LAMBERT, Russell

No. 5932624, Private, Russell Stanley LAMBERT
Aged 28

1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment
Died at sea in Captivity on Sunday 12th September, 1944

photos courtesy of his family

He was born on 29th May, 1916 [Newmarket 3b:776] at 5 Rustons Cottages, Lacey's Lane, Exning, the son of George Frederick. and Lily Laura LAMBERT (née PARR) of Exning who later lived at 8 Durham Cottages, Burwell Road. He was a single man, a Territorial and was called up whilst working in London.

In the 1939 register, at 8 Durham Cottages, Burwell Road, Exning were his father George F LAMBERT [19-7-1885] a dustman on council; his mother Lily L [15-4-1896]; brothers Frederick G [7-4-1921] fitter/turner and Eric A [20-11-1927] scholar; sister Mary L [7-3-1930] later RIDGEON. There is one closed record.

He was the cousin of Walter PARR. They must have signed on together since they have consecutive Army numbers.

Russell was captured at the surrender of Singapore to the Japanese on 15th February 1942. Having survived work on the Burma-Siam railway he was then sent to mainland Japan
Convoy HI-72 sailed from Singapore on 4th September 1944, with them the "Rakuyo Maru" [KA-25] (9,419 tons, length 140 m and beam 18 m) carrying 1317 prisoners. The prisoners were being taken to mainland Japan for labour and the ships became known as the "Hell Ships", terribly overcrowded, with poor sanitary conditions
The ship was torpedoed and sunk by US submarine Sealion on Sunday 12th September at around 5 am off East Hainan Island (Lat.18 N Long.114 E).
The submarine, when it realised it had sunk ships carrying PoWs ( no signs indicating this were displayed), made a search and rescued 63 PoW.

photo from

Russell is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial...Ref: column 59

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details