Monday, 27 April 2015

Haworth, Robert - Gunner

(No soldier photo available)
240 Bty. 77 H.A.A. Regiment,
Royal Artillery
Died 20 May 1944
Age 33

Many British troops and airmen escaped to Java, in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), in February 1942 from Singapore and Sumatra shortly before the Japanese forces captured those islands. Gunner Robert Haworth's battery of the Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment was employed in the defence of Java's capital, Batavia, (now Jakarta). On 1 March 1942 Japanese forces landed near Batavia and occupied the town on 5 March. Robert, with the survivors of his regiment, became a prisoner of war. It was only in January 1946 that his parents were officially informed of his death from Beri Beri and chronic inflammation in a Batavia prison camp two years after his capture.

Robert was the son of Ernest and Betsy Jane Haworth. He was aged 33. He was the husband of Louie. They had one child. (Mrs Haworth, a Chesterfield girl, returned with her child, to her home town). Robert attended St.James' Church and School. Before he joined the Army in May 1941, he worked at Glendale Works, Cloughfold.

Robert lies in Jakarta War Cemetery, Java, Indonesia. The war-time cemetery held 474 graves, but in 1961 over 600 graves were brought from Sumatra. Robert' remains are in Plot 5, Row C, Grave 14.