War and Military Service and Stories

There are just a few stories in the submenus, and the separate link to RAF 62 Squadron, but there are more stories to tell.

I chose the all-encompassing title of War to tell the stories of people I only discovered because their names were on memorials, of other people who, whether enthusiastically or worriedly, did their bit and more, and with space to allow for any other possible stories that might or might not fit neatly into a category of Military. War is something which took most of these people by surprise, away from their families, changed their homecomings if they were lucky enough to come home; war – even if they were already in one of the services as a regular – was not of their making. Also it seems more in keeping with the times. Documents say “War Office”, “wholly engaged on war service”, “Army Pension”, “Naval Service”, “RAF”. Only one person ever had the name military associated with him, and that was after he’d been on the ships returning Japanese prisoners of war to the UK and was deployed at some establishment as military police before he was demobbed.

The submenus for this page cover the following stories:

Bill Belton, Singapore and 62 Squadron RAF

My father,  Bill Belton, and his mate, Doug Heathcote, were on the last RAF plane to leave Singapore – a very lucky escape. Then followed a series of moves from aerodrome to aerodrome, the RAF being followed by the advancing Japanese, before they escaped, with many other airmen, on the Dutch cargo ship, the Kota Gede. You can read some notes he made on Diary 1 and Diary 2 and Kota Gede – more pages might be added later.

Jim Salthouse:  Merchant Navy, Q Boats and Revolution

My grandfather, James Thomas Salthouse, was a commissioned officer in the Royal Navy. He was a marine engineer and worked on the Q boats in WW!; one of his ships was torpedoed and he was rescued from an open boat. After the war he accepted Churchill’s call for volunteers to ‘oil the fleet’ and help the white Russians.

Ships & Planes

Available soon, separate pages for the Kota Gede, Otranto, Blenheim, etc

War Memorials

Courtesy of the CWGC, certificates recording the servicemen who died

More Stories

Eventually I hope to include other people’s military service stories in this area