FEPOW Memorial Church

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Of the over 50,000 Britons who became POWs, many were captured at Singapore. (This figure is based on figures from the History of the Second World War The War against Japan Vol. V by Maj Gen S Woodburn Kirby et al. namely 71000, including Australian and some Dutch and from the 56000 cards for Allied POWs in WO345 in the Public Records Office. HMSO CMD 6832[June 1946] gives just over 50,000)

The FEPOW Memorial database lists the names of over 16,300 British servicemen who died as POWs. This would indicate a mortality rate of approximately 1 in 3 which is comparable with those for US and Australian POWs. This includes the thousands who died on ships transporting them to other parts of the Japanese Empire mostly as a result of the unmarked ships being torpedoed by Allied submarines. Among these 16,300, nearly 3% were officers.

According to the official History of the Second World War The War against Japan, some 36,000 were taken in Malaya, nearly 7,000 in Hong Kong (including Indian personnel), nearly 5,500 in Java/Sumatra with smaller numbers in Borneo and Burma.

 

 

Extract from CO 980/174