Image from the Evening Star newspaper, 20th April 1942 

Born: 7th October 1909, Shotley, Suffolk.

Died: 15th July 1943; age: 32; died of Beriberi/ Dysentery as a Japanese PoW – Thailand/Burma Railway.

Captured 15th February 1942.

Residence: 14, Campbell Road, Ipswich.

Employed: as a Moulder at Cranes, Ltd., Ipswich.


Rank: Private; Service Number: 5828150.

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion – Infantry.


Originally buried at Tamakan Bridge Hospital Cemetery, grave number C.2. Body later exhumed, identified, and reburied 29th January 1946 at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.


Grave Reference:


Kanchanaburi War Cemetery,



Image courtesy of Kevin Knights.

Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Robert & Alice Coates; husband of Eveline Mary Coates, of  Ipswich.




1911   Orwell Brickyard, Shotley, Suffolk.


Charles was a year old and living with his mother & siblings.

Alice Coates, 40, born Nightingale Road, Wood Green, London.

Constance Alice Coates, 8, born Ipswich.

Gladys Emma Coates, 3, born Shotley.


In 1911, Charles’s father, Robert Thomas Coates, was 51 years old, a Master Mariner, on his sailing barge ‘Cygnet’ at Ipswich Dock. The ‘Cygnet’ was from Hare’s Creek, Shotley, Suffolk. Robert was born at Snape, Suffolk.


Charles’s father, Robert Thomas Coates, died 1934, Shotley. His mother Alice Coates, died 1936, Shotley.


In 1932, Shotley, Suffolk, Charles married Eveline Mary Gibson, born July 1912, in the district of Woodbridge, Suffolk – daughter of Walter Harry Gibson, a farm labourer and Ellen Gibson (nee Threadkell), of Church Green, Samford, Suffolk.

They had 5 children:

Robert C. Coates, born 1934, Samford – died 1935, Ipswich.

Sheila Coates, born 1936, Samford.

Betty E. Coates, born May 1937, Samford.

John Coates, born December 1938, Ipswich.

Joan Coates, born 1939, Ipswich.



Charles’ wife Eveline and their four children were living at the family home – 14, Campbell Road, Priory Estate, Ipswich.


4th Battalion:
The Battalions were attached to the 18th East Anglian Division.
15 February 1942: After the fall of Singapore, approximately 620 of the Battalions were taken POW and later mostly died on the Burma-Thailand Railway.


Friends of The Suffolk Regiment

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