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L/Cpl Frank Buttifant, Royal Corps of Signals

 

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Frank joined the Territorial Army, 4th Bn. Royal Norfolk Regt. HQ Signals Section in January 1933. In April 1940, he was called up. After training at Catterick, he joined 155 Field Regt. (Lanarkshire Yeomanry) RA in late 1940, in Hardington, Scotland.

The convoy left the Clyde in March 1941, via CapeTown, for Bombay, India where his unit trained intensively with Indian Infantry. In September 1941, they left Bombay for Port Swettenham, Malaya Ω before proceeding to Sungei Patani, approximately 10 miles from the Siam border.

In late 1941, he was sent to join the Leicesters and East Surreys at Jitra as part of the III Indian Corps, becoming part of the fighting retreat south through Malaya to Singapore Ω.  After capture by the Japanese, and transfer by sea, he arrived at Keelung Ω in Formosa in transit to the copper mine at Kinkaseki. Conditions at the mine were very bad Ω particularly in the hot areas Ω. Medical facilities were practically non existent Ω and living conditions in camp led to extensive illness and malnutrition Ω. He recalls the worst aspects of his 3 years Ω, still clear today.

The first indication of the end of the war was from Chinese workers Ω followed by liberation by US Forces Ω and initial transfer to Manila Ω.  Despite his ordeal, a necessary step to return to the UK was his signing the Official Secrets Act Ω.  He got back to England in November 1945.

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Kinkaseki deposition

 

 

 

 

Kinkaseki memorial