Monday, 27 April 2015

Greenwood, Ronald - Aircraftman 1st Class

(No soldier photo available)
605 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 8th September 1943

Aircraftman 1st. Class, Ronald Greenwood's squadron arrived by sea at Palembang, Sumatra, from the United Kingdom in mid-January 1942. On 14 February Japanese paratroops landed at Palembang and with sea-borne reinforcements, attacked the British and Dutch defenders. The squadron's Hurricane fighters helped in the fighting until most of the planes were destroyed. The surviving defenders escaped to Java, but after more fierce fighting, they were taken prisoners of war. They were first held on Java and then transferred to the notorious Changi Jail in Singapore. Ronald died eighteen months later, a victim of sickness and malnutrition.

Ronald was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Greenwood. He had six brothers and two sisters. He attended St.Stephen's Church, Grane. Ronald was in the R.A.F.V.R. before enlistment. His father, a retired police sergeant, and former landlord of the Robin Hood Inn, Helmshore, died in June 1944.

Ronald is buried in Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore. The cemetery was begun by prisoners of war and in 1946 it was enlarged into a permanent war cemetery with the graves from the cemetery at Changi. Ronald's would be one of these. There are 3,595 Commonwealth war graves. Ronald lies in Plot 13, Row C, Grave 12.