9th Battalion Royal Northumberland Fusiliers

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War Diary

The documentation of this particular War Diary has been confined to the period while it was part of the 23rd Division Order of Battle in the B.E.F., and thus associated with 70th Infantry Brigade.

The 9th Battalion was formed as a duplicate of the 7th Battalion on 27 July 1939 (first officer commissioned). It was organized as a Machine Gun Battalion and on the outbreak of the war was in Northumbrian Area, Northern Command. On 2 October 1939 it was attached to the 23rd Northumbrian Division (under command for labour duties and training, though not a Divisional Unit) and proceeded to France with them in April 1940.

After Dunkirk, the Battalion left the 23rd Division on 29 June as the division was disbanded. It was under command of Home Forces until January 1942, when it was transferred to Malaya Command, landing at Singapore a few days before the fall of the island. It went into Japanese POW camps after the brief but violent week-long Battle of Singapore.

The assistance of the author of the relevant article within Wikipedia is acknowledged for the above information, as is the kind help of the Regimental Museum for the material from the Barclay history, and with many other queries.

War Diary of 9th Battalion, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers 1940

9th Battalion, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers - April 1940

9th Battalion, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers - May 1940

9th Battalion, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers - June 1940

It would appear that the War Diary for the period after June 1940 is not available. According to Barclay's History of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, after a spell defending the South Devon Coast, under the command of South Western Area, and utilising a mixture of weapons obtained via the Naval authorities, refurbished by Battalion staff, the Battalion was moved to join the 18th Division at Cromer, once again as a Machine-Gun Battalion, but re-equipped with 48 new Vickers guns and a generous allocation of vehicles. There is evidence that, during their time in South Devon, the Battalion defended an area around Slapton Sands but it is not clear how their role correlated with that of 11th DLI, who had their C Company, and the Advanced Battalion HQ, also based there. It is possible that 9th RNF moved to 18th Division as the responsibilities of 11th DLI at SLAPTON were clarified. After joining 18th Division the Battalion underwent an intensive spell of training at Holt in Norfolk and then assumed an active role as part of the defence of the area between Yarmouth and Wells, with HQ and W Company at Stiffkey, Z Company supporting 54th Infantry Brigade at Yarmouth, Y Company supporting 55th Infantry Brigade at Mundesley and X Company supporting 53rd Infantry Brigade at Sheringham. Later, HQ and W Company moved to the more convenient location of Coltishall, close to Divisional HQ at Sprowston Hall.

As winter conditions arrived, the likelihood of invasion receded and larger-scale exercises were held. The Division moved to Roxburghshire In December 1940 as GHQ Home Forces' Mobile Reserve - by 6th January the Battalion had arrived at Selkirk. At the end of April 1941 the Battalion moved again, to the Sandbach area of Cheshire, with W, X and Z Companies at Holmes Chapel, Bolton and Neston on the Wirral Peninsula respectively. Later HQ, HQ Company and Y Company moved to Whitchurch in Shropshire, as the Sandbach accommodation was unsatisfactory.

Personnel list of those known to have served with the 9th Battalion, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.

While the initial group of names was extracted from the three months of the 1940 War Diary, set out above, an extract of the database of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission was produced which identified a total of 206 men registered as having died while serving with the Battalion - the great majority while Prisoners of War in Japanese hands. Those names have been added to the personnel list below and additional information has been added to the personal pages of the men concerned, including that extracted from the Battalion Part II Orders produced by Lieutenant Colonel H S Flower, commanding the Battalion, in September 1945. While initially access had only been obtained to the first four pages of that Order, a more complete version of the list was obtained through the kind support of the Hidden History Museum of Belford in Northumberland , following a visit there in May 2018, - the home village of several of the casualties. Click on this following link to view their Website [1]. The assistance and interest of Museum volunteers is greatly appreciated. Other names were obtained from the Website of the Children of Far East Prisoners of War - that help is again much appreciated.

The enhanced information, especially on interim interments, now published on-line by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, was of material help in enhancing the information about the casualties which occured amongst the Prisoners held by the Japanese. That assistance is gratefully acknowledged.

Addy A C Lieutenant
Ainsley A Lieutenant
Alexander Leslie Fusilier 4274062
Amos Robert Sergeant 4263441
Aries Stanley Spencer Corporal 4274239
Armstrong Angus Sergeant 4273537
Armstrong Robert William Captain 66509
Atkinson Alan Fusilier 4275277
Bastable John Daniel Langford 2/Lieutenant 73866
Beamish T V H Lieutenant
Bell George Robert Hedley Fusilier 4274122
Bell Norman Fusilier 4276625
Bennett T Major
Bensley William Henry Fusilier 4127854
Berey Brian Captain 87951
Besley Charles Robert Ingram Major 37810
Bishop Thomas Henry Lance Corporal 4127756
Black David Fusilier 4267620
Blake Albert Seadon Sergeant 6456400
Bond Edward Colour Sergeant 4265849
Boswell Donald Gilbert Company Quartermaster Sergeant 4273903
Bradley C C Lieutenant
Bramwell Jonathan George Fusilier 4276628
Brooks Albert Warrant Officer Class II 4270112
Brown Frank Lance Corporal 4274207
Brownbridge Harry George Fusilier 4278538
Buie James Wishart Bainbridge Lance Corporal 7662455
Burnett Alan Fusilier 4274209
Cable Joseph Simpson Fusilier 4275792
Caisley Charles Smailes Fusilier 4273542
Calvert Alexander John Fusilier 4275793
Carnall Alfred Fusilier 4272852
Carsley George Fusilier 4127738
Castle Joseph Fusilier 4275798
Chapman John Fusilier 4274068
Charleson Oliver Fusilier 4275800
Charlton Thomas Fusilier 4278380
Chisholm Thomas William Fusilier 4273974
Clark James William Fusilier 4273813
Clark Thomas Fusilier 4276638
Clarke James Fusilier 4275626
Clayton Albert William Fusilier 4275278
Collier James Howard Fusilier 4274935
Cook John Richard Fusilier 4273814
Cordingly Eric William Bradley Reverend 118391
Coutts John Fusilier 4271203
Cowan John Richley Fusilier 4276641
Cowen Francis Bolam Major 21519
Cowen William Henry Fusilier 4270931
Crampton Kenneth George Fusilier 4276776
Craven Charles Fusilier 4276403
Crawhall W N C Major
Cree Norman Alexander Fusilier 4279309
Critchley Edward Fusilier 4278386
Crowther Thomas Fusilier 4276896
Cummings John George Fusilier 4276642
Dakin 2/Lieutenant
Daniels Robert Henry Fusilier 6210435
Darling T D 2/Lieutenant
Davies William Henry Fusilier 4121529
Davison George Fusilier 4273982
De Roux Manley Ernest Lance Sergeant 4277111
Dees James Bracken Fusilier 4274961
Dirom Gavin Fusilier 4271470
Dixon Robert Patrick Fusilier 4278978
Dodd Joseph Thompson Fusilier 4278543
Donnini Alfredo Guiseppe Fusilier 4275815
Doran John George Fusilier 4276646
Douglas Wilfred Fusilier 4273547
Douthwaite Lester Fusilier 4275043
Dowie Albert Fusilier 4271693
Dunbar Alan Fusilier 4273273
Dunlop John Fusilier 4274124
Eagleton Gerard Lance Corporal 4127820
Eastlake George Corporal 4267024
Egdell Thomas Fusilier 4278397
Elliot Richard Douglas Fusilier 4273911
Elliot Sidney Fusilier 4273988
Elliott Percival Fusilier 4273336
Ellis William L. Fusilier 4275821
Emerson James Arthur Fusilier 4274806
Errington George Fusilier 4275284
Eyton Cecil Lance Corporal 4275669
Falcus Joseph Alfred Fusilier 2818461
Farrington Christopher Fusilier 4126733
Fawcett Richard Corporal 4444571
Fleming Andrew Fusilier 4273993
Foreman George Anthony Lance Corporal 4271537
Forster John Alexander Corporal 4273913
Fromson Thomas Milburn Fusilier 4274908
Gallon S H Lieutenant Colonel
Galloway Henry Arthur Fusilier 4275829
Gardner John Fusilier 4277417
Garside Harry Fusilier 4275066
Glancey Francis J. Fusilier 4275834
Goodwill Herbert Colling Corporal 4275178
Graham George Fusilier 4263171
Green H W 2/Lieutenant
Gregson Henry Fusilier 6210596
Grey William Fusilier 4274505
Grieve Thomas Barber Corporal 4270785
Grundy Harry Fusilier 4127724
Hall John Fusilier 4279329
Hall John Henry Fusilier 4277071
Hanlon Denis Fusilier 4126886
Hart Ernest Benjamin Lomas Captain 44687
Hemmings Sidney Fusilier 4127779
Henderson John Willis Fusilier 4274079
Hine Gordon Fusilier 4275565
Hogg James Fusilier 4268899
Holleywell Edward Fusilier 4273555
Holleywell James Fusilier 4273556
Hook 2/Lieutenant
Hume John Fusilier 4275592
Humpish John Corporal 4264905
Hunter Herbert Goward Fusilier 4273651
Ions Harold Fusilier 4449243
Irwin (?Urwin) C L 2/Lieutenant
Jarrett Geoffrey Alwyn Fusilier 5949191
Jobson Robert Noel Corporal 4446378
Johnson Lewis Fusilier 4278447
Johnston Thomas Purves Fusilier 4274179
Kenneally Timothy Fusilier 4271150
Kerr John Fusilier 4274183
Knight William Douglas Fusilier 4273514
Knowles Samuel Fusilier 4278712
Laidler Robert Fusilier 4273835
Leck James Ranson Fusilier 4274184
Leighton George Fusilier 4277789
Long John Robert Fusilier 4275862
Lundy Frederick Fusilier 4273283
Magee P WO 1
Mason Frederick Lance Corporal 4275559
Mason Norman Fusilier 4274515
McCabe Henry Fusilier 6210710
McGregor Walter George Fusilier 4274018
McManus Myles Fusilier 2980548
Meighan Cornelius Lawrence Francis Fusilier 4275695
Midgley Leslie Fusilier 4275182
Milburn William Fusilier 4278465
Mills Gordon Wilson Fusilier 4272872
Mills William Fusilier 6210447
Mogie Hugh Gordon Sergeant 4269643
Mole Joseph Fusilier 4273561
Moore Thomas Fusilier 6210440
Morris Harold Lance Corporal 4277397
Morton Ronald Fusilier 4273505
Mulligan John Edward Fusilier 4272857
Murray William Sergeant 4273884
Newton Mark Fusilier 4274091
Newton Sidney Fusilier 6210474
Nixon Robert Corporal 4273278
Nockels Douglas Fusilier 4274854
Nutman John William Fusilier 4273937
O'Hare John Robert Lance Corporal 4273563
Oliver George William Clunie Fusilier 4273940
Oliver John Robert Fusilier 4274026
Ormston James Sergeant 4273564
Palmer Peter Fusilier 4278783
Park Thomas Henry Fusilier 4275510
Parker John George Fusilier 4275585
Parkinson Norman Fusilier 4276484
Patterson Robert Fusilier 2982871
Pearson Joseph Lance Corporal 4273941
Poll James Elliott Fusilier 4275293
Purcell J W M Lieutenant and Quartermaster
Purvis James Richard Fusilier 4278261
Raffle Gordon Fusilier 4275313
Reay Edward Sergeant 4269426
Reed Joseph Fusilier 4276545
Reilly James Fusilier 4274136
Rice Richard Fusilier 4274031
Richardson Alexander Fusilier 4272293
Richardson Robert Alan Fusilier 4275309
Riley Douglas Haig Fusilier 4275457
Robertson Robert Fusilier 4274099
Robson Albert Roy Russell Lance Corporal 4276224
Robson Luke Lance Corporal 4275762
Robson T 2/Lieutenant
Ross A (?R) W 2/Lieutenant
Rounding Thomas Lee Fusilier 4276225
Routledge Ronald Fusilier 4272832
Ryan John Henry Fusilier 4274096
Sanderson S L 2/Lieutenant
Scott Charles Fusilier 4277329
Scott D Captain
Scott George Lance Corporal 4273857
Scott James Laidler Corporal 4273855
Scott John Alexander Fusilier 4273951
Scott Matthew Fusilier 4278276
Sheils Patrick John Sergeant 7011208
Smeaton John Corporal 4275766
Smith A G 2/Lieutenant
Smith George Fusilier 4277334
Smith George Edward 4274102
Smith James Phorsen Fusilier 4270864
Southwick George Siddle Sergeant 4261783
Stanbury Frederick Fusilier 4275759
Stayman William Foreman Fusilier 4278815
Stephenson Thomas Fusilier 4449673
Stewart John Fusilier 4275572
Stone Noah Fusilier 4273854
Suggett Harold Fusilier 4276736
Sweeney Thomas Fusilier 4276942
Sweeting Charles Stewart Wilcox Fusilier 4279387
Tait John Fusilier 4271077
Tait William Fusilier 4271073
Tyler Sidney John Private RAOC 7619882
Teale Norman Fusilier 4275924
Thomas L C Major
Thompson Arthur Henry Fusilier 4274234
Thompson Arthur William Fusilier 4278291
Thompson George Edward Fusilier 4271609
Tonkinson Sidney Fusilier 4278917
Thornhill J Lieutenant
Todd J Fusilier
Townsley Ambrose Sergeant 4265967
Wait Thomas Fusilier 4273895
Wait William Fusilier 4273893
Waldie James Dickson Fusilier 4274057
Wanty Leonard William Fusilier 4272350
Ward John Corporal 4278303
Ward Mark Lieutenant 121523
Watson Robert Captain 56898
Waugh Robert Fusilier 4273861
Weatherburn John Corporal 4273894
White George Fusilier 4273349
White James Joseph Fusilier 555590
White Robert Fusilier 4275307
White William Fusilier 4278508
Whitton 2/Lieutenant
Wilkinson Lieutenant
Willcox Henry Fusilier 4264668
Williamson Albert Bell Fusilier 4273961
Willis George Basil Second Lieutenant 180536
Windle Stanley Lance Corporal 4447864
Wood John Edmund Fusilier 4274053
Young William Henry Fusilier 4273863

As will be seen, some of the casualties, like those from 125th Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery, died as a result of the sinking of Japanese freighters en route to Japan on 12th September 1944.

To read an article on this tragedy from the Imperial War Museum please click here

To read a further article, including personal testimony, please click here.

To obtain an Australian perspective on the tragedy, please click here.


Details of the Cemeteries in which many of these casualties are buried can be seen by following the links below:-

Chungkai War Cemetery, Thailand

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand

Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore

Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Burma

Sai Wan War Cemetery, Hong Kong