GREGORY Frederick William
Regiment : 3 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment Royal Artillery
Service number : 827092
Conflict : WW2
Date of death : 12th September 1944 aged 27
Buried : Commemorated on Singapore Memorial, Column 7.
Relatives : Son of William and Florence Gregory; husband of Beatrice Lilian Gregory, of Crabbs Cross, Worcestershire
Memorial : Redditch War Memorial
Also appears on : Redditch St George's Church WW2 Memorial
Appears on the Army casualties list for Worcestershire.
Frederick William Gregory was born in 1917 in Redditch, the son of William and Florence Gregory. He enlisted in the Royal Artillery on 3rd January 1935 serving as Bombardier 827092. He married Beatrice Lilian Treadgold in 1940 and the couple had one son, Patrick L.W. Gregory born in 1941. Currently it is not known when Frederick was captured but he would lose his life at the age of 27 while being transferred as a POW to Japan. It is very likely that he never saw his baby son.
On the morning of 6th September 1944 the Rakuyo Maru with 1,318 Australian and British Prisoners of War (POWs) on board and the Kachidoki Maru with 900 British POWs were part of a convoy that sailed from Singapore bound for Japan. After 6 miserable days at sea where the men endured over-crowding, sickness and lack of sanitation facilities, the ships came under attack by American submarines in the South China Sea. The Rakuyo Maru was sunk by USS Sealion whilst the Kachidoki Maru became the victim of USS Pampanito. Over 1550 men perished in the incident, 1159 from Rakuyo Maru and 400 from Kachidoki Maru. Those prisoners who were able to evacuate the sinking ships, did so within the first 10 minutes of the attack. Even then, their ordeal was not over for they were destined to spend several days drifting at sea in life rafts or clinging to wreckage in the open water. Those not rescued perished at sea. Frederick Gregory was one of those presumed lost at sea when the Kachidoki Maru sank.