Gerald Maurice Nathan
Aircraftman 1st Class
Service number 940019
Died 14 Feb 1945
Commemorated on Singapore Memorial
Gerald was born on 20 May 1917 in Leeds to Nathan and Leah nee Taylor. The family name originated from Russia and changed their surname from Shinofski to Nathan. Nathan worked as a tailor and died early at the age of thirty five in 1928 leaving his wife Leah with two young children Gerald and Stella. Leah remarried in 1943 to Woolf Cooper.
Gerald worked as a refrigeration engineer and in 1939 was living with his mother and sister Stella who was a dance teacher in Harrogate.
Gerald died as a Japanese prisoner of war. He arrived at Sandakan between 8th and 18th April 1943. Records state he was on the 1st Sandakan march which started in January 1945. The first phase of marches were across wide marshland, dense jungle and up the eastern slope of Mount Kinabalu. The Japanese selected 470 prisoners who were thought to be fit enough to carry baggage and supplies for the accompanying Japanese battalions relocating to the western coast. In several groups the POWs, all of whom were either malnourished or suffering serious illness, started the journey with the intention of reaching Jesselton. The route took nine days but they were only given rations for four days. Gerald died near Beluran, 42 miles from Sandakan and is buried beside the track where he died. The Japanese recorded his death as Malaria.