Please help a ww2 vet get a headstone WHEN YOU GO HOME TELL THEM OF US AND SAY FOR YOUR

Please help a ww2 vet get a headstone WHEN YOU GO HOME TELL THEM OF US AND SAY FOR YOUR

10 June 2022
Petition to
Henry Smith MP (MP for Crawley West Sussex) and
Signatures: 128Next Goal: 200
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Why this petition matters

Started by Serena Gear

My grandfather who was born in 1915 in Glasgow Scotland , joined the army at the age of 16, he was a soldier with the Argyl and Sutherland highlanders as a piper . 
Enlisted 29th of January 1934. Recorded as a
Piper disembarking from the troopship
Dorsetshire at Karachi on the 6/11/1935 and
finally joining the 2nd Battalion at Rawalpindi on
the 9th of that month. On his arrival he is posted
to Headquarters company. The HQ company
notes in the Regimental magazine from 1936
notes in the pipers section "we welcome pipers
from the 1st Battalion".
Noted as an acting piper in the Order of Battle
in 1936. This list every soldier in the Battalion
and which part of the unit the soldier is serving
in at the time. 
His name appears on the Indian General Service medal
list (for service in Waziristan) and the medal
also has the clasp for "Northwest Frontier".
Noted in the Aitken's POW nominal book as a
Private serving with D company when the
Battalion arrives in Singapore on the gth ofNoted in the Aitken's POW nominal book as a
Private serving with D company when the
Battalion arrives in Singapore on the gth of
August 1939. My grandfather alongside another piper piped the battalion over the causeway . This is noted in the book moon over Malaya. the details of where
he was held prisoner:
Was captured on the 15th of February 1942 as
did the remnants of the and Battalion at the fall
of Singapore. In Changi barracks 17th of
February 1942 until the 1gth of October that
year. Then Chungkai from the 25th of October
until the gth of June 1944. These were by far the worst fepow camps . To Japan on the 7th of
June and held at Billibid prison from the 18th of
September 1944 until the 13th of December.
Fukuoko 12 from the 12th of February 1945 until
the 15 of August 1945 when he was released.
On release was noted as a Lance Corporal. He was sent to Perth to recover before being shipped back home in March 1946 , fepow also known as the forgotten war were as I am sure you are aware used to build what is now known as the death railway in Burma . 
Construction began in September 1942 in Burma, and November 1942 in Thailand. According to the Australian government, the labourers consisted of in excess of 250,000 South East Asians and 60,000 POWs from various Allied countries. The work itself was back-breaking; often without the necessary tools, the workers slaved under a hot sun and were brutalised by the unempathetic Japanese and Korean overseers. Many succumbed to diseases, which were easily spread given they were forced to live in squalor and without even basic hygiene, and starvation was a real threat due to the physical nature of the work and with food in short supply, with as little as 600 calories the daily intake of the workers. The workers were maltreated, malnourished and exhausted, and as a result it’s thought that in excess of 100,000 people died during the construction of the railway – showing precisely why it came to be known as the Death Railway. It’s thought that one worker died for each wooden sleeper that was laid for the track.

Hellfire Pass was the largest rock-cutting on the line, with the workers having to cut into rock in remote hills without proper tools for the job. Workers toiled for as many as 18 hours a day and long into the night; the sight of them doing so in torchlight inspired the name of this section of the railway. Allied POWs, as well as several other South East Asians who were lured by the false promise of jobs, not only succumbed to exhaustion, starvation, dysentery and cholera, but were often beaten to death by the Japanese guards too. Whilst there was a large number of lives lost building this section, it isn’t in use today.
Following the end of the war, the railway needed extensive repairs in order to remain serviceable for the Royal Thai Railway. Today, around 130km of the line is in use. The sheer loss of life was shocking; 29% of the British, 31% of the Australian, 23% of the American and 19% of all the Dutch POWs used in construction didn’t survive – which is horrendous enough – yet a staggering 90% of the Asiatic labourers didn’t survive. As a result, 111 Japanese officials were tried for war crimes after the conclusion of the war, with 32 of them executed.

This isn’t a fairy tale – there’s no happy ending. Tens of thousands of labourers died, all for a railway that wouldn’t survive for much longer after the war was over. To this day, there’s a distinct lack of recognition for those who took part in and died during the construction of the railway, and it’s thought that mass graves are still out there.

There are memorials and museums in Kanchanaburi for visitors who want to either learn more about the railway or wish to pay their respects.

Information from the culture trip.con

Sadly I did not get to meet my grandfather but I was always extremely proud of his service to the country and have held his Scottish heritage and bravery close in my heart . 

Tragically my mother passed away on the 9th December 2021 to a three year battle to acute myeloid leukaemia, she was a fiercely proud Scott and to the point if she saw any produce made from Scotland she would have to purchase it. 

, it took me a while to track down my grandfather but eventually I did , he sadly died in 1984 found alone in his home ( not sure how long he was there before being found ) , although the Sussex council say they have no records of the accounts that took place back in 1984 ,my grandfather had living relatives at that time from his own side of his family ( sisters ) and Ofcourse my mother , no one was informed of his death . My grandfathers death certificate was signed by a member of the council and devastatingly was buried in a communal grave in snell cemetery Crawley sussex . I have asked if I could put a plaque at the gravesite to remember my grandfather and his service to this country as. Ww2 veteran but have been told no , his body lays in an unmarked grave ( we have the exact number and spot identified by the council ) which I am happy to purchase if needed, I think the least this country owes to any veteran is to allow a plaque or stone to remember there service and courage , 

Every veteran is entitled and should be honoured for there service to this country when they pass away, for my grandfather there is nothing , I am not asking to have his body exhumed and buried with his parents which his family would have had done , I am asking if I could please have his name recognised and rembered for the torture he went through for this country , to know my grandfather is in an unmarked grave harrows me , i am more then happy to pay for any plaque / memorial to remember a grandfather, father, brother, son and veteran who was a forgotten fepow , every veteran should be rembered and especially one that they already call from the forgotten war, a proud Scotsman who went through hell and back to be buried in a unmarked grave , refused the right to have a headstone to remember his courage and bravery 

there are many military cemeteries all over the country and world for all veterans and my grandfather deserves the same , please help me and a veteran by signing this petition, I would love to get a headstone done for VJ Day , 



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Signatures: 128Next Goal: 200
Support now