University of Oxford
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Bob Bray RAF, POW of the Japanese

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 19:32 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

Bob Bray was Leading Aircraftsman in 614 RAF Squadron. He was captured in 1944 by the Japanese and was held in Java and Sumatra. The contributor has postcards from his family to him, e.g. some are from Mrs Bray (Mother), 2 Woodstock Road Handsworth Birmingham 21 England. One is addressed to 805456 LAC RJ Bray, British Prisoner of War, Zentsuji No 2. It is stamped in English and in Japanese to show it has passed censorship. When he was released Bob was in a terribly thin state (6 stone). He was taken first to Sydney, Australia, 28th September 1945. He arrived in England in October 1945, where the POWs were forbidden to talk about their experiences as part of their release conditions (to get peace negotiations). Bob spoke about the heat. He died of skin cancer (a direct consequence of his captivity). Bob kept in touch with the Far Eastern Society. The family thinks Bob suffered from PTSD, which was not recognised at that time.


Item list and details

Series of post cards - prisoner of war; Airman service book / pay book; RAF Service and release book; Ex-POW Club membership card;

Person the story/items relate to

John Robert "Bob" Bray

Person who shared the story/items

Mrs Wendy Hodgett

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor


Type of submission

Shared at National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire on 17 February 2024.

Record ID

117033 | NMA037