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HMS Sultan WW2


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#1 Deryn

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 09:29 PM

I have found out that my Great Uncle (Percy Watson) was on HMS Sultan during WW2. Apparantly he was taken to a POW camp and died there. There is a memorial overseas which I have a photo of, obtained from the internet. Could anyone tell me any information on what the ship was doing, how they were captured and where they would have been taken? The older members of the family would never talk about Percy Watson because it would upset Nanna, and I remember them all having the same photo of him in his uniform. Any information would be appreciated.

#2 sotonmate

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 10:17 PM

Deryn

The only HMS SULTAN I Have found is the 1870 build,which,in 1906 changed it's name to FISGARD IV and became an artificer's training ship. I have yet to find a floating one of that name after this one,until the same ship regained it's name in 1931 and served until 1946 !
The current SULTAN is the Engineering School in Gosport.
Could it have been that your subject was training as an artificer on FISGARD IV (SULTAN as was !) and then went on to a ship of the front line Fleet ?

Best wishes
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#3 joseph

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 10:21 PM

Deryn,

Have a look here see if you can match any date and place of births.

http://www.nationala...mp;mediaarray=*

Regards Charles

#4 Deryn

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Posted 25 February 2007 - 10:22 PM

Died in WW2 04/06/1945.
HMS SULTAN. Able Seaman in Royal Navy.
Cemetary: Kanchannaburi War Cemetary THAILAND.
Service No: c/j41288
Commonwealth War Dead.

This is the information I have. OOps! Just noticed the date! I am so sorry, I really thought it was WW1.

#5 Siege Gunner

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 01:53 AM

Name: WATSON, PERCY
Initials: P
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Able Seaman
Regiment/Service: Royal Navy
Unit Text: H.M.S. Sultan
Age: 46
Date of Death: 04/06/1945
Service No: C/J41288
Additional information: Husband of Kathleen Watson, of Scarborough, Yorkshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 6. E. 11.
Cemetery: KANCHANABURI WAR CEMETERY

So this is his service record, which will cost Deryn 3.50:

http://www.nationala...n...pe=1
count=12

HMS Sultan was the naval base at Singapore.

Mick

#6 sotonmate

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 05:16 PM

Deryn

I also made the mistake of assuming WW1,though the data I posted showed that SULTAN became SULTAN again in 1931. It served in WW2 as a Minesweeper Depot Ship at Portsmouth before being paid off and sold in 1946.
I can only remember the Singapore Naval Base being in Seletar,and not named Sultan,but I will be proved wrong no doubt,though it is unusual for the RN to name a ship and a base with the same name.

Sotonmate

#7 Siege Gunner

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 06:25 PM

QUOTE (sotonmate @ Feb 26 2007, 05:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I also made the mistake of assuming WW1,though the data I posted showed that SULTAN became SULTAN again in 1931. It served in WW2 as a Minesweeper Depot Ship at Portsmouth before being paid off and sold in 1946.
I can only remember the Singapore Naval Base being in Seletar,and not named Sultan,but I will be proved wrong no doubt,though it is unusual for the RN to name a ship and a base with the same name.


Hopefully this will help: http://www.royal-nav...r/show/nav.3499

And this gives a little more detail: http://www.turnersco.com/Sultan_1.htm The text is credited as having been supplied by the present HMS Sultan.

Mick

#8 Deryn

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 01:38 PM

"Although the third Sultan reverted to her former name early in 1932 and retained it hereafter until she was sold for breaking up in 1946, she was not in fact re-commissioned an HM Ship. Thus when HMS Sultan (number five) re-appeared in the Navy List early in 1940 it had been given to a new naval base then being built alongside the dockyard on Singapore island. Lost to the Japanese in February 1942, the Singapore base was re-commissioned under the same name in 1945 following the British re-occupation of the island."

Thank you for your help. I read this and I don't understand it! Could someone explain it please. Am I to believe from this that he was not actually on a ship at all but at a base named Sultan when he was captured and put in the POW camp?

I am doing my family tree and would really like to understand what happened to him.

If I get his record that someone said I could get would that give me other information?

Many thanks.

#9 Siege Gunner

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 05:53 PM

Deryn,

The link in my post #5 goes direct to the entry for his service record, which you can buy online for 3.50, and which may tell you more about what he was doing at HMS Sultan. He was evidently attached to the naval base and taken prisoner when Singapore fell in 1942.

There are a number of personal accounts of the fall of Singapore and Japanese captivity on the internet, including some by men from HMS Sultan, some of whom were survivors of the sinking of the battleship Prince of Wales and the battlecruiser Repulse.

Mick

#10 Deryn

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Posted 27 February 2007 - 07:16 PM

Thanks Mick, I got the record but I don't really understand it! Are you any good at reading them? I could email it to you or someone else if they could help. I can read one part where it says he grew 8" from the age of 19! A bit unusual, if I didn't know better I would think he had lied about his age when joining. There is also something else there that he was Drunk on Duty! I do know his wife wrote him a letter telling him she was having a baby and it was obviously not his as he was away.

#11 per ardua per mare per terram

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 12:34 AM

Description Name Watson, Percy
Official Number: J41288
Place of Birth: Pickering, Yorkshire
Date of Birth: 17 June 1899
If that was his correct date of birth, he was in his 16th year on enlistment in 1915. With regular food and medical care in the navy it was quite possible for him to grow 8" in his career.
Those records only go up to 31/12/1928 as the navy swapped to card indexes and the rest of the records are still with MOD for after that date. Only direct next of kin can get an edited summary from them for 25+

Edited by per ardua per mare per terram, 28 February 2007 - 01:07 AM.


#12 per ardua per mare per terram

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 01:00 AM

sometimes Admiralty clerks like to confuse us and this is one of those times
Sultan 1870 ironclad became a training hulk and was not a commissioned ship, so not H.M.S. and did not move from Portsmouth in WW2.
In WW2 there were several branches of His Majesty's Ship Sultan, as it was primarily the accounting base for Singapore, the physical ship was less important. Some of these sub-units were retained in the 'Navy List' after the fall of the base, so they may have kept the books of men, serving at the fall, open. As I have learnt from this forum the CWGC details are those that the family declared so his last allocation would seem to have been HMS Sultan, he would have been kept on the books somewhere while he was a Prisoner of War.

KANCHANABURI WAR CEMETERY is in Thailand (then known as Siam). It is one of the cemeteries for those who died building or maintaining the Siam-Burma Railway (details on the CWGC website). The war in Asia was still raging in June 1945, so it looks like he died as a PoW.
http://www.cwgc.org/...l...7100&mode=1

#13 Deryn

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 12:21 PM

Thank you, you are all helping me build up a picture here. I have just realised that he was in WW1 and WW2. Am I right? So the document I got yesterday from NA shows the WW1 record only. I don't know why I never thought of this before.

#14 per ardua per mare per terram

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 11:05 PM

Yes he served in both wars (so it is a legitimate post on this forum): the record you have should show his postings in WWI and post war to 1928 and his death shows that he was in WW2.
Are you able to post the record to this forum? There are people here who can interpret it for you.

#15 Andy Wade

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 07:34 PM

Hi Everyone,

I know that WW2 is a little off topic for this forum.
But I can confirm beyond any doubt that HMS Sultan was the naval base at Singapore during WW2. Many men from the sinking of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse were 'drafted' to HMS Sultan until they were allocated other postings on other ships. For many this did not happen and they stayed at HMS Sultan until the fall of Singapore in February 1942, and then were incarcerated under horrendous conditions by the Japanese.

Deryn,
If I can be of any help to you in your search for information, please do not hesitate to contact me from the contacts page on our website. or on here if that's better for you.

Is this the Percy Watson you're talking about?

Casualty Details
Name: WATSON, PERCY
Initials: P
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Able Seaman
Regiment/Service: Royal Navy
Unit Text: H.M.S. Sultan
Age: 46
Date of Death: 04/06/1945
Service No: C/J41288
Additional information: Husband of Kathleen Watson, of Scarborough, Yorkshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 6. E. 11.
Cemetery: KANCHANABURI WAR CEMETERY

Because he is listed on the HMS Prince of Wales crew list on our website.

You can also request a digital photograph of his grave from Steve Rogers of the War Graves Photographic Project for a very small fee (3.00).

Edited on 23/3/2008 to add: this is actually a small donation rather than a fee)

They have the grave picture and his details are here:
http://www.twgpp.org...n.php?id=902823

Kind regards,
Andy.
Webmaster, Prince of Wales and Repulse Survivors Association:
http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk

#16 historydavid

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 11:01 PM

From Admiralty death records:

WATSON, PERCY, A.B. (PENS), C/J 41288, SULTAN, 04/06/1945, DIED (AS P.O.W.).

Best wishes
David

#17 historydavid

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 11:27 PM

Andy, according to Admiralty death records there was no one lost from the PRINCE OF WALES with the name of Watson,

Best wishes
David

#18 Siege Gunner

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 12:23 AM

I am unclear why David and Andy are repeating information already given on this thread, and apparently adding nothing apart from an advertisement for a commercial photo website.

#19 Andy Wade

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 12:25 AM

QUOTE (historydavid @ Mar 23 2008, 12:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Andy, according to Admiralty death records there was no one lost from the PRINCE OF WALES with the name of Watson,

Best wishes
David


Indeed that is true.
However, Percy Watson did serve aboard HMS Prince of Wales, but he survived the sinking and was listed under HMS Sultan when he died as a prisoner of war.
Our crew list records men who served aboard, not just those who died or survived the sinkings. Some went on several ships before the war ended.
His service number at CWGC corresponds with the one I have on our crew list as a survivor of the sinking.
These things often only surface when someone hears a story retold from years ago that a relative died on say, HMS Repulse, when in actual fact they survived the sinking but died later as a prisoner of war. I have many instances of that in our crew biographies section. Anecdotes about the war often get 'chinese whispered' over the years until someone actually takes the time to research them.

Kind regards,
Andy.


#20 Andy Wade

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 01:01 AM

QUOTE (Siege Gunner @ Mar 23 2008, 01:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am unclear why David and Andy are repeating information already given on this thread, and apparently adding nothing apart from an advertisement for a commercial photo website.


Goodness me, I'm shocked! ohmy.gif
Siege Gunner, that is not a commercial photographic website.
Please go to the CWGC website and look under photographic requests. You will see that The War Graves Photographic Project is very much a part of the archive of the CWGC.
I know this because as a volunteer I have personally taken over three thousand grave pictures for the archive. I would not give permission for profit to be made from my pictures.
You might be interested to know that almost every grave from the Somme, and Ypres area battlefield cemeteries have now been recorded photographically, much in the same way that the original war graves were recorded by the Graves Registration Commission after WW1. And this year a trip to photograph the Gallipolli cemeteries will take place in May.
We were well over the half a million pictures mark last year. 1.7 million pictures in total before we're done. It is about recording and remembering, not for profit.

Kind regards,
Andy.

#21 Siege Gunner

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 11:51 AM

The term 'commercial' is not incompatible with 'not-for-profit', which I readily accept is the intention of contributors to the WGPP. However, having now visited the WGPP site, I see that it does not in fact ask for 'a small fee', as Andy said, but invites a 'donation', which is a different matter entirely.

On re-reading this morning, I realise that the info David posted was not in fact repeating detail already mentioned earlier in the thread, so I must ask David to accept my sincere apologies for misunderstanding his postings.

#22 Andy Wade

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 01:01 PM

I posted the information again so that Deryn could confirm that it was correct and to confirm that the Percy in your post was the same man as on our crew list, I have personal contact with people who may have known his Great Uncle and as his later career is more concerned with events after WW1 I offered him the option to discuss it off forum so as not to clog up this forum with non WW1 topics.
The crew lists on our website were originally from Don Kindell, and Ian Mcleod who you may be familiar with.
This is why I added the information that we have his name on our crew list for HMS Prince of Wales.
'Commercial' appeared to be used in your post with disdain, but the TWGPP is no more a 'commercial' website than the National Archives which charge 3.50 to view a MIC.
I would also point out that the TWGPP volunteers are also checking and helping to update the records of the CWGC as we go, often adding supplementary information taken from family memorials, which was not generally known until we started looking. Several long standing members of this forum are also volunteer photographers for the TWGPP.

#23 historydavid

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 11:30 PM

Mick, no problem.

Best wishes
David