Remembering Oliver Crowdell – Prisoner of War, Japan

On 15 August we remembered 75 years of Victory in Japan. This brought back memories of my Great Uncle Oliver ‘Jack’ Crowdell who died aged 27 in Japan at the end of World War 2.

Oliver was the son of Annie and Jack Crowdell who lived with his Sisters Sylvia (Hammond) and Betty (Gresham) on Main Street in Smeeton Westerby. Before he went to War Oliver worked at Slaters Factory.

Oliver was a Gunner in the 79th Light Anti-Aircraft Battery, also known as “The Sparrows”, of the Royal Artillery and captured as a prisoner of war. He died on 28 March 1945 from burns following an accident. I always remember my Nanna Sylvia telling me about the last time she waved him off to go to war and sadly she never saw him again. Oliver is buried in the Yokohama War Graves in Japan and a plaque to commemorate his life and service to his country is in Smeeton Westerby Church.

Camille Gamble