Mar 14 2013 Ormskirk Advertiser
PRIVATE Frederick Wallace Postelthwaite from Burscough was one of many men killed in a horrific attack when Japanese forces executed the patients at Singapore General hospital.
Pte Wallace was called up in March 1940, after leaving Burscough Methodist school and working for Mahood’s Horticultural in Lathom.
Following training he was posted to the 2/Loyals in Malaya, when his battalion showed its true mettle against the Japanese in a series of defensive actions down the west coast making a resolute stand at Segamat, then Janore Baruh before crossing the causeway into Singapore.
Further actions at Gillman Barracks, The Gap and Vasir Pajang in conjunction with 18th Div Recce Regiment were unable to stem the tide.
Following the surrender to the Japanese of the entire garrison in Singapore by Gen Percival, they marched into Changi Prison, where many died and others endured inhumane treatment.
Those wounded during the retreat, along with another 107 soldiers and civilians were placed at Singapore General Hospital.
When the Japanese entered the hospital all the soldiers were executed. Most of the soldiers were bayoneted although some were shot. The dead were then ‘dumped’ in a large underground tank.
After the war a memorial was erected upon the site with name plaques to commemorate the service men that were summarily murdered.
During rebuilding work the memorial was moved to the Commonwealth cemetery at Kranji. Fred’s name was already inscribed on the walls to those deemed to be ‘missing’ having no actual identified grave.
The War Graves Commission decided not to exhume the bodies in the tank.
Many thanks to Mr Postles for his help with this story.