The Manchester Regiment Forum

POW User Group => POWs WW2 section => Topic started by: Kit Clay on October 14, 2009, 09:41:24 PM

Title: My Father - Thomas F. Finn 1st Battalion 1934 - 1945
Post by: Kit Clay on October 14, 2009, 09:41:24 PM
I've recently joined the forum and am struggling to work out how to post some questions!! Hope I've got the right section! Basically, I'm writing a book about my Dad, Thomas Finn who was a Japanese POW for 3 1/2 years. When he was liberated he arrived home 31/10/45 and was in Z reserve until he was discharged 12/2/1952.How much leave would he have had? What did he do during that time? Where? Would he have been paid? Thanks for any help !! Kit Clay
Title: Re: My Father - Thomas F. Finn 1st Battalion 1934 - 1945
Post by: timberman on October 14, 2009, 09:51:09 PM
Hi Kit Clay

Welcome to the forum.

Cliff is the person how may be able to help with the POW side of your dads service.
He'll be along soon.

Title: Re: My Father - Thomas F. Finn 1st Battalion 1934 - 1945
Post by: rafboy on October 15, 2009, 01:42:27 PM
Hi Kit Clay
Can you let us have a little more information on your father please?  Do you know which Regiment or Corps he served with and his service number?
I know that I don't have his Japanese POW Record Card or his Liberation Questionair as I don't have any with surnames starting with "F".  Perhaps themonsstar (Roy) can help there next time he goes to Kew.
In the mean time I have attached a list of various web sites that may be of interest including the last one on the list which will tell you how you can obtain his Service Record.
If your father was in the 1st Battalion The Manchester Regiment take a look at the section of this Forum "Photos and Postcards by Battalion" then the Far East photos you will find on the second page two photos of groups of POW's, the few identified so far have all been "Manchesters".  These two photos do not include all the "Manchesters" Japanese POW's only a small number of them.  If you would like these photos sent to you direct at a higher resolution that you can magnify to see the mens features clearly please let me know in a PM with your email address, use "AT" in place of "@" in your address to prevent automatic address gatherers collecting yours for spam mail.
Best of luck.
Title: Re: My Father - Thomas F. Finn 1st Battalion 1934 - 1945
Post by: Kit Clay on October 27, 2009, 12:14:53 PM
Hello Cliff
Many thanks for your reply. Courtesy of Arthur Lane, you and I have been in contact via normal email but you have suggested I reply via the forum so others may be able to offer information. Dad’s details are Thomas Fanahan Finn, 3527532. He was an Irishman and voluntarily joined up Nov 14th 1934 and left after his 12 years were up. With the 1st battalion, he was a signaler with HQ in D company, in Egypt and Palestine, then moved to Singapore. Captured on 15/2/42, he was in Thailand camps until mid 1944, mostly in the anti malarial party, sakai butai, then survived a hellship journey to Japan. Osaka first, then finished at Naoetsu when the two bombs were dropped, and came home via Manila and Canada.

As I have been researching for over a year, I've done pretty well as I have Dad’s service record, copy of his entry in the enlistment book and nominal roll, his liberated questionnaire, his Japanese card. Yesterday I browsed through the Gazettes at the archives and was delighted to come across his name when he achieved a First Class Cert of education, and his hockey and boxing activities. At the moment, I’m trying to find out how Dad would have spent his time after being freed. According to his service record, Dad arrived home via Canada, on 31/10/45. He was posted to 24 Machine Gun Training centre. Where was that and what would he have done there? Released to Class Z reserve on 23/3/1947, what does that mean? Discharged on 12/2/52. I know he met Mum in 1946 at Dale Barracks, then trained as a teacher. Any new information would be gratefuly appreciated.

Title: Re: My Father - Thomas F. Finn 1st Battalion 1934 - 1945
Post by: Robert Bonner on October 27, 2009, 04:30:25 PM
During 1941, in order to save manpower, the Manchester Regiment Machine Gun Training Centre moved from Ashton-under-Lyne to the wartime Depot of the Cheshire Regiment at The Dale, Chester where it reformed as 24 MGTC.  There it acted as a training centre for the four medium machine-gun regiments of the army - Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, Cheshire Regiment, Middlesex Regiment and Manchester Regiment.   

Your father's transfer to Z Reserve meant that he then had five years reserve service to complete in the event of further hostilities.

Title: Re: My Father - Thomas F. Finn 1st Battalion 1934 - 1945
Post by: Kit Clay on October 27, 2009, 11:16:40 PM
Hello Robert

Thankyou very much for your reply. Are you able to explain more about what Dad's duties would have been at The Dale? Also, would you know of any surviving POW's who may have known Dad? I have been writing to Arthur Lane, and he remembers Dad as a great hockey player, and says he has the stitches to prove it!