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They were at Leeuwin for 2 or 3 weeks. By 18th March, 1942 all had been collected into one Camp from the U.S.N. The Japanese internal organisation is such that certain Petty Officers are appointed entirely for Administrative Duties, (Clerical and Victualling etc.). When questioned on the Geneva Convention his reply was brusque and emphatic; “ Ships “PERCH” and “POPE”. “MAIDSTONE”. The modifications brought to Exeter produced a noticeably different profile from the original lead ship York. This has been passed to me (in 2006) by a friend, a crew member on the Maidstone,who has preserved this record for over 60 years. 17. The privations they were to suffer were in every way similar to those men who were forced to build … His reputation for bestiality was wide-spread in the Celebes and he was universally feared. Often a man’s health would collapse after a beating and though up to then he had withstood dysentery, for instance, it seemed as if the bearing lowered his resistance and he became susceptible to sickness. GORDON, M.V.O., R.N., the Commanding Officer of the “EXETER” and 12 other British Naval Officers and 4 ratings were drafted to JAPAN, and I assumed command of all British personnel. Up to now only letters to the Women’s’ Camp at Malino and to the relations and friends in Java, which involved the Dutch alone. I assumed command of the British Prisoners of War at Macassar when the officers left on 2nd October, 1943, there being then 12 officers and 650 men based on the camp. 1. Food, or the lack of it, has dominated every second of Prison Life, I do not know what the Official Ration was but I am certain we never got it. The destroyer's captain Lt Cdr Eric Morgan, ordered the ship scuttled to prevent her capture by the Japanese. We got some mails mostly 18 months old, sent a few cards and were paid monthly – 20 guilders per month for senior officers and 15 for juniors. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. In the first article, Joanna Matthew examines the story of a Second World War Prisoner of War survivor - her grandfather. She lost speed and fell out of the line, the following ships lost station in the confusion. HMS Exeter was the second and last York-class heavy cruiser built for the Royal Navy during the late 1920s. The rest must have gone to the Japanese forces somewhere. 111.2 that aircraft from carriers had observed a boat possibly with JAPANESE emissaries passing TATHONG Point outward, to be prepared to contact them and give them his instructions. from HONG KONG Island, at daylight and commenced Sweeping Oropesa, “MAIDSTONE”, “PRINCE ROBERT” and Submarines following in swept water. Reprisals on Officers and Petty Officers in charge of Barracks or working parties were frequent and such punishments inflicted in full view of the men. The ships immediately turned and headed back to sea to intercept the enemy. Other September 30th – Persistent head winds having been encountered, did not arrive FREMANTLE until 1300, about 3 hours late, and proceeded to berth at NORTH WHARF astern of “ADAMANT”. As soon as Admiral Harcourt had passed in with the two cruisers, who had landing parties ready to occupy the dockyard, “MAIDSTONE” was ordered to follow and berth on the dockyard wall as previously arranged; the HONG KONG port party under Captain WALSHT, R.N. A large sick list existed from the start. If a voluntary piece of diry work had to be done these men were often those who would do it and there are besides many examples, which have come to my notice, of them doing a sick man’s share of work as well as their own. TO: ADMIRAL (SUBMARINES). From our experiences they seem as yet unfit to wield power. Submarines were berthed the opposite side of the pier, except those on patrol and those supplying current via the Dockyard Power Station, other power stations having had to shut down for lack of fuel. The general deterioration of health in 1944 and 1945 was undoubtedly assisted by the mental strain of living under the control of this terrible person. The conditions prevailing when I assumed command were poor. The Japanese picked up 714 officers and men from HMS Exeter together with survivors from HMS Encounter and Pope and they became prisoners of war. Churchill No. As a result, the masts were s… In January 1943, 29 Officers and 171 men were drafted to POMALAA on the East leg of the Celebes in a Mosquito infested swamp with no provisions against Malaria. The official surrender ceremony took place at Government House at 1600, the occasion being marked by a 21 gun salute from all guns of the fleet 5.25” and below, and by a searchlight and firework display at 2030. ← Previous Post Only about one hundred men per day were employed outside the camp during the first five months: from August 1942 onwards a great call was made on working parties. However bad were the conditions, the heaviness of the work or the harshness of the guards, and even during those dreadful months from February 1945 till May when at nearly every muster I had to announce the death of another of our contingent, the great majority of the men’s’ spirit and morale remained astonishing high, and those who cracked under the strain were always assisted along by the others. The death roll and sickness would have been undoubtedly greater except for the untiring energy and devotion to duty of SURGEON-LIEUTENANT D.N. Her beam was increased by 1-foot (30 cm) to cater for increases in topweight, and the boiler uptakes were trunked backwards from the boiler rooms, allowing for straight funnels removed from the bridge rather than the raked funnels necessary in York to ensure adequate dispersal of the flue gasses. As time went by, though stoically understood by the men, it was disheartening and disappointing. In the beginning our reception was, to say the least of it, cool. Home in the early 1960s, had been Exeter's Gunnery Officer at the time of her sinking. 111.7 from August 18th. Hours 0700 to 1700 with 2 hours off for dinner. 12. That they took any prisoners at all was only due to their desire for cheap man-power; that they kept them just alive only because it was fashionable to have prisoners. Representations were continually being made to the Guards without avail. 11. Having intercepted a signal in P/L from JAPANESE Commander HONG KONG to Admiral HARCOURT that Allied emissaries would not be molested, and as cloud conditions were likely to preclude our aircraft from landing at KAITAK Airfield, decided to close TATHONG Point and make contact if possible through the signal stations, informing C.T.G. 16. LOCATION. HMS Exeter, pennant number 68, was a York-class heavy cruiser of theRoyal Navy that served in World War II. September 14th – Commander-in-Chief, British Pacific Fleet arrived in H.M.S. See HERE for details. October 31st – The ship has settled down for the long 17 day passage to SIMONSTOWN, a satisfactory speed of advance of just over 12 knots having so far been maintained, in some part due to having filled up with Persian Oil instead of the rather dirty U.S. Navy Californian which we have been using in the past few months. HMS EXETER, and her ship’s company, were battle scarred veterans when she deployed to the Far East in 1941. 7. During October 1942 a group of 200 prisoners mostly from Exeter plus HMS Encounter, HMS Stronghold, USS Pope DD-225 and USS Perch SS-176 with 800 Dutch prisoners were transported aboard the Asama Maru to Nagasaki then moved to Fukuoka No. I have been purposely somewhat full of describing the part played by this man as everything that occurred in this Camp can be traced to this, the most hateful human being that any of us have ever had the misfortune to encounter. Tojo No. Beatings were often done in the mass and in full view of the Camp. I am certain in my own mind that if their attack on Australia had succeeded, all Prisoners of War would have been transported for work in Jungles, mines and deserts where they would have been treated like slaves till death intervened. HMS Exeter was sunk on March 1, 1942, when, with two escorts, the destroyer HMS Encounter and the American destroyer Pope, it was intercepted by nine Japanese warships. | Free UK Mainland Delivery on orders of more than £100.00, British Warships & Auxiliaries Collection, House of Commons Select Committee on Defence - Restoring the Fleet: Naval Procurement and the National Shipbuilding Strategy, ROYAL NAVY TO LOSE ASuW MISSILE CAPABILITY. One wireless message was allowed to be sent in November, 1942 – nothing since. Orders were given to "Sink the ship" and designated members of the crew opened the seacocks and valves, and charges exploded below the water line. Drake iv (Prisoner of War) – 2nd March 1942 to 28th February 1946 . 28 able to walk. August 1st – At the beginning of the month only two submarines of the Flotilla, “SUPREME” and “SEASCOUT” were in harbour at SUBIC. “VINDEX”, “MAIDSTONE” remained alongside the dockyard as general base ship, providing supplies and facilities for parties ashore, parties to get essential services going again; and miscellaneous services too numerous to mention. D.S. It is fully realised that there are many more important problems to be considered in our service than the contents of this report. Subsequently they would have been replaced by more man-power from the occupied territories until such time as these Countries had been denuded and ready for Japanese Colonisation. In April, 1945, we were transferred to a nearby reformatory designed for 400 Javanese juvenile delinquents, and were joined there a few weeks later by other ranks from Batavia until we had 3,800 in the camp. From HMS Exeter, about 50 were killed, while 650 were made prisoners of war. The Japanese authorities had appointed Lieutenant Colonel L. GORTMANS, K.N.I.L., as Camp Commander. Super-imposed on these excellent qualities were an uncontrollable temper and all bad characteristics that can be imagined. This kept men going and even men who were seriously ill and unlikely to live long maintained a pathetic but courageous hope that they could hold on till the Allies came. (G.T. Ships and H.M.A. The weakening effect of this malady on men in bad conditions, and employed in coolie work in the tropics caused general undermining of health and was directly responsible for the heavy Mortality during the epidemics of 1945. Sailed at 1400. “SHROPSHIRE” for discussions in view of possibility of British Naval Forces being required to proceed to British ports in JAPANESE occupation. long by 2ft. August 26th – Conference of Commanding Officers was held on board H.M.S. By May ... H.M.S. From HMS Exeter, about 50 were killed, while 650 were made prisoners of war. Total 14 HMS Exeter: Casualties during second Java Sea Battle and sinking 1 Mrch 1942 Total killed and missing 40 Died in Macassar before 9/43 Total 7 Died in Poemaloe (East Celebes) Total 15 Killed in Nagasaki August 11th – Visited Commodore Commanding Australian Squadron (Commodore J.A. The group meets for a service at Exeter Cathedral where HMS Exeter has its own chapel and stained glassed window. The ENCOUNTER and JUPITER at once made smoke to protect her, whilst the ELECTRA closed three Japanese destroyers just 6,000 yards away. HMS Exeter is sunk. Between 1931–1935 assigned to the Atlantic Fleet then between 1935–1939 severed in the Mediterranean Sea. In consequence of this unexpected change of programme, I never signed the letter of proceedings left onboard H.M.S. She had limped back to Devonport in January 1940 after carrying out temporary repairs in the Falkland Islands following the Battle of the River Plate and the sinking of the Graf Spee. His Excellency and his staff were entertained to dinner and a cinema performance onboard “MAIDSTONE” that evening. RESPONSIBILITIES. These were joined shortly by two Myoko Class cruisers (each with ten 8-inch guns). They also seriously restricted the supplies of Quinine. The Exeter had been in the dockyard for approximately a year. HMS Exeter fought in the Falklands War and the first Gulf War and was scrapped in 2009. With this naval defeat Java stood no chance to survive and fell to the Japanese on 10th March, the two major ports at Batavia and Surabaja were now in Japanese hands. DATE: 1st November, 1945 No. D.S. ships and M.F.V., 280 with beer. Submarines crews also helped to run a number of essential services. Of these, 152 would die in Japanese PoW camps. More . “EXETER” and destroyers sunk in JAVA SEA area in March, 1942. Rice about 2 ounces poor quality vegetables. I had to make very strong protests from time to time to ensure proper attention for our men who were losing heart when sick through lack of confidence that they would get the required treatment. October 13th – “ADAMANT” proceeded to GAGE ROADS, sailing for HONG KONG the following morning. It would be useless to continue this report further before describing the part played by one of the guards, 1st Class Seaman YOSHIDA. We had no possessions of any kind and yet barely an article of clothing or eating utensil were given to us. THEW, R.N. One man, usually a Petty Officer, but in this case only a 1st Class Seaman (equivalent to an Able Seaman) is appointed as disciplinary Petty Officer. For a month we had lived on the daily food issue composed solely of one bun, and an envelope of cooked rice with a little green water-cress and sometimes a little dried evil-smelling fish. 111.2 was informed and he closed in H.M.S. It is absurd to say that any one who was in Macassar, particularly during the last two years could possibly forget it but at least it can be hoped that not too many will carry the scars and effects throughout their life. It was often necessary to put a bandage on the leg of a man with a weak heart to safe guard him from work. On the evening of the 28th February, the EXETER, steaming on one boiler and with the two destroyers as escort, was ordered to the Sunda Straight to escape into the Indian Ocean. 15. August 19th – No further news of COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, BRITISH PACIFIC FLEET being obtainable, returned to SUBIC by road, to find that Captain, Fourteenth Submarine Flotilla had arrived in H.M.S. 5. Men were crowded into barracks, 4 sometimes 5 to a cubicle 8 foot by 6 with no bedding and no food utensils. 18. 6. Batavia, JAVA The guards then set fire to the hair on various parts of his body and bound him to the railings for the night. Facilities. EXETER’S LAST COMMISSION. In September 1942, a thousand prisoners, some of whom were from the Exeter, were transported from Macassar camp, in the Asama Maru , to work in the docks at Nagasaki, while some were sent to Yoshikuma, about forty miles from Nagasaki. Work after the shift to the new camp was divided between the town and the camp, where air-raid ditches were constructed, gardens, both flower and vegetable inside and outside the camp, were made and a general tidying-up of the area done. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. In a bad beating victims would be knocked down and kicked and stamped on whilst on the ground. - 2 2 75 years ago today - HMS EXETER was lost in the Battle of the Sunda Strait fighting against an overwhelming Japanese force. Three American destroyers at Sourabaya set out for Australia using the Bal Channel, leaving one of their number POPE to escort the EXETER. This has been received from H.M.S. The Japanese opened fire at a range of 28,000 yards with EXETER and HOUSTON, the only two Allied cruisers with 8-inch guns, replied at a range of 27,000 yards. Captain, Fourth Submarine Flotilla They were a small minority but caused a great deal of trouble on occasions to me and the other officers, and under conditions where discipline was very difficult to maintain due to the mode of life imposed by the Japanese, they succeeded through selfishness and thoughtlessness in making a hard life harder for everyone. Submarines were … A sow which escaped from its sty was given corporal punishment and put on three days low diet for disobeying Japanese orders. We all regret that we have been unable to assist the National effort during this period but I would like to state on behalf of all officers and men that we are once again ready for service. A demand to build latrines over the sea to prevent dysentery in one of the pacific island camps was refused as they said that the sea and fish would become infected. of sugar, 2 ozs. H.M.S. It was extremely lucky for the camp that it was not shifted as without a doubt the result would have been a considerable number of deaths. 5245/73 dated 5th August, 1945) covers the final period in the South West Pacific Area. A total of seven died in captivity. late Commanding Officer of H.M.S. It has not been possible to compile the usual comprehensive report, owing to pressure of other commitments, departure of officers without relief, etc., but it is hoped that the narrative will provide sufficient to complete a record of the service of the Ship and Flotilla in Eastern Waters. The morale of the men was low due to hunger, sickness and general conditions and poor prospects for the future. HMS Exeter A Cathedral class light cruiser of 8390 tons It was February 1941 when as a young stoker I joined 'HMS Exeter' then famous for her role in the Battle of the River Plate. It was a well known fact that Yoshida disliked the officers as a whole, and with the majority leaving (particularly the redundant Dutch ones), the tension for a time was eased. The command of the men was therefore transferred to Lieutenant D.W.E. ... HMS Exeter was one of three Allied warships that sank the powerful German … I report this incident as a singularly scandalous one and because I told Dr. Bakker that I would do so. He was replaced by Captain O L Gordon. 35 senior British officers were then sent for and 27 publicly hit under the jaw individually by he Japanese Sergeant Major. Soap etc., was also essential to health and I sympathised with men trying to get money somehow in order to maintain their lives. August 24th – “STYGIAN” and “SPARK” sailed for United Kingdom. A number of private and public loans amounted to 3,100 Guilders (£415 approx:) were contracted at various times by Naval and R.F.A. 111.2 in H.M.S. YOSHIDA could have rectified all this at any time but did not do so. Next morning they were released and sent out to work, and nothing else happened. Since discovering my grandfather’s story, I have attended the HMS Exeter annual reunion weekend held around March 1, the date of the ship’s sinking. The general life in Camp was drab. ROACH of “ENCOUNTER”. The Second World War had broken out between Britain and Germany in September 1939. Actually they went further and treated prisoners as criminals. A neighbour, Lady Jean Pole (then Jean E Stone), was a member of the Women’s Royal Australian Navy (WRAN) in 1945 and was posted to HMAS Leeuwin Depot. She was launched to sea on July 18th, 1929 and was formally commissioned on July 27th, 1931. Other men were employed in the town on a variety of jobs or inside the Camp. About 50 had ulcers and septic wounds. September 19th – Called at SUBIC in very heavy rain storms to collect any mails and correspondence from B.N.L.O., supplied R.A.N. 1st Class E.O.K. Breakfast 6 oz Rice Porridge CARTER Albert H Exeter and Plymouth Gazette "Among those board HMS Exeter at the Battle of the River Plate was Seaman Gunner Albert H. Carter, old boy of Ladysmith-road School, Exeter, whose father and mother live at 46, Stuart-road Heavitree, Exeter. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. 4. Everyone had recently had the unpleasant experience of being sunk and had to endure the ignominy of capture. PERIOD. Exeter was ordered two years after her sister York and therefore her design incorporated improvements in the light of experience with the latter. As it turned out it was an excellent way for these men to pass their time; they were employed on lathe work, carpentering, bricklaying, and saw-mills. FOR PERIOD 1ST AUGUST TO 31ST OCTOBER, 1945. She was built to support the increasing number of submarines, especially on distant stations, such as the … Cooper “STRONGHOLD” 1 47 48 He was a Shepton lad his whole life, as was his … OTA once told me that all with technical ability would be employed technically, the remainder as labourers, regardless of rank. 4. Washing and sanitary arrangements were primitive and insufficient. Our Irish Chief Boatswain’s Mate was heard to remark that he’d never seen anything like it in one of H.M. Records were kept of all men who received 10 Guilders of the public loan but many of these have died. It was known that workshops were being set up locally and as there was no indication of war work going to be done and as it gave certain men a chance of light work and to keep their hand in at their trades, I placed no obstructions in the way of men who wished to state their ability. Camp situated on edge of jungle in mosquito swamp area. The wrecks of EXETER and the destroyer ENCOUNTER have been almost totally removed. 260 British Officers were accommodated thus in a room 100ft. Three ships – HMS Exeter, HMS Encounter, and HMS Electra – contained the bodies of more than 150 sailors. Sometimes the work was reasonable and even profitable but as a whole became very heavy and at times was nothing less than slavery. The Commanding Officer, Next morning, the guards sent for iodine, ostensibly to tend his wounds. The guard for the Camp was provided from a platoon of the Japanese Naval Landing Force organisation, under an ex Warrant Officer, NAGATONO SHOI. Dinner 6 oz. He enjoyed walks in the country during which one could have been with a doctor, lawyer or whatever - such was his breadth of interest. ” Depot, where they were at LEEUWIN for 2 or 3 weeks capture the... Number POPE to escort the Exeter, and long periods in hms exeter prisoners of war.! And submarines and “ BARCOO ” there, and those that gave appearance. 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