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Groves, Henry Balfour

Letter from his father dated 5 December 1945:

In 1942 I wrote informing you that my son H. B. Groves had been taken prisoner in Japan, and I promised to pass on to you any further news which reached me.

Information has only now been received, through the courtesy of a Squadron Leader R.A.F. who was with my son at the time, that, after being in P.O.W. camps in Java up to November 1942, he, with many others was shipped to Japan. Unfortunately during the voyage, my son contracted some throat infection, which was not recognized at the time, and he died suddenly during the night. The following day he was buried at sea.

Joined March 1940, Pilot Officer; Passed through Cranwell; Posted to Bircham Newton Sept. ’40; and from there to Cranwell; Promoted to Flying Officer April 1941; May 1940 – posted to High Ercall near Wellington, Salop as Signals Officer and promoted Flight Lieut. Nov. 1941; Asked to go overseas for special duty; Sailed for the Far East 5 Dec. 1941; March 1942 taken prisoner in Java. Spent varying periods in several P.O.W. camps until November 1942.

My son took his B.Sc. (Eng) with Honours in 1939.


First name(s)Henry Balfour
Date of birth05 February 1918
Family detailsSon of Mr. and Mrs. A. Groves of Reigate, Surrey
Previous educationReigate Grammar School
CollegeKing's College London and/or King's College London Hospital
Dates at college1936-1939
Dept / courseFaculty of Engineering
QualificationsB.Sc. Hons (Lond)
Military unitRoyal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service number77845
War / conflictWorld War Two (1939-1945)
Date of death24/11/1942
Rank at deathFlight Lieutenant
Place of deathJava
Cause of deathDied of diphtheria as a Prisoner of War on the journey from Java to Japan.
Commemoration(s)King’ s College Chapel; Singapore Memorial; Roll of the Fallen, University of London O.T.C. & S.T.C.
SourcesKing’ s College London Archives, Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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