War veteran receives headstone after 40 years

time:2023-05-31 01:07:19 source:The New York Times

A World War Two veteran whose body lay in an unmarked grave for nearly 40 years has been honoured with a new headstone.

James McLean was captured when Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942.

He was buried in a communal grave after dying alone in Crawley in 1984, but research by his family unearthed his heroic past.

His headstone was dedicated with a guard of honour by veterans from his former regiment.

Mr Mclean joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders as a piper in 1934 after growing up in Glasgow. He later moved to West Sussex.

During his time as a prisoner of war, he was forced to work on the Burma Railway and in coal mines. He also survived two shipwrecks aboard transport ships that were torpedoed by the US Navy.

The ceremony in Crawley was also attended by his grandson Gordon MacLean.

"For him to finally be recognised is a great honour," said Mr Maclean.

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