122 Field Regiment Royal Artillery
122 Field Regiment Royal Artillery was a Territorial regiment formed in Bradford on 1 June 1939 along with 70 Field Regiment. Both Regiments had the title 'West Riding'. No 122 had headquarters opposite Valley Parade Drill Hall and units in Halifax and Heckmondwike. It had two batteries, 278 and 280.
On 3 January 1941 the Regiment embarked at Glasgow in the ironically named Canadian Pacific liner 'Empress of Japan' and arrived in Malaya on 11 March to become part of the 12th Indian Brigade.
When the Japanese invaded Malaya the following December, 278 Battery was sent up country to face them and fought its way all down the Peninsular to rejoin 280 Battery in the short battle for Singapore Island.
The three and a half years of captivity in inhuman conditions cost the Regiment dearly. Its members were scattered all over the Far East. Many were sent as slave labour to build the infamous Burma/Siam Railway on which it was reckoned that one prisoner died for every sleeper laid.
Today 41 soldiers of 122 Field Regiment lie buried in the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery in Thailand. Another 13 are buried at Chungkai. There are graves of 17 others in Kranji Cemetery, Singapore and the Kranji Memorial to those with no known grave lists another 43.
Others from the Regiment were shipped in appalling conditions to Korea and to mainland Japan and 10 are buried in the War Cemetery at Yokohama.
Out of the original complement of 500 men, 122 Field Regiment lost 132, including 3 who died before war started in the Far East.
Effectively, the Regiment ceased to exist with the surrender of Singapore. It was never re-formed and came to be called 'The Forgotten Regiment' by the survivors.
Back Row (left to right) - Jim Richardson, Bob Hardy, Maurice Angel, Tom Ellis, Ted Greenwood, Frank (Totty) Bridgman, Martin (Snowy) White, Allen Wright, Frank Sellers, ? Pickles, Jack Rothery, Joe Pearson, 'Chalky' White, Newsome.
Third Row - George Kilburn, Heppenstall, Vic Smith, Maurice Spafford, Ted Eves, Alf Mosley, John Walker, 'Tosh' Townend, Cliff Morris, Ted Dudley, Sgt Syd Rowles, Ernest Newton, Joe Campbell, Bill Fowkes.
Second Row - 'Pop' Jackson, Norman Wood, Les Holroyd, Stan Brumfitt, Hugh Gomersall, Lt Michael Swann, Captain Jim Gibson, Lt Lawrence, Sgt Fawcett, Sgt Arthur Pickup, Sgt Bill Pearsall, 'Ginger' Lilley, Harry Fairbanks.
Front Row - Eric Hanson, Fothergill, John 'Curly' Townley, Percy Trankin ……………… Ian Mitchell, Ray Cazaux, Gordon Pickles, Bob Gomersall, Fotherington.