A Plaque in the Church of St Mary, The Virgin
IN GRATEFUL MEMORY OF
THE TWO MEN OF THIS PARISH
WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE
SECOND WORLD WAR
PTE JAMES H FRANKLIN
GNR BURNETT T R ROURKE
A modern Memorial on the Village Green
Part of Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
The Bridge over the River Kwai which was repaired after Allied bombing in 1944
The Fallen in WW2 named on a plaque in the Church
James Hubert FRANKLIN
Private, 1st Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry, Army no 5784147. He was formerly with The Royal Norfolk Regiment.
He was killed in action on 27 November 1944. He was 23.
He is buried in grave V D 17 Forli War Cemetery.
He was the son of Archibald Hubert and Elizabeth May Franklin of Salford.
The Eighth Army took Forli in November 1944 but many were killed in the heavy fighting around Rimini and Ravenna
which took place in appalling weather in October-December 1944.
James Franklin was killed when a German self-propelled gun shelled a farmhouse in which part of C Company were sheltering from the heavy rain and he was buried in the rubble. Source: The War Diary of the Durham Light Infantry
Burnett Thomas Ramsay ROURKE
Gunner, 88 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, Army no 1421440
He died as a Prisoner of War of the Japanese on 23 July 1943. He was 41.
He is buried in grave 2 E 68 Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.
He was the husband of Mabel E Rourke of Salford.
Burnett Rourke died whilst a Prisoner of War and a forced labourer of the Japanese during the building of the Burma - Siam Railway. This railway was built by Commonwealth, Dutch and American prisoners of war. This Japanese project was necessary to support the large Japanese army in Burma. Two labour forces, one based in Siam and the other in Burma, worked from opposite ends of the line towards the centre. The work began in October 1942 and the railway line, which was 424 kilometres long, was completed by December 1943
Approximately 13,000 Prisoners of War died and were buried along the railway during its construction. This horrendous figure is made even worse by an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 civilians who also died in the course of the project. These civilians were chiefly forced labour brought from Malaya and the Dutch East Indies or conscripted in Siam (Thailand) and Burma (Myanmar)
The graves of the Prisoners of War who died during the construction and maintenance of the Burma-Siam railway (except for the Americans whose remains were repatriated) were transferred from camp burial grounds and isolated sites along the railway into three cemeteries at Chungkai and Kanchanaburi in Thailand and Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar.
The cemetery is near the Bridge over the River Kwai which feature in a famous film