dadthumb                                     Charles William Nicholson From Percy Main to Sumatra via France
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Bovington 1939

France 1940

malaya 1941

Singapore 1942

Capture 1942

Sumatra 1942

Sungei Geron

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My research into my Father , George Albert Snowdon's  war history began with my niece Heather asking me about my fathers prisoner of war camp in the far east  during the Second World War , and it got me thinking about how little I knew about “His War” .

 My Father did not talk much about his time as a prisoner of the Japanese, I now fully realise why this was.

 There are Web Links throughout this story (blue highlighted ) , click on them to find out more information or view video, there are some harrowing images , I make no apology for their inclusion as this is what the Prisoners lived with for more than three years. Just click the “Back Arrow” on your web browser to return to the story.

In the course of my research I have had invaluable help from varying sources.

My Family :-                                  I had a lot of snippets of information , and these were the first research leads I tried to follow , they did actually happen but sometimes in a different context to what I expected.

I would also like to thank Derek Nicholson for allowing me to include his fathers , Charles William Nicholsons War Memoirs .

Bill Bourke :-                                 His father was also prisoner in Palembang , Bill supplied me with a vast amount of information and pointed me in the right direction for my research . Bill also supplied me with  information that confirmed my father’s final Prisoner of war camp .

FEPOW COMMUNITY:-          This website is an immense source of  information relating to the Far east Prisoners of War.


COFEPOW :-                              Children of Fareast Prisoners of War , another major source of information.

FAR EASTERN HEROES :-        A web site with personal accounts of Far East Prisoner of War experiences

WW2 Talk :-                               A Website dedicated to all thing relating to World War 2 , the Forums were a great source of information supplied by other members.

The Malaya Volunteer Group About The Malay Volunteers and their Families

Jonathan Moffatt                            He has helped me e
normously  during my research

Captive Memories                          Lverpool School of Tropical Medicine Captive memories Recording of Ex FEPOW telling their own stories

TAIWAN PRISONERS OF WAR  A Website that has information relating to POWs transported from Singapore to work there

Commonwealth War Graves 
Links to this site are used throughout the "Z" AOW Roll

The National Archives Kew :-

Navel History :-                                  WS (Winston Specials) Convoys in WW2 - 1941 Sailings (

Michael Pether :-
Well research acounts of evacuation ships escaping Singapore carring R.A.O.C. personnel

Far east Prisoners of War Index cards    -WO 345/48 .

Units Official War Diary’s :-

 10th Army Workshop                              - WO 167/1210.  (France 1940)

 “Z” AOW                                                      - WO 172/357 (Malaya 1941)

"Z" AOW Roll Call                                           -Roll Call


The Eric and Mary Story :-  I found this not only a very moving and ultimately tragic story , but Eric Diss’s account of his time in Malaya and Singapore and finally Sumatra with the R.A.O.C , is the closest account of how my father came to be captured.

The Diary of Eric Diss :-        Extracts from Eric Diss’s Diary Returned to his family after the War.


Bibliography :-   Prisoner of Nippon                           - Ray Stubbs

                                No Bamboo for Coffins                    - David Elio Roberts

                                The Sacrifice of Singapore               - Michael Arnold

                                 An Ocean Without Shores               - C. O. Jennings

                                 The Secret Life of Bletchley Park    - Sinclair McKay

                                             Singapore's Dunkirk                              - Geoffry Brooke

Kevin Snowdon 7th September 2013 - To Date                               e-mail  :- [email protected]