The Bridge over the Kwai
My father's WW2 experience
By Mike Clarke
My Father Donovan Clarke was a Quad Driver during The Second World War. Serving with The 135th Hertfordshire Yeomanry (Tooseys Boys), 499 Battery, F Troop. He was a Prisoner of The Japanese for three and a half years following the fall of Singapore. He kept most of his experiences to himself. It is only after his death ten years ago that I have become very interested in this event in history.
Dad was taken to Changi prison initially and then to Bukit Timah building a shrine to The Japanese dead. He then spent eight months helping build “The Bridge over the Kwai” and then went up country to “Hellfire Pass” and “Hell Corner”. Being extracted from this area, as ill, he returned to Chungkai and then onward to Kanchaniburi, Nong Pladuck and Nakom Pathom. He finished the war at Ubon before returning home on “The Duchess of Richmond” from Rangoon.
During my investigations on my Fathers experience I have become very interested in all members of 135 Regiment and am actively collecting information. Most of The Regiment appears to come from The Hertfordshire area, particularly Hertford, Hitchin and Peterborough. I am particularly keen to record names together with their Battery, Troop and Job Description. Not many of these FEPOW’s are with us today. But many relatives of these brave soldiers must have information that is valuable to all their memories. If you can help in any way please get in contact by adding a comment.