Researching family history – Far East POWs

Something that has become a bit of an obsession of late is researching my Dad’s experiences as a Japanese POW during the Second World War. He served as an officer with the 2nd Battalion The Loyal Regiment and was captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore in February 1942. He spent the following three years being moved around from Changi to Keijo in Korea then to Omori and Tokyo in Japan. He survived appalling treatment (although he was relatively lucky compared to those in forced labour camps on the Thailand/Burma railway) and was in the first wave of POWs to be liberated

He embarked on HMS Speaker to Manila. From there he was flown to San Francisco then shipped home. He remained in the Loyals at a holding depot in Preston into 1946 when he was honourably discharged from service as struck of strength.

The photo here, courtesy of the Queens Lancashire regimental Museum, Fulwood, is a photo of Loyals officers at Keijo in December 1942. The ‘old man’ is far left, second row from the back.


Keijo, Christmas 1942


I’ll publish – in parts – an article I recently wrote for Family Tree Magazine which highlights some of his story and how to undertake research of your own.