The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Schurmann
First Name:
John Henry
Nick Name:
Jack
Rank:
Sergeant
Regimental #:
WX5007
Company:
‘A’ Company
Enlisted:
23.07.1940
Discharged:
11.03.1946
DOB:
13.10.1918
Place of Birth:
Collie, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Henry William Schurmann
Mothers's Name:
Margaret Isabel Schurmann
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Farmhand
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi
Force:
‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion.
Camps Thailand:
Tamarkan, Chungkai, Linson Wood Camp, Kachu Mountain Camp, Bangkok, Nakom Nayok, Bangkok.
Camps Burma:
Victoria Point, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw, Meiloe, Augganaung
POW#:
1334 & 12091
Return Details 1945:
Thailand‐Singapore by aircraft, Singapore‐Fremantle, HMT Circassia.

General Description

This NCO was a member of the War Graves Party.

Read Peter Winstanley’s article on ‘Random Recollections’ by John Henry Schurmann, WX5007.

View Peter Winstanley’s video interview of John Schurmann WX5007.

Following the Surrender of Singapore Jack was selected to work on Burma end of Burm-Thai Railway with the first work Force to leave Singapore 14 May 18942 – ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion sailing to south west coast of Burma to firstly Victoria Point.

Please read the story of ‘A’ Force

Below is from Ye Camp, Burma 1942 where the Japanese were particularly brutal to the Dutch East Indies POWs.

Tom Hampton of 2/4th wrote
“This was a bit too much for Jack Sherman from ‘A’ Coy. Finding one of the victims he cut the man down and assisted him to his hut. There was no immediate reaction from the Japs, they either didn’t see what happened or chose to ignore it so Jack lived to thwart them another day!”
 
Keith Griffith of 2/4th wrote
“About 8 Dutch Prisoners were tied around a tree with one long rope looped around each man’s knees with a slip knot round his neck. The tree was infested with large green jumping ants which were swarming over and biting the prisoners. They were continually bashed and as one man collapsed it would tighten the knot on the next man’s neck. A Japanese officer was present.”

 

The Green Force POWs remained working for about 5 weeks – mostly building a wharf.

Jack was moved to  Kanchaburi at end Dec 1943, mentioned by Keith Mitchell.

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Chungkai, 60k - Thailand
  • Linson Wood Camp, 202k - Thailand
  • Nakom Nayok, Nakhon Nayok - Thailand
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
  • Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
  • Meilo, 75 Kilo, 340k - Burma
  • Tavoy (Dawei) - river port - Burma
  • Ye - Burma
  • Kachau Mountain Camp - Thailand
  • Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
  • Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma
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