Service number 97594
Born: February 14th 1912
Died: March 5th 1943
Edward was the elder son of the Reverend Edward Bullock and his wife, May I. Smethurst. He was born in All Saints Vicarage, Camden Town where his father was the vicar from 1908 until 1916.
He was educated at Winchester and matriculated in 1932. After taking his degree in 1935, he became an estate agent. He joined the Royal Artillery in 1939.
He was a Major in 144 Bty., 35 Lt. A.A. Regt. Royal Artillery and was captured in Java and interned in Changi.
The 600 Gunners Party left Changi on the 18th October 1942, under the command of Lt-Col. J. Bassett, R.A., 35 L.A.A. aboard the Kenkon Maru. At the time, the destination was believed to be New Guinea. The Bureau of Records and Enquiry at Changi were led to believe, later, that the ship was torpedoed and all on board lost.
The Japanese reported that the ship carrying the prisoners was lost at sea after leaving Singapore. It wasn’t until after the war that the truth was found when a large mass grave was found on Ballali Island. The Japanese had used 517 of the fittest to construct a runway on Ballali, one of the Solomon Island, the sick having been left at Rabaul, New Britain. When the runway was finished those of the 517 who remained alive, were massacred by the Japanese, four hundred and thirty six bodies were exhumed on Ballali Island; those remaining of the 517 are believed to have died before the massacre and were buried on the island.
The date of death given by the Commonwealth War Graves is the 5th March 1943 for those who died on Ballali Island. The correct date is not known. Interviews with locals, Japanese, Koreans and Chinese suggest June 1943 would be nearer the truth.
With acknowledgements to: “What Price Bushido’ by Alf ‘Blackie’ Baker; ‘Kill the Prisoners’ by Don Wall and ‘The Knights of Bushido’ by Lord Russell of Liverpool and http://www.cofepow.org.uk/pages/asia_ballale_gunners_600.htm.
Edward is commemorated on Column 1 of the Singapore Memorial.