Cpl TWS “Tom” Fisher 993389 RAFVR: died in captivity 1945
Tom was a mate of Jim Fryatt's. Like so many others, he’d enlisted in the RAF at Padgate, possibly in early 1940. By the time the Squadron withdrew to Wadi Gazouza to train Blenheim men and set up 72 OTU in late 1941, he was a LAC in charge of a section of Ground Gunners.
He is one of the old hands listed on the 19 December 1941 Movement Order Roll sending nearly 300 men, many of them old hands from Greece and the Desert, back to Helwan to reform 211 Squadron and move to the Far East. Among the gunners was AC1 Ted Cole, also bound for the Far East.
Captured by the Japanese in Java in March 1942, Tom Fisher was held there, at Singapore and on Borneo at Jesselton and finally Sandakan. He nearly made it but died with so many other PoWs at Sandakan, Borneo, on 23 March 1945.
Tom's sister Margaret, who remembers meeting Jim as a teenager, kindly forwarded copies of her small collection of Tom's photographs to Adrian.
211 Squadron airmen (Fisher family collection)
No date or place details, but a smart turn-out in forage caps and tropical kit of four relaxed young aircraftmen. Tom Fisher standing, far right, Jim Fryatt standing far left (with cap on for once).
Tom Fisher aboard ship (Fisher family collection)
Still in tropicals, a group perhaps aboard ship in the Middle East. That's very likely Tom, now promoted Corporal, on the left.
Corporal Fisher's PoW letter home (Fisher family collection)
Brenda died in the last year of the 20th Century (2000). She never married.
72 OTU Roll TNA AIR 29/686
Fisher family correspondence and photos via Adrian Fryatt
L & P Stubbs Unsung heroes of the Royal Air Force: The Far East Prisoners of War (Barny Books 2002)
Tom's captivity and death is noted in Unsung heroes of the Royal Air Force: The Far East Prisoners of War L & P Stubbs (Barny Books 2002), and commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on the Singapore Memorial at Kranji War Cemetery and in the CWGC Rolls:
In Memory of
Corporal THOMAS WILLIAM SARGINSON FISHER
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
who died aged 23 on Friday, 23rd March 1945
Corporal FISHER was the son of Edward and Mary Alice Fisher
Remembered with honour
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