Saturday, February 11, 2012

Japanese Prison Camp Victims

Photographs (Top to bottom): 
1. Remembrance of Eric R. Carey and Robert E. Carey 
(Whitehaven WW2 'Book of Remembrance') 
2. Lance Bombardier Robert Edward Carey, R.A.
3. Gunner Eric Roy Carey, R.A
[Photographs 2 & 3 courtesy of 'The Whitehaven News']

For additional information click on 'Comments' below


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

(a) CWGC citation:
Eric Roy Carey, R.A.
80 Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery

Casualty Details
Initials: E R
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Gunner
Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery
Unit Text: 80 Anti-Tank Regt.
Age: 27
Date of Death: 16/07/1943
Service No: 5341989
Awards: Mentioned in Despatches
Additional information: Son of Robert Gordon Carey and Hannah Sophia Carey of Whitehaven, Cumberland;
Husband of Gwendoline Violet Carey, of Upper Norwood, Surrey.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Column 15.
Memorial: SINGAPORE MEMORIAL, Singapore

(b) CWGC citation:
Robert Edward Carey, R.A.
80 Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artllery

Casualty Details
Initials: R E
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Bombardier
Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery
Unit Text: 80 Anti-Tank Regt.
Age: 32
Date of Death: 26/01/1945
Service No: 995769
Additional information: Son of Robert Edward Carey, and of Hannah Sophia Carey, of Whitehaven, Cumberland.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: VII. D. 19.
Cemetery: SAI WAN WAR CEMETERY, China (Hong Kong)

Saturday, 11 February, 2012  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

(c) Some biographical information

Brothers Eric Roy Carey and Robert Edward Carey (Jnr) were the sons of Robert Edward Carey (Snr) and Hannah Sophia Carey (nee Williams) of 2 Park View, Sunnyhill, Whitehaven. Robert E. Carey (Snr) had married Miss Hannah S. Williams in the Guisborough district in 1907. Two of their sons, Eric and Robert (Jnr), were both to lose their lives in Japanese prison camps in WW2.

Eric and Robert (Jnr) were taken prisoner at the fall of Singapore in 1942. There is a slight discrepancy with their father's middle name on the CWGC citations.

This means the Commission seems not to have picked up these two were brothers. In 1940 Eric Carey married Miss Gwendoline Violet Chandler in Surrey (their wartime address was at Upper Norwood, outer London.

It was only after the end of the war in the Far East that the Carey family found out the two brothers had died in the Japanese prison camps. Over a year later, at the end of December 1946, Eric Carey's widow heard that her husband had received a 'Mention in Dispatches' for "... gallant and distinguished service whilst a prisoner of war in Japanese hands." Eric Carey's date of death is given as 16 July 1943. Eric Carey is commemorated on the Singapore memorial.

Robert Carey (Jnr), known by family and friends as "Bobbie" died in the Japanese camp at Formosa (China) on 15 January 1945, at the age of 32. His final resting place is at Sai Wan War Cemetery, China (Hong Kong). According to the CWGC historical infomation of this cemetery, the remains of service casualties on Formosa (Taiwan) were taken to Hong Kong for final burial in 1946. Bobbie Carey enlisted to the army in July 1940. At the time he was the traffic manager at John Pattinson's "Beacon Mills", which was located close to Whitehaven harbour. Bobbie had started work for Pattinson's at the age of 14.

The end of the war in 1945 brought a certain closure to the Carey family, if not good news, regarding the fate of two of their loved ones whilst in Japanese POW camps. The local newspaper reported the family received many cards and letters of sympathy following their double bereavement. Their names are recorded in the Borough of Whitehaven WW2 'Book of Remembrance'.

(d) A personal tribute

With the passing of the years it becomes more difficult to understand the suffering, the courage and the deprivations they faced up to in the Japanese prison camps during the war. It is also difficult to appreciate how their close family and friends coped with not knowing of their fate for many years. Ultimately, there was no happy ending, even if there was a certain closure.

The least that those that have followed them can do is to ensure that their memory is preserved and try to ensure their sacrifice was not in vain. May their sacrifice be remembered!


'The Whitehaven News'

Cumbria County Archives & Library Service
(Whitehaven Records Office)

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Sunday, 12 February, 2012  

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