5933526, Private, Edwin RUSHBROOK
Aged 23

1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment
Died in Captivity (Lost at Sea) on Thursday 21st September 1944

Born in Q4-1920 [Newmarket 3b:34], to Robert Samuel and Ada Mary RUSHBROOK (née SPIRE), of 32 King Edward Road, Newmarket.

At 32 King Edward Road, Newmarket in the 1939 register were his father Robert S [21-3-1887] a hotel waiter; his mother Ada M [7-9-1894] and Doris E HOWARD [13-3-1923] single, milliner's assistant. There are 3 closed records.

Edwin was a victim of the "Hell Ships". These were used to transport prisoners of war across the pacific , mainly for slave labour in mainland Japan. Unfortunately they were never marked as carrying our men and since the Allies were aware of the whereabouts of these convoys, many were sunk en route. Conditions on these ships were such that a strong stomach is required to read the various books about them.

Captured at the surrender of Singapore to the Japanese on 15th February 1942, Edwin survived working on the Burma-Siam railway. He was then part of a group to be sent to Borneo on the Hofuku Maru. This old ship was forced to call in at Manila, where it waited for a month with the prisoners still kept below in the hold, many dying of starvation and disease
Eventually,on September 20, 1944, the Hofuko Maru KA-27 (with 1,289 prisoners on board) and 10 other ships formed Convoy MATA-27, and sailed from Manila for Japan. The following morning, the convoy was attacked 80 miles north of Corregidor by more than 100 American carrier planes. All eleven ships in the convoy were sunk. Of the 1,289 British and Dutch POWs on board the Hofuku Maru, 1,047 died.

photo from asiawargraves.com

No known grave - Edwin is commemorated on the Kranji Memorial, Singapore Ref column 60
and also on the Exning Road plaque, now kept in the Exning Road Working Mens Club

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