Medan Force
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Departure Dates:-

May 15th 1942

Work Party Name:-

Medan Force

Commander:-

Captain D.P. Apthorp of British Sumatra Battalion

Journey:-

Sea

From Camps:-

Sumatra

 

To

 

Mergui Airfield in Burma

 

To

 

Tavoy in Burma

 

To

To :-

Moulmein by train to Thanbyuzayat

 

Consisted of:

British

Australian

Non-Dutch

Dutch

Total

498

2

 

1500

2000

 

Transports:-

 

England Maru

With 500 British Sumatra Battalion, 498 British 2 Australians. The Battalions commander was Captain D.P. Apthorp, and also included Australian surgeon Colonel Coates. Joined Kyokusei Maru in convoy from Belewan then joined the Celebes Maru and Toyohashi Maru from Singapore which carried ‘A’ Force.

Kyokusei Maru

With 1500 Dutch PoWs from Padang. Joined England Maru in convoy from Belewan then joined the Celebes Maru and Toyohashi Maru from Singapore which carried ‘A’ Force. Disembarked Victoria Point, Burma

 

Remarks:-

The British Sumatra Battalion worked at Mergui in Burma and put to work on an airfield along with some Australians from ‘A’ Force.

On 10th August 1942 the airfield work was finished and the British Sumatra Battalion, along with the remaining Australians of ‘Ramsay Force’, were transported in the Tatu Maru to Tavoy, being accommodated at the ‘Ann Heseltine Home’, which was a large chateau-like building constructed of stone. Sgt. Bullock continued to operate a radio, which he had built at Sumatra.

On 21st October 1942 they were shipped to Moulmein and then by road to Thanbyuzayat. These were the first working parties on the Death Railway in Burma. The British Sumatra Battalion was the only British prisoner to start from the Burma end of the railway.

Their first camp was at 18-kilo camp, Helpauk.

 

 


 

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