Image from the Evening Star – 20th April 1942.
Born: 26th December 1914, Ipswich.
Died: 31st July 1943; age: 28; died of Cholera as a Japanese PoW.
Body was cremated.
Captured: 15th February 1942 – Fall of Singapore.
Residence: 7, Kingsgate Drive, Ipswich.
Employed: as a Linotype Operator with the Composing Room staff of the East Anglian Daily Times.
Rank: Lance Corporal; Service Number: 5832499.
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 5th Battalion – Infantry.
Final resting place unknown.
Father: Stanley James Birch, born 1889, Ipswich.
Mother: Dorothy E. Birch (nee Quinton), born 1890, Ipswich.
Birch family home – 12, Tennyson Road, Ipswich.
In 1939, Ipswich, John married Edna Kathleen Hammond, born July 1916, Ipswich, of 172, Foxhall Road, Ipswich – daughter of Edward Thomas Hammond, a warehouseman at a paper merchants and Eva Elizabeth Hammond (nee Beckingham).
ENGLAND & WALES REGISTER 1939
John was a Linotype Operator – Newspaper. He and Edna were living at their home – 7, Kingsgate Drive, Ipswich.
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.