‘TAVOY EIGHT’ POWS executed without trial Tavoy 1942

Tavoy (Dawei) – River Port – Burma

Tavoy was situated at the mouth of Tavoy River,  quite a distance from the coast.  It was at the head of an inlet and was reached after a long trip in steel barges towed by a tug.
On 24 May, Ramsay Force disembarked at Tavoy Point. Brigadier General Varley and the remainder of ‘A’ Force were put ashore at Simbin later that day with orders to proceed to the city of Tavoy.
The POWs would repair the Tavoy air-field damaged during the British evacuation some months earlier.
They found their accommodation and the food appalling.
During these early days the POWs found they could move more freely than later on.  If one was planning to escape, it was the perfect time!
8 POWs from 2/4th Anti-Tank Regiment made their escape, were captured soon after and sentenced without trial, to death.  They were also denied the right to write to their families.
The eight POWS:

Warrant Officer Class VX45344 Matthew Wallace Quittenton

Sergeant VX31946 Clifford Edmond Danaher M.I.D.

Bombardiers:

VX31670 Alan Stephen Cumming,

VX57043 Allan William Glover

Lance Bombardier VX38444 Aubrey Alfred Emmett

Lance Bombardier VX46835 Arthur Henry Jones

Gunners:

VX27292  Arthur Reeve 

VX47903 James Alexander Thomas Wilson

 

Brigadier Varley and Colonel Anderson VC pleaded with the Japanese to no avail. POWs prepared the graves for these men.
Each man was squatted down and tied to the stakes. There were 16 Japanese soldiers in the execution squad – two men for each POW.  Two shots were fired by each man.
Moments prior to the execution, Colonel Anderson called out,
‘You’re for it lads.’
Matt Quitidan answered, ‘We’re ready’.
Below:  newspaper reports from War Crimes Court about 8 Australians POWs who escaped Tavoy, were captured and executed without trial in 1942.