Louie, Anthony, and Judith Sinnatt

Anthony Sinnatt and his mother Louise
Louise with her son Anthony, neither of whom survived captivity

Louie Sinnatt was born on 26th April 1913. Her parents’ last name was John. They died and she was adopted by Mr and Mrs Turner Lewis of 3 Cresswell Street, Tenby, Pembrokeshire. She was always known as Louie by her family (which we use here) although officially she was Louise.

After she left school Louie worked for a while at the Playhouse Cinema. She married John Anthony Hamilton Sinnatt, Royal Artillery, in 1937 while he was stationed at Manorbier, and soon after they left for Singapore. Their son Tony was born there in May 1938.

Sinnatt Mention 13 January 1938
The Straits Times 13 January 1938

When the Japanese invaded Singapore in February 1942 Louie, who was pregnant at the time, was evacuated along with her son Anthony. We do not know (yet) which ship they were on but they were both captured and interned.

On 13th November 1942 Louie gave birth to a daughter – Judith – when the women were being held at the Irenelaan camp and it is very likely that Judith was born at Charitas Hospital.

Louise Sinnatt Death Registration

Louie died of beri beri on 23 February 1945 at Muntok.

Death Registry showing only Anthony Sinnatt

Anthony died on 17th April 1945 at Belalau almost 7 years of age. His cause of death is listed below as malaria and acute pneumonia:

Anthony and his mother

Daughter Judith was 2 in 1944 and survived. She was adopted in the camp by Myrtle Ward.

After the war Anthony’s body was reinterred at Kalibanteng. His grave can be viewed HERE

Judith Sinnatt

Above from The Argus (Melbourne) newspaper: “First civilians to be evacuated from Sumatra camps arrive in Singapore. Aust. Red Cross Supt. I. C. Smith of Adelaide give sweets to 2 3/4 year-old Judith Sinnatt whose mother and brother died in Muntock Camp. Father, an Officer in Fed. Malay States Volunteer Forces is missing believed killed [he actually survived]. Mrs. L.G.W. Ward, another evacuee is looking after the child.” [State Library, Victoria, Australia].

Below an article from a local Tenby newspaper:

Louise Sinnatt article
1945 Tenby newspaper article

The Daily Mail, 18th September 1945:

Below from The Telegraph (Brisbane), Tuesday, 2nd October 1945. The caption on the first picture reads: “Mrs. L G Ward, of London, is nursing Three-years-old Judith Sinnatt, whose mother and brother died in Sumatra, where her father, who was serving with the RAF was also held a prisoner of war by the Japanese.”

The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), Tuesday 2 October

The article accompanying the photos above reads:  “Flown From Sumatra: Since the Japanese capitulation, Singapore has become the gathering place of former internees and prisoners of war awaiting transport to their homelands. Pictures show internees who were brought from Sumatra by plane.”

The caption on the lower picture reads: “Mrs. Van Gyzel [sic] and her three children, aged 5, 7 and 3 years. The three-year-old child in her arms is suffering from malnutrition. [Actually Margaret Olivia Van Geyzel aged 22 in 1942. Wife of Hubert Alden van Geyzel of Singapore Cold Storage.” [A PDF version of the above article can be viewed HERE]

Louise Sinnatt Death Registration

On a website commemorating the residents of the Welsh town of Tenby who lost their lives in WWII there is an image of a War Memorial showing right at the very bottom Louie and her son Anthony:

Tenby War Memorial Showing Sinnatt

Note on Major J. A. H. Sinnatt: Royal Artillery Hong Kong and Singapore  — was taken prisoner of war after the fall of Singapore, being transferred to Changi in March 1943 and later to Sarawak as part of E Force.

BSM Sinnatt 15 November 1939

Above, on the left is Battery Sergeant Major (BSM) John Sinnatt in a photograph that appeared in The Straits Times on 15 November 1939.

After the war John married Beryl Broadly in October 1947 in Dover, Kent. In 1947 he was a Captain and served in Egypt from 1949 to 1953. Whilst there he became a Major. He was stationed at Shoeburyness, Essex, from 1953 to 1956 and from there he went to Ty Croes, Anglesy in North Wales. He retired from Army in February 1961 and moved to Dover where he died in June 1982. (Family members called John Sinnatt, Peter, although nobody knew why).

Judith Sinnatt married Philip Andrew Caplin in April 1966 in Maidenhead, Berkshire. Philip was born on 8th May 1944 and died on 28th June 2007. His date of death was on the 25th anniversary of John Sinnatt’s date of death. Judith and Philip have three daughters and two sons, seven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

Philip’s father was William John Caplin, but was called Jack (and again nobody knows why). He was born in September 1896 at Cuckfield and he died on 12th August 1958. Philip’s mother, Yvonne Maud (Roper) Caplin, was born in 1908 and died in 1977.  Both Caplins were living in Bognor Regis, Sussex at the time of their deaths.