Monday, 27 April 2015

Haslam, Walter Philip - Driver

(No soldier photo available)
Royal Army Service Corps
Died 31 August 1943
Age 30

The Japanese invaded Malaya (now Malaysia) on 8 December 1941. On 15 February 1942, on the island of Singapore, the British forces capitulated and the campaign ended. Over 130,000 British, Indian and Australian troops became prisoners of war. Driver Walter Haslam was one of these. Sometime later, Walter was transferred to Burma (now Myanmar) to work on the Burma to Siam (now Thailand) railway. Walter later died as a result of over-work, malnutrition and cruel treatment.

Walter was the son of Mrs. Haslam and the late Mr. Walter Haslam. He was aged 30. He was married two days before he joined the Army in 1941. His wife lived in Accrington. Walter attended Musbury (St. Thomas') Church and Sunday School and was employed at Messrs. Porritt's and Spencer's Woollen Mill, Sunnybank Works, Helmshore, before he went into the Army.

Walter lies in Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Myanmar. The cemetery lies at the foot of the hills which form the border between Myanmar and Thailand. Thanbyuzayat began as a prisoner of war administration headquarters and base camp. The cemetery was created by transferring to it all the graves along that section of the railway. There are now 3,149 Commonwealth war graves. Walter's remains are in Plot B6, Row R, Grave 18.