BATEMAN, Horace Frederick

No.5933522, Private, Horace Frederick BATEMAN
Aged 27

1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment
Died at Sea (in captivity) on Tuesday, 12th September 1944

Horace Bateman was born in 1916 in Stetchworth on 28th November 1916 (Newmarket Q1-1917 3B:719), son of Lewis Frederick and Edith Alice BATEMAN (née HALLS).

The family were at 9 Cheveley Villa, High Street, Stetchworth for the 1939 register. Father [13-10-1988] a butcher's slaughterman; mother [20-2-1884]; brothers Louis [19-8-1910] stud groom; Leslie [3-9-1913] butcher's slaughterman; Eric [28-8-1915] a gardener and Stanley [27-6-1925] shop assistant; sisters Edith E [4-1-1918] later CRICK, and Amelia F [11-7-1922](later SEAKINS). There are no closed records, Horace would be in the Army by then.

Horace (on right) with school chum Teddy Cockerton in 1930
photo from

All five sons served in the Army and one of these brothers was also captured by the Japanese, at present though I have been unable to find which one
Horace had been a stud groom at Fetcham Stud, Woodditton.

Despite the Newmarket Journal cutting shown here, Horace is n the records of the 1st Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment

Captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore on 13th February 1942 and initially taken to No.4 Camp in Thailand
On 4th September 1944, Convoy HI-72 sailed from Singapore on the 4th September 1944. Two of the ships, Rakuyo Maru [KA-25] and the Kachidoki Maru [KA-15] carried prisoners of war. The Kachidoki Maru carried 900 British prisoners of war.
On the 12th of September the convoy was attacked by US submarines and both the Rakuyo Maru and the Kachidoki Maru were hit. The Kachidoki Maru was torpedoed by the US submarine Pampanito at 22:40 hours. Some of the men who jumped from the ship in the first minutes of the ships being hit were later picked up by Japanese trawlers and continued their journey to Japan on board the Kibitsu Maru. Later still some survivors were picked up by the US submarine Pampanito. It is believed 476 men died.

The Kachidoki Maru was formerly the "President Harrison, built in Camden, New Jersey, 524 feet overall length and displacing 10,500 tons. She was painted battle grey, flying the merchant marine flag, which was a red ball in the centre of a white field and had NO RED CROSS MARKINGS. Those with a strong stomach should read "Death on the Hellships" by Gregory F Michno ISBN0-85052-821-6

photo from

Horace Bateman is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial - column 58
and on his parents grave in St Peter's Churchyard Extension, Stetchworth

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