Author Topic: Lewis, William David. Prisoner of War- Ballale Island Massacre  (Read 2640 times)

Offline forthekids

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Lewis, William David. Prisoner of War- Ballale Island Massacre
« on: Wednesday 28 October 15 02:32 GMT (UK) »
In memory of my grandfather who died as a prisoner of war in the horrific Ballale Island Massacre in the South Pacific.  Approximately 600 men from various Royal Artillery units were taken from Changi Prison after the fall of Singapore.  About 500 of those men were eventually moved to Ballale Island  to build an airstrip for the Japanese.  As the tides of war changed, the order was given to dispose of all the remaining prisoners.  They were massacred on March 5, 1943 and left in mass graves.  Not one sprisoner survived.

My grandfather was a coal miner from Glamorganshire in Wales who had moved his family to Corsham, Wiltshire before he was called to the Royal Artillery.  He left behind his wife and 2 young children. 

Rest in peace William (Will) Lewis and know that you are remembered.

Offline Willaim Davies

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Re: Lewis, William David. Prisoner of War- Ballale Island Massacre
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 23 February 17 19:16 GMT (UK) »
Hi there,
Iíve just seen your post about your Grandfather and Ballalae. My Grandfather was also killed on Ballalae and Iíve been researching this on and off for the past 14 years. I have gathered a great deal of information, which I would be quite happy to share with you.
We will never know how individual men died on Ballalae because there were no survivors. But from the information I have gathered it appears the majority of men died as a result of American bombing of the island. At the end of March 1943 the remaining 92 men were executed by the Japanese. 
I have also been lucky enough to visit the island back in 2003. Itís a really beautiful place and itís hard to imagine the events that took place there.
Regards,
Bill