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Eric Thomas Egan

 

ERIC THOMAS EGAN - ROYAL BERKSHIRE REGIMENT: 

I have been trying to trace and track down information on my Father, Eric Thomas Egan. He served under Field Marshall Slim in Burma during the war and was captured by the Japanese. He escaped from the POW camp and spent time hiding in the jungle until he gave himself up to the Americans. I understand that he was in the Royal Berks regiment. He never received his Burma star. I have his 1939 - 1945 star his Pacific star and his 1939 - 1945 George VI medal. He died back in 1970 aged 72 and was born in Ireland in County Cork. I also understand that he was on the Repulse or the Prince of Wales. He saved a man called Williams when the ship was sunk. That's about all I know.
I found some notes that my Mother left me before she died. They are a bit vague, She writes:- 

Eric Thomas Egan P.O.W. re C.Q.M.S escape from Japs.
My husband was taken prisoner in Singapore, he was put to work on the Siam Railway. He was under Field Marshall Slim and another General whose name I can't remember, I know it began with A.G. While he was captive he made it known to two officers his intentions to escape. They helped collect a few things to help him on his way. He got away with another soldier who was later recaptured and beheaded. My husband was long gone. He hid in the Burma jungle where he met up with a German, a Mr Freelander, who gave him food and some clothes. He walked from Singapore to the Burma border.
He disguised himself as a Turk, fez and all and got by the Jap guards and crossed the Meni Bridge only to be sent back by the guards on the other side. He made his way back to Singapore. My husband said it was 900 miles each way. He was in the jungle for three and a half years. He got information that the Americans were in Singapore, so he gave himself up and was put in Changi Prison and was interrogated. The grade was Black, Grey, and white. As he was white he was kitted out and arrived back in Singapore at the time the Repulse and the Prince of Wales were sunk. My husband helped to get the Sailors off safely and he was the last man off before the Prince of Wales sank. He came home in February 1948. but never got his Burma star medal. He had to sign papers to the effect that he would not reveal how he made his escape. He was awarded the Loyalty Medal. This is as much as I remember. He was 15 stone when he enlisted and was less than eight stone when he got home. He died in May 1970. He also served in the Kings own Royal regiment 1st Lancaster 1914 - 1918 war, he enlisted under age.

The above is all I have to work with. As my mother was 84 years of age, I am not sure if she got a few bits wrong or if everything is correct. She also wrote some numbers on the bottom of her notes, these are:- 534974PARA and KR1940/39XX1XA class. I have not got a clue what these are.

By the way my Fathers Pacific Star does not have a clasp with Burma on it. It is possible that it was lost over the years.
Can anyone out there help me?? 

Maybe one of you remembers my Father or you may even be Mr Williams.

Please contact myself or Andy (webmaster) with any information.

Andy Wade (Webmaster)

Information provided by
Mr Egan