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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"