Gunner Reginald Roy Harold

Gunner Reginald Roy Harold

Royal Artillery 

3rd Row from front 6th from right

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My Dad,  who was a printer from Diss in Norfolk, worked on the local paper.  He was christened Reginald Roy HAROLD,  the son of William & Ethel and the brother of Marjorie.    Reg married my mother, Joan Eileen ABBOTT  in 1937 and they had two sons, being myself and my brother Laurence, who unfortunately my father never saw, being shipped off to war before Laurence was born.

His troop ship, we believe, was headed for Singapore, but was diverted to JAVA  to make a show, but within a week all Royal Artillery and RAF were captured by the Japs, presumably due to the lack of equipment, and as prisoners of the Japanese they were duly sent to Borneo and the infamous POW camps No. 1-2&3 at SANDAKAN.

SANDAKAN was to be the starting point of one of the great atrocities of  World War Two in the Far East - ``The Murderous Death Marches",  when only six Australians, were to survive the marches to RANAU from the hundreds of British and Australians that set out at the start.

There is still uncertainty in my mind as to how and where my father died.  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission,  and his headstone on the island of LABUAN,  put his date of death as December 1944, which would put death before the Sandakan/Ranau Death March.  However,  Don Wall's excellent book about the whole Sandakan affair, lists No. 1653779 Gnr. Harold R.R. 95 Bty 48 LAA as having  died at Sandakan on the 31st March 1945,  just about the time of the Marches.

I have twice visited the island of Labuan and each time have been received in the most friendly and helpful way by the residents.  Each visit has given me more knowledge as to the fate of my father and many other POWs.  My wife, Peggy  and I are privileged to be planning a further trip to Labuan in April 2001,  this time in the company of several members of COFEPOW (who have become very great friends of ours).  I would like to add that the cemetery in Victoria,  Labuan is a very well cared for place - as Peggy wrote in her diary on the night of our first visit  ``The most beautiful place in the world"

I have photographs of some of the graves at Labuan.  Should any readers care to E-Mail me,   my address is TONIE.H.OO@tinyonline.c

I am Antonie S. Harold   (Tonie)

23, Victoria Road,

Diss,  Norfolk,

IP22 4HW,


1st January 2000





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