Another installment in our 'Holgate Heroes' series.

Harold Clegg

Harold Clegg in the Chronicle 1942
Harold Clegg in the Chronicle 1942

JAPANESE prisoner of war Harold Creighton Clegg’s mother is said to have taken to bed and never left after the death of her only son.

Harold, a First Class Aircraftman, was born in Barnsley in 1920 and the only child of bus driver Thomas Arthur Clegg and his wife Jane Clegg, who was 37 when she gave birth to him.

In 1942, while serving in the RAF Reserve, he was taken prisoner by Japanese forces and is believed to have been used in forced labour on a civil engineering project.

Unfortunately, like so many other POWs, he succumbed to starvation and disease, dying November 29, 1943 at the age of only 23.

His name is now among those of more than 24,000 commonwealth casualties listed on the Singapore War Memorial, on column 428, which indicates people that died during campaigns in Malaya and Indonesia or in subsequent captivity who have no known grave.

Local folklore has it that when informed of her son’s death, after month’s of worrying, Jane took to bed to never leave it again.

You can read the introductory article explaining the history around our Holgate Heroes here