Sunday, 30 May 2010

Tien Kwang Gunnery Officer R.W Heale

On a recent trip to Hong Kong I was fortunate to have met up with John Heale the son of Reginald Heale who was the gunnery officer aboard the Tien Kwang. John's father survived the bombing and the war after ending up as a Japanese POW on that Thai Burma railway. The Malay Volunteers database managed by Jonathan Moffatt contains the following listing - HEALE R.W. [Reginald William] b.2.7.1913 Brislington, Bristol. To Singapore 1937. Mercantile Assistant. Sub-Lt SS RNVR 1930s. Lt MRNVR HMS Sultan [Singapore Naval Base]. POW Padang, Sumatra. Returned to Changi, Singapore then to Chungkai, Thailand. John is now starting to research his father's history and should anyone have any further specific background about R.W Heale please let me know. The photo shows John Heale on the left and myself in Hong Kong May 2010

Rest in Peace Jim Hall

Rest in peace Jim Hall of Sunderland who passed away recently. Jim was serving in Singapore with the mobile radar unit (250 MRU) before evacuating Singapore on the Tien Kwang. Jim survived the bombing and after being standed on Pompong Island for 10 days was taken to Sumatra and eventually ended the war as a POW. Stanley Pyke met up with Jim in October 2009 where Jim was able to share his recollections about Stan's father who was killed during the bombing of the Tien Kwang. This was a special moment for Stan who was able to hear about his father directly from someone who was on the Tien Kwang with his father at the time. The photo shows Jim Hall on the left with Stan Pyke at their meeting in October 2009.