF 59 SquadronLorenzo del Mann
Pte. R. A. Betton . British Army King's Shrophire Light Infantry
A/Ldg.Tel. Charles George Betts . Royal Navy HMS Nigeria (d.12 Aug 1942)
A/Ldg.Tel. Charles George Betts . Royal Navy HMS Nelson (d.12th Aug 1942)
Sgt Sydney James Betts. . RAF 12Sqd. (d.7th Ju1 1943)
Mid Upper Gnr Sydney Betts lost his life on 7th July 1943 during training in Lancaster I ED548 PH-X with 12 Sqd
Sgt.Mach. Hendrik Johannes Beukers . Dutch Navy from Holland)
S B Flynn
Sgt. Henke Beune . Dutch Army from Holland)
(d.3rd Mar 1945)S B Flynn
Dvr. Trevor Richard Bevan . British ArmyS B Flynn
2nd Lt. Adriaan "Adje" Bevelander MID. Royal Air Force No. 320 (Netherlands) Squadron RAF from Holland)
(d.20th March 1944)
20th March 1944 B-25 Mitchell FR141 "Old Boys" in an attack on the V-1 yard at Flexi Court (France) was hit by flak. It exploded and crashed into the ground near Bourbon, France.
Crew members were:
- 2nd Lt. A. Bevelander - KIA - grave Orry-la-Ville (Senlis) B-2
- Sgt. Johannes Jacobus De Jong - KIA - grave Orry-la-Ville (Senlis) B-3
- Cpl. Wilhelmus Kuypers - KIA - grave Orry-la-Ville (Senlis) B-1
Adriaan (Adje) Bevelander, born May 23, 1917 in Bandung (Indonesia). Buried in the war cemetery Orry-la-Ville, Senlis (Fr.). Mentioned in distinction with the Flying Cross (UK) on May 4, 1944: "For a considerable time at the 320th Squadron RDNAS from Our Naval Aviation in the United Kingdom, in flights during the war against the enemy demonstrated courage, skill, perseverance and devotion to dutysflynn
F/Lt. Edwin Paul "Ted" Beverly AFC.. Royal Canadian Air Force 407 Squadron from Toronto, Canada)
My father-in-law, Flight Lieutenant Edwin Paul Beverly AFC, had this photo of Royal Canadian Air Force Squadron 407 with a Vickers Wellington in the background hanging on his wall until his death 5 years ago. When I removed the photo from the frame I found a list of names of the men in the photo on the back. Place and Location not known.Peter Mitchell
Gordon Bevis . Royal Navy HMS Southdown
Gordon Bevis served on HMS Southdown (Hunt Class Destroyer) from September 1942. I believe he met Nicholas Monsarrat (author of 'The Cruel Sea') at that time. I would like to contact Gordon, or his family or anyone who remembers him, any information would be much appreciated!Tim Deacon
Sgt Kenneth Jack Bevis. . RAF 12Sqd. (d.28th Aug 1943)
Flt Eng. Kenneth Bevis lost his life on 28th Aug 1943 flying Lancaster DV187 PH-A of 12sqd
George Henry Beynon . British Army 1st Parachute Regiment
My father, George Henry Beynon of Aberavon, South Wales, was in the 1st Parachute Regiment. (1st Battalion I believe) He fought at Arnhem in September 1944. He was captured and sent to Stammlager 357 - Hut E4. I would appreciate any information your readers can supply.Alan Beynon
George Henry Beynon . Army 1st Battalion 1st Parachute Regiment from Aberavon, South Wales)
My father George Henry Beynon of Aberavon, South Wales was in the 1st Parachute Regiment (1st Battalion I believe) He fought at Arnhem in September 1944. He was captured and sent to Stammlager 357 - Hut E4. I would appreciate any information your readers can supply.Alan Beynon
2nd.Lt, Premindra Singh Bhagat VC, PVSM.. British Indian Army Royal Bombay Sappers and Miners Corps of Indian Engineers from India)
Premindra Singh Bhagat was born on 14 October 1918 in Gorakhpur, British India. He attended the Royal Indian Military College, a military school in Dehradun, and the Indian Military Academy.He was commissioned in the British Indian Army on 15 July 1939. He was 22 years old, and a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Indian Engineers, Indian Army, attd. Royal Bombay Sappers and Miners when he was awarded the VC.
"For most conspicuous gallantry on active service in the Middle East. During the pursuit of the enemy following the capture of Metemma on the night 31 January - 1st February 1941, Second-Lieutenant Bhagat was in command of a section of a Field Company, Sappers and Miners, detailed to accompany the leading mobile troops (Bren Carriers) to clear the road and adjacent areas of mines.
For a period of four days and over a distance of 55 miles this officer in the leading carrier led the Column. During this period, he himself detected and personally supervised the clearing of no less than 15 minefields of varying dimensions. Speed being essential, he worked at high pressure from dawn to dusk each day. On two occasions when his carrier was blown up with casualties to others, and on a third occasion when ambushed and under close enemy fire he himself carried straight on with his task. He refused relief when worn out with strain and fatigue and with one eardrum punctured by an explosion, on the grounds that he was now better qualified to continue his task to the end. His coolness, persistence over a period of 96 hours, and gallantry, not only in battle, but throughout the long period when the safety of the Column and the speed at which it could advance were dependent on his personal efforts, were of the highest order." London Gazette: 10 June 1941S. Flynn
Ldg Stoker Harold Stanley Bicker . Royal Navy HMS Encounter
Ldg Stoker Harry Bicker was reported missing when the Encounter went down, his local news paper reported in March 1943, a year after the ship had sunk: "Reported missing last March from HMS Encounter, in the Battle of Java, Leading Stoker Harold Stanley Bicker, son of Mrs Bicker, The Street, Adisham, and whose wife and two children are living at 13 Baden Road, Gillingham, is now officially reported a prisoner of war in Fukuoka Camp, Japan. Recently his mother received news that her younger son, Leonard, who is a Commando, was injured in the Dieppe raid, has been promoted Seaman Petty Officer."
Ron Bicker . RAF 9 Squadron
My father, Ron Bicker, served with 9 Squadron. I am unable to tell you his rank but he was a rear gunner. Sadly he passed away a few years ago.Paul Bicker
Cpl. Jack G. Bickerton . United States Army Coast Artillery Corps from West Virginia, USA)
Cpl. Joseph Fabian Bickett . United States Army Quartermaster Corps from Illinois, USA)
S B Flynn
F/Lt. P. W. Bickfort . Royal Canadian Air Force 115 Squadron (d.17th Sep 1944)
In The Netherlands in the night of September 16/17 1944 the Lancaster LM 693 of 115 Squadron came back of a mission above Germany. Near the village Strijen the plane was hit by a German plane and the Lancaster crashed near the village. The crew were:
After 9 days the Germans give the People from the village permission to take the bodies away from the plane. The graves of those men is in the village of Strijen. The foundation Air war memorial Hoeksche Waard 1940-1945 would like to put a memorial for those men. Please contact me for more information.
- F/Lt. P.W. Bickfort RCAF 125920
- P/O P.L. Dooley RAF 189628
- F/O A.N. Johnson RCAF 128771
- F/Sgt. U.B. Butters RAF 1622660
- P/O D.G. Flood RCAF 190719
- P/O D. Dawson RCAF 190321Anton Deman
sh.ck Robert Gray Bickley . United States Navy USS Fisheries II Inshore Patrol from Texas, USA)
S B Flynn
Sam Bickley .
Capt. Nicholas Biddle . United States Army 108 Field Artillery Battalion from Gladwyne, PA)
Nicholas Biddle served from 1940-1942 with the Army's 108 Field Artillery Battalion, 28th Infantry Division, and from 1942 to 1945 with the 909th Field Artillery Battalion, 84th Infantry Division. During World War II, he was an artillery liaison officer with the rank of captain in the European Theater of Operations, and was awarded a theater ribbon with three battle stars for engaging in the Battles of the Rhine, the Ardennes (the Bulge), and Central Europe. He also received the Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster for heroic action.S. Flynn
Pte. Phillip Haydn Biddle . British Army Hampshire Regiment
My dad Philip Biddle was a POW but I am unable to fill the holes.Jeff Biddle
G. Biddlecombe .
Pfc. Floyd Acey Biddy . United States Marines HQ Coy, 1st Bn 4th Marine Rgt from Texas, USA)
S B Flynn
Y3/C. Frank Herndon Bigelow . United States Navy USS Canopus from North Dakota, USA)
S B Flynn
Dvr. Albert Andrew J. Bigg . British Army Royal Army Service Corps from Sheepy, Kent)
I am looking for information on Albert Bigg and his service in the RASC, I know that in 1944 he was awarded the africa star with eighth army, and that he enlisted in 1926 in canterbury, but I have no other information so any further details or memories of him would be appreciated.Catherine Starling
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