Newbattle at War a history of the Parish at war   

 Now featuring Scots in the Great War Living History Society.    

Sgt John Calder, Eskbank, Royal Corps of Signals (L)

Pte Andrew Buchan Jeffrey, 2nd Royal Scots, Penicuik (R)

Jim Crossan, who was a comrade of Stan Gowrie from Newtongrange in the Royal Army Service Corps, speaks about his time as a POW after the fall of Singapore in 1942 and the brutality he suffered. 

In December of 1941 the Empire of Japan began an all out war in the Pacific with the infamous attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor. Within weeks they were steamrolling their way all over the Pacific within a week they had attacked Hong Kong and it fell on Christmas day.


Many allied soldiers including the 2nd Royal Scots were carted off into captivity, the Japanese in keeping with their behaviour elsewhere committed a series of atrocities. Singapore suffered the same fate the following February, falling with ignominy with the biggest surrender of British led troops (80,0000) in history. In Burma too the Japanese crushed all opposition before being held at the Indian frontier. Many Scots were unfortunate enough to fall into the hands of Japanese, suffering barbaric and inhuman treatment beyond the comprehension of most decent people.


In recent times there has been an attempt by the Japanese to 'airbrush' away this part of their history, and play it down at Government level , they must not be allowed to deny their War Crimes or rewrite history which appears to be their intention.


I have come across a number of local men from Newbattle Parish and the rest of Midlothian who were POWs in the hands of the Japanese, in contrast with the men taken prisoner by the Germans many of them died of sickness, neglect and cruelty, some were murdered. 

I will try and record the men here so we do not forget.


Royal Scots

Pte William Webster, (27) Lothian Terrace, Newtongrange, held at Kobe Camp

Pte Thomas McIntosh, (29) 19 Fifth Street, Newtongrange,held at Kobe Camp

Pte Peter White Purves, 16 Fifth Street, Newtongrange, held at Kobe Camp

Pte Ian Gray,(23) 69 Back Street Dalkeith, held at Kobe Camp, Osaka died in captivity 3rd March, 1943 buried Yokohama.

Pte Nathaniel Forrest, 56 Gibraltar Gardens, Dalkeith, held at Kobe Camp

Pte George McCorquindale, Bonnyrigg, held at Kobe Camp

Pte John Robertson, 1 Hunterfield Terrace, Gorebridge, held at Omori (Amori?)  Camp

Pte Thomas Rae, 12 Park Crescent, Bonnyrigg, held at Omori (Amori?) Camp

L Cpl Peter Burnett, Easthouses,  believed to have died on Lisbon Maru when she was torpedoed by American submarine Grouper.

Pte Andrew Cornwall, Dalkeith, believed to have died on Lisbon Maru when she was torpedoed by American submarine Grouper.

Pte Andrew Buchan Jeffrey, Penicuik,  believed to have died on Lisbon Maru when she was torpedoed by American submarine Grouper.

Pte Hugh Allan (28), Bonnyrigg

Pte William Doyle, Gorebridge

Royal Artillery

Gunner James Elder ,(34) Dalkeith, died in captivity 19th April,1943 buried Yokohama

Lance Bombardier Robert Thomson, (27) Dalkeith was posted missing for 16 months.

Sgt William Henry Brown, (25) Rosewell

Gunner Alexander Muir, (25) Rosewell


Royal Army Medical Corps

Sgt Thomas Cruickshanks 13 Park Road, Newtongrange, Captured in the fall of Singapore



Federated Malay States Volunteer Force

Pte William R Dickson, (35) 48 Eigth Street, Newtongrange, died in captivity after being slightly wounded 17th February,1942

Sgt Michael Vivian Stephens, (41) Midfield Dalkeith, died in captivity 18th July,1943 buried Kanchanaburi war cemetery

Captain James Cadenhead Walker, Cranstoun Manse, died in captivity Soukrai, Thailand 1943.

Captain Frank Warrack Walker MC, Cranstoun Manse, Served in WW1 when he won the MC, survived.


Royal Army Service Corps

Sgt George A Baxter, The Square Pathhead, captured in Malaya February 1942.

Driver Charles M Gowrie, (25)10 Ninth Street, Newtongrange, captured at Singapore att Royal Scots, held in Borneo died 7th June,1945

Driver John Hastings, (38) Dobbies Road, Bonnyrigg



James King, resident Singapore, 30 Abbeygrange Newtongrange, held at the infamous Changai Civilian Camp

William K S Muir,  Turniedykes, Ford,held at Panigoran Camp, Sumatra

Emily Lucy Walker nee Ballantyne,Ford lost at sea.


Gordon Highlanders

Cpl George Elliott ex Newbattle, held at Malai Camp


Royal Corps of Signals

Driver James Anderson, (30) Loanhead, died in captivity  19th June,1943 buried Kanchanaburi war cemetery

L Sgt John Calder, 17 Jane Place, Eskbank, held at Thai Camp

Cpl John Rankin, Third Street, Newtongrange, regular soldier captured at Singapore

Signaller Sinclair Darling from Arniston, captured at Singapore

Signaller John R Jenkinson, (32) Lasswade.

Hong Kong Naval Volunteers

Sub Lt Robert Millar,(41) Rosewell, served in Dandy Ninth in WW1

Royal Air Force

Leading Aircraft Man John A L Ruthven, Heriot posted missing for 16 months

Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Lt John H Smith, Bonnyrigg, brother was a German PoW


I have absolutely no doubt there were many more men who fell foul of the Japanese. I will add them as I come across them