World War 2 (1939 - 1945)


Image reproduced by permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Walter Henderson

Service: Army
Regiment: Royal Army Service Corps
Rank: Private
Service number: S/2828898

Walter Watson Henderson was born in Glasgow in 1906, son of Welsh Dalziel Watson and Cecilia Beveridge Watson who died when he was born. He was adopted by his father's sister Margaret and her husband Walter Henderson. In 1933, he married Alison Scott McClintock of Newton Mearns.

His unit was posted to the Far East where he was taken prisoner by the Japanese. As a prisoner of war, he was put to work on the notorious Burma-Siam railway, known as the Death Railway. This was a railway which the Japanese needed for improved communications to maintain the large Japanese army in Burma.

During its construction more than 16,000 prisoners of war, British, Australian, Dutch, American, Canadian and New Zealanders died, mainly of sickness, malnutrition and exhaustion, and were buried alongside the railway. Burmese and Malay labourers who were forced to work also died in their thousands, exactly how many will never be known. The Japanese kept no records and it was impossible for anyone else to do so, nor were the graves marked, but between eighty and a hundred thousand perished.

After the war, the remains of most of the war dead were moved from former POW camps, burial grounds and lone graves along the rail line to official war cemeteries, amongst which is Kanchanaburi War Cemetery in the city of Kanchanaburi, Thailand where Walter is buried in grave 8.l.58. He was 37 years old when he died on 10 July 1943.

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