The Beijen/Beyen Family Site
by Laurens Beijen
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The Johan Franco branch of the IJsselstein family

Victims of the Japanese occupation

During the Second World War many members of the Johan Franco branch were taken captive by the Japanese occupiers of the Dutch East Indies. Three of them, the cousins Hendrik, Jan Fortuin and Rudolph Beijen/Beyen, had joined the Royal Dutch East Indies Army (KNIL). Therefore they were handled by the Japanese as prisoners of war. In 2011 their Japanese internment cards have been published by the National Archives. These internment cards are shown on this page, together with other information about them.

Hendrik Beijen (1895-1945)

Hendrik Beijen (13.1), the son of Piet Beijen who is mentioned on the page Beijens in the Dutch East Indies, was born in 1895. At first he worked as a ship's engineer at the Navy and later he was a sergeant of the KNIL.
After the Japanse invasion he was captured in prisoners' camps in Java. Later we was transferred to Sumatra, where he was forced to work at the notorious Pakanbaru railway. He died in September 1945, some weeks after the Japanese capitulation, because of the hardships he had endured.

Below copies of the front and back of his internment card are shown. By clicking on the images you can enlarge them.

It appears from the Japanese text on the back of the card that he was captured on March 8, 1942. At first he was in a camp near Bandung in Java and later on in a camp near Batavia. In 1944 he was transferred to the large forced labor camp near Pakanbaru. He became ill on July 5, 1945 and died on September 10, 1945 as a result of beriberi. In the autumn of 1945 his remains were transferred to the Allies.

Hendrik was buried on the war cemetery Kalibanteng near Semarang on Central Java. His monument is shown on the Dutch page Grafstenen en andere gedenktekens (Tombstones and other monuments).

Jan Fortuin Beijen/Beyen (1912-1991)

Jan Fortuin Beyen (or Beijen) (13.3) was the only son of Hendrik Rudolph Beijen Junior who was mentioned on the previous page. He was born in 1912 in Garut in Western Java as a son of the native woman Maskanah. Later he was acknowledged by Hendrik Rudolph as his son. According to what was told in the family Jan meant a fortune for his father. This should have been the background of his second given name.
Jan Beijen joined the KNIL. In the Second World War Jan Beyen was captured by the Japanese and transferred to the prisoners' camp Kawasaki near Tokyo. The prisoners of war in this camp had to do there forced labor in a shipyard for the Japanese war industry.

The picture above (Copyright by Al R. Young. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy of Al Young Studios. Click here for an enlarged version) is derived from a website of the American writer Al Young. In June 2009 Al Young published the book My Fatherís Captivity about the experiences of his father, who was imprisoned in the same camp.
On the picture Japanese guards are apparently peacefully sitting next to the mostly American, Dutch and Australian forced laborers. Jan Fortuin Beyen is sitting on the front row, fifth from the right. On the enlargement alongside he is better visible.
After the Japanese capitulation the Americans brought him back to Java, after a temporary stay in the Philippines.
In 1950 he moved to the Netherlands. He died in 1991 in Ede near Arnhem. His tombstone is shown on the Dutch page Grafstenen en andere gedenktekens (Tombstones and other monuments).

The internment card of Jan Fortuin was kept as well. By clicking on the images you can enlarge them.

The front of the card shows that Jan Fortuin was a soldier 2nd class and served as a motor orderly, and that he also has been involved as a driver and mechanic in a bus company in Bandung.
The Japanese text on the back states that he was transferred on May 20, 1943 to the first subsidiary camp of the internment camp Tokyo. That subsidiary camp was commonly referred to as the camp Kawasaki. It also states that he was handed over to the Americans on September 8, 1945 (consequently after the capitulation of Japan) at the Yokohama train station.

Rudolph Beijen/Beyen (1912-1944)

Rudolph Beijen (of Beyen) (13.8) was one of the sons of Johan Franco Beijen (12.6), who was in turn the youngest son of Hendrik Rudolph Senior (11.9). Rudolph was a sergeant major of KNIL. After the occupation of the Dutch East Indies by the Japanese, he was taken prisoner of war as well.
In September 1944 he was one of the 6500 prisoners (American, Australian, British and Dutch prisoners of war and Javanese laborers) who were transported under inhumane conditions in the transport ship Junyo Maru to do forced labour at the Pekanbaru railway through the jungle of Sumatra. However, the ship was torpedoed and sunk west of Sumatra by a British submarine. Only a small part of the prisoners could save themselves.
Rudolph Beijen was one of the thousands who perished.
A list of the names of the Dutch, American and Australian prisoners of war who were killed is published on the website The Sinking of the Junyo Maru.

Below the internment card of Rudolph is shown.

According to the Japanese text on the back of the card Rudolph was captured on March 8, 1942. Just like Hendrik he was at first in a camp near Bandung in Java and later on in a camp near Batavia. The exact time and place of the sinking of the Junyo Maru are stated: September 18, 1944, about 18:30 - 18:45 uur; 2º 53' South, 101º 11' East.

After the war the widow and the three children of Rudolph Beijen moved to the Netherlands.

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