Informatie gevraagd over Matthew Trevorrow

Gordon Payne uit Nieuw Zeeland vraagt informatie over zijn oudoom Matthew Trevorrow. En hij wil ook graag weten wie er op de foto’s staan.
Dit is zijn mail:


General Background:
My great uncle Matthew Trevorrow from Cornwall, England survived World War 2 only to be murdered near Benkolen, Sumatra, Indonesia in 1945. He was with a small British, Recovery of Allied Prisoners of War and Internees (RAPWI) team finding and helping POW and Internees, under the command of Lord Mountbatten. Sadly they were ambushed by Indonesian rebels/villagers, who mistook them for NICA and only one person survived, a Captain J W Smith. After 72 years I solved a mystery as to where his remains are, they are in the CWGC cemetery in Jakarta. Buried next to him is an Irish Captain/Doctor John Mockler, who also died with him in that team but until last year, when I traced other information his grave was marked Unknown.

He spent many years in Internee in Japanese camps but prior to this, was the only English man working as a gold mining engineer for a Dutch company situated north of Benkolen. The main mine was called Tandai, which leads me to the attached photographs. One is of Matthew and other is a group photo, after celebrations of New Year in 1938 with what we presume are other Dutch mine management staff and their families. I do know from an article in the London Illustrated News, June 14 1941, one of his Dutch colleges was a Mr B. P Van der Vaart and a Swiss sculptor Paul Vogt was with them, prospecting in Sumatra.

Other information that may be useful to your Web users:
On the 19 March 1937 he set sail for Batavia (Jakarta) Indonesia from Southampton, England. Travelled on Nederland Line Royal Dutch mail vessel called Johan De Witt (ticket 4686 attached), occupation then Reduction assistant, later Gold Classer.

  • Benkolen Prison camp from around 02 April 1942 to 29 September 1943.
  • transferred to infamous Mentok 19 September 1943 to 12 March 1945. (terrible place)
  • transferred to what was regarded as secret camp Belalau in Loeboeklinggau 01 March 1945 to 23 August 1945.
  • released August 1945, somehow made it back to Palembang.
  • seconded RAPWI team with John November 1945

He is mentioned in books by fellow internee, American journalist McDougal including  book, “If I Get Out Alive”.
Names of potential Dutch Internees mention in his Japanese camps include;
Dr Kramer

If you or anyone wishes to contact me preferably in English but could translate from Dutch using Google, its
Gordon Payne  email:

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7 reacties op Informatie gevraagd over Matthew Trevorrow

  1. Boeroeng zegt:

    Bartholomeus Pleun van der Vaart born 24-11-1894 in Vlaardingen,
    son of Pieter Johannes van der Vaart en Ingetje Troost.
    He died 05-07-1944 in Tjilatjap, Java in probably a Japanese internmentcamp for civilians.
    Bartholomeus was employee of mining company Simau , at the mine Lebong Tandai, near Bencoolen

    Bartholomeus married 31-01-1918 in Dordrecht with Maria Johanna Sparnaay, born about 1895, daughter of Leonard Eliza Sparnaay en Anne Adenie. Maria died in 1954.
    Children of Bartholomeus en Maria:
    1 Nanny Inge van der Vaart
    2 Mary Helma van der Vaart born 27-06-1921 in Soerabaja. Married to Martinus Neggers
    3 Bartholomea Eliza van der Vaart

  2. Boeroeng zegt:

    Scan of a share of ‘miningcompany Simau’
    Naamloze vennootschap = limited company
    Maatschappelijk Kapitaal= total amount of shares in currency at the financial statement of assets and liabilities.
    bewijs van aandeel aan toonder = proof of bearer share

  3. Boeroeng zegt:

    About Dr. Kramer,  mentioned.
    There was a medical doctor H.P. Kramer ( chef-geneesheer) employee of miningcompany Billiton at Muntok.
    Scan is Kleian Adresboek of 1942

    • Ronny Geenen zegt:

      Heb al vaker de lijsten van de kampen, o.a. van midden Sumatra, Sawahlunto en Padang doorgenomen. Ze zijn totaal niet compleet. O.a. mijn moeder en de vier kinderen ontbreken, terwijl mijn jongste zus in het Missie complex is geboren en daar wel gegevens van zijn.(zie boek H van de Bos)

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