Loudwell, Leonard John
18th Division, 18th Batallion Reconnaissance Corps (5th Batallion, The Loyals)
Changi - Death Railway and Kwai Bridge
Died 14th September 2001
The father of Terry Loudwell, sadly passed away on 14th September at his home in Sheringham.
Leonard John Loudwell joined The King's Own Rifles at Winchester Barracks on 15th December 1939, joined the Loyal Regiment which later became part of the 18th Division 18th Batallion Reconnaissance Corps. He survived the bombing and sinking of his troopship, The Empress of Asia in the Sunda Strait. He was involved in the conflict in Malaya before becoming a POW, at first in Changi and later being put to work on the Thai/Burma railway and Kwai Bridge. Following the Japanese surrender, he returned home in October 1945 and joined the Civil Service. He retired in 1980, but sadly he was bed ridden for the last eight years of his life.
Mr Loudwell was 82 when he died and Terry pays tribute to his Dad with the words "He was an outstanding Dad and husband and given his terrible suffering at the hands of the Japanese, one would have expected him to have become a bitter angry man, yet nothing could be further from the truth. He was an exceptionally kind, generous and above all a compassionate man"