Local History Society

 Families: W. Hayward, former P.O.W.

Newspaper reports of Arborfield men on active service in WWII

March 20th, 1943, the 'Reading Mercury announced:

Prisoner of War: Mrs. Hayward, of “Ailsa Craig”, School Road, has heard from the War Office that her husband, Sergeant W. Hayward, who was reported missing 13 months ago, is a prisoner of war in Borneo.

William Hayward was a Japanese P.O.W., and news of his release was published in the 'Reading Mercury' in late 1945. Some of the text of the second article is difficult to read, because it occurred on the fold of the page.

Alexina and William Hayward continued to live at 'Ailsa Craig' in School Road until at least the 1950's.


Mrs. W. Hayward, of ‘Ailsa Craig’, School Road, has heard that her husband, Battery Sergt.-Major W. Hayward, has been released from a Japanese Prisoner of War camp, and is now at Melbourne, Australia, awaiting transit home. Sergt. Hayward left Singapore just before the Japanese occupation, but was captured in Java in March 1941.

December 8th: PRISONER HOME:

Battery Sgt.-Major W. Hayward arrived home last week after three and a half years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. In discussing his experiences, he paid tribute to the work of the Australian Army Medical Corps, whose [illegible] treatment after his release restored him to complete health. The survivors, he said, only kept alive by selling their personal possessions and buying [illegible] food. Throughout their captivity constant contact was maintained with the outside world through a secret wireless set hidden in the brickwork of the camp bakehouse.


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