The Manchester Regiment Forum

World War 2 => 1939 - 1945 => Topic started by: ellie on September 05, 2011, 10:25:15 AM

Title: hello!
Post by: ellie on September 05, 2011, 10:25:15 AM
  hi to all, 1st post on here. I started to research my uncle, pte. Thomas Rowbottom ( 3528297 )  of the 1st Manchesters a few years ago. He was a japanese p.o.w in Burma and is buried in Thanbyuzayat war cemetery.
  I have been trying to find out which camp he was in before he died, with no success. All I can gather is that it must have been in the northern part, as Thanbyuzayat was created for those who died in that part of the country. I would be grateful if anyone has any information on him at all, thanks in advance  :)
Title: Re: hello!
Post by: pete th on September 05, 2011, 11:25:32 AM
Hi Ellie, there is an excellent account of the 1st Battalion's time in captivity on Tameside's website (scroll down to the heading "A Battalion in Captivity"):

I assume that you've already read the CWGC's info on the Cemetery but if not, please follow the below link:

Hope this helps

Title: Re: hello!
Post by: Wendi on September 05, 2011, 11:28:30 AM
Hi ellie, and a Warm Welcome to our forum  ;D

From CWGC Private Thomas Rowbottom
1st Bn. Manchester Regiment
Age:    26
Date of Death:    14/11/1943
Service No:    3528297
Grave/Memorial Reference:    B3. Y. 11.

According to COFEPOW ( he was captured on 15th February 1942 and is listed under F & H Force "San Krai"

Have you (or his next of kin) tried to apply for his service record?

I'll move your post over to the WW2 section and we will see what else we can find for you.

Wendi  :)
Title: Re: hello!
Post by: rafboy on September 05, 2011, 02:29:42 PM
Hi Ellie
Your uncle would have been taken prisoner in Singapore on 15th February 1942 along with the rest of The 1st Battalion The Manchester Regiment.  He should have a Japanese POW Record amongst those held at the National Archive Kew.  I have copies of a lot of them but unfortunately not his, themonsstar (Roy) may be able to help you get a copy and I should be able to get you a reasonable translation.  The Record Card is mainly in Japanese and will identify exactly where and when your uncle was moved to.
I have attached a list of web sites that may be of use to you in your research, I have not checked all the links recently so some may not work.  If you contact the Thia Burma Railway Centre they may be able to help obtain a photo of your uncles grave if the link to TRBC does not work delete everything after .com/ and try again.
If you look in the "Photos and Postcard" section of this Forum there are 2 photos of POW's which I believe was taken in Singapore the few in the 2 groups that have been identified are all from 1st Bn Manchester Regiment.  There is a possibility that your uncle may be in one of the groups, if you have any photos of him that you could use for comparison I can send you high resolution copies of these photos which can be enlarged to clearly show the mens faces.
Hope this helps.
Title: Re: hello!
Post by: rafboy on September 05, 2011, 02:35:47 PM
Hi again Ellie, there is a photo of your uncles grave here but you will have to pay to get a copy whereas you may get it free from TBRC:
Title: Re: hello!
Post by: ellie on September 05, 2011, 06:01:29 PM
thanks all,
 i have a photo of his grave kindly organised by the war graves commission, and have photo's of him for comparison for the p.o.w pictures if you could send the high res. pics       ( thanks,cliff )
 i did some research a while ago for my Mum who sadly passed away last year, but could not find out which camp he was in for her, although we did have contact with a couple of survivors (Bill Stalham 3528032, and Sgt. Charlie Marshall) who knew him.  Bill was with him up to Changi, then they were split up and he heard no more. A lovely man who even remembered my 11 year old mother coming up to the barracks to visit!
 It would be wonderful to be able to find out if he had a japanese record, as Mum never knew how Uncle Tommy died and at last i will be able to complete the story for the family.
 You've all been a great help and so fast to answer too  :) 
 Will follow up on obtaining his service record as it should tell us where he went on his travels, and will post on the ww2 section when i know more
Title: Re: hello!
Post by: sphinx on September 05, 2011, 07:01:52 PM

I have a note that Thomas died of dysentery at Sonkai, Thailand on 14.11.1943.

Title: Re: hello!
Post by: Wendi on September 05, 2011, 07:02:38 PM
Hi again ellie,

Cliff is rather our expert regarding this subject !

A lovely man who even remembered my 11 year old mother coming up to the barracks to visit!

What a lovely memory.  It brings the whole thing to life doesn't it.

If you wish you can add any pictures you please to our forum, or send them to one of the moderators who will do it for you.

I'm up with the peace light and love thing, that fits

Wendi  :)

Title: Re: hello!
Post by: ellie on September 05, 2011, 07:13:06 PM
thanks wendi,  seems like cliff's the man!
  when Bill sent my mum the correspondence regarding her brother, she remembered the episode and it brought tears to her eyes as that was the last time she saw him. i will put the photo's on, one outside ladysmith and one possibly singapore, as he is with a young lad who looks malaysian or burmese.  i'm a bit of a closet buddhist hence the peace,love,light. wish the world could take the saying and live by it. oh well, we can all dream!
Title: Re: hello!
Post by: Wendi on September 05, 2011, 08:07:12 PM
Look forward to the pictures ellie, often as is said "they say a thousand words"  the chaps can often pick up a lot from a photo.

Anyways as someone once said "may your god go with you"

Wendi  :)
Title: Re: hello!
Post by: rafboy on September 05, 2011, 08:30:52 PM
Hi again Ellie, I'm all for peace,love,light if everyone was it would make the world a better place.  I will PM you with my email address so that you can let me have yours without discosing it on the Forum.  I will then send you the high res photos and names of those identified so far.  There is no guarantee that your uncle is in them as they certainly do not include all the battalion.  My father is in one of them.
In the Forum photo section (Photos from The Far East) there are 2 photos with Charlie Marshall in them from 1951/54 period, my mother is in this one with him the other is on the previous page:
The 2 POW group photos are here:  I will PM you now with my contact details.
Title: re: sonkai
Post by: ellie on September 05, 2011, 10:57:42 PM
thank you sphinx
     i've only been on here a day, and so many people have helped me find out things about Uncle Tommy that we never knew. my mum had always thought it was beri-beri, but it    was never 100% certain with her. I'll add his cause of death to the pages i've got up to now.
Title: Re: pictures
Post by: ellie on September 07, 2011, 11:58:07 PM
managed to sort photo's out, first one is outside the barracks, the second is presumably Singapore obviously pre-Feb. 1942.