6020492 4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment
Robert Moore known as Jimmy was born around 1917. He was the youngest son of Robert John and Bessie Moore. The family lived at one time in Darsham, later moving to Sudbury. Jimmy had 2 brothers and 3 sisters and the family lived at 1 Gardenside, Croft Road, Sudbury. His father was employed on the railway.
Jimmy married Margaret Amy Tokely (known by her family as Amy) on 13th January 1941 at St. Andrew’s Church, Wormingford, Essex. They then lived with his parents at 1 Gardenside and Amy worked at the County Cinema. Jimmy’s brother Joseph John lost his life serving in the Royal Navy and is also remembered on the Sudbury War Memorial.
The 4th and 5th Battalions Suffolk Regiment landed in Singapore on 29th January 1942 just as the Allied forces were withdrawn from the mainland and they were deployed to defend the north east coast of the island. The Japanese invaded the island on 9th February 1942, Singapore fell on 15th February 1942 and Jimmy was taken prisoner.
Many of the prisoners were forced to work on the notorious ‘Death Railway’. A railway they were forced to build through dense jungle from Thailand through to Burma living in appalling conditions, on half a cup of rice issued twice a day. There were scarce medical supplies and many died from disease or punishments metered out by their captors. They were paid 1 penny a day and they used this to buy fruit from traders who passed by the camps to add to their meagre diet. Approximately 13,000 prisoners of war and 100,000 civilians died during the construction of the railway.
Jimmy was reported ‘missing’. In July 1943 his wife received a postcard from him stating that he was ‘safe and well’. He died aged 26 on 8th November 1943 at Chungkai Camp and lies buried in Chungkai War Cemetery, Thailand.
A Cross of Remembrance was laid at Kanchanaburi Cemetery by Mr. Peter Smith in April 2007 for all the Sudbury men who died in the Far East.
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