Simon John Dyke Acland

Simon John Dyke Acland

Rank:Flight Lieutenant
Regiment:Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number:78340
Cemetary/Memorial: Yokohama War Cemetary, Japan (Brit. Sec. P. A. 14)
Awards:War Medal 1939-1945
1939-45 Star

Born in Chelsea on 20th September 1916, Flight Lieutenant Acland died of pneumonia on 29th December 1942, aged 26, in a Japanese Prisoner of War camp.

He was the eldest son of Captain Hubert Edward Peter Dyke Acland (1884-1953) and Dorothy Marion Acland (nee Thorold, d. 1958) of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.

He was brother to Anne Dyke Acland (b. 1915) and Roger Dyke Acland (1920-1984).

He was a pupil, alongside his brother, at St Ronan’s from 1925 to 1930 before heading to Stowe (1931-1934 Greville House). He was a keen sportsman and gained his life saving proficiency certificate and badge in 1930. He was a member of the choir and cricket teams and won prizes for mathematics. In March 1930, he was confirmed in the school chapel, by Bishop Southwell. He attended the Old Ronians’ Dinner in London in December 1931, 1932 and 1933.

In January 1935, The Ronian reported that Simon was attending an intensive course at Pitmans after leaving Stowe.

He gained his pilot’s licence in August 1938.

The Ronian also notes his rise through the ranks: 1941 Flying Officer and then Pilot Officer, in 1942 Flight Lieutenant. 1943-1945 saw him listed as Missing, until in 1946 he is noted as being a Prisoner of War in Malaya.

Flight Lieutenant Acland’s plane was last heard of in February 1942 by Air Headquarters in Singapore. He was later known to have died of pneumonia/acute enteritis in no. 3 camp Tokyo (renamed Tokyo no. 12 branch camp Mitsushima in 1945). It is believed he was among 120 British prisoners to arrive late at night on the 27th November aboard "hell ship" Tofuku Maru from Singapore.

The prisoners were used by Kumagai-gumi Construction Company and engaged in the construction of Hiraoka Electricity Generation and Dam on the Tenry River in the Central Highlands in Japan.

Mitsushima, is recognised as one of the most brutal camps in all of Japan.

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