Lisbon Maru

      Marina - After months of searching and much help from Sandra Guthrie (Thank you Sandra) I have found out many more details of my father as a FEPOW. He was a Royal Scot who was captured by the Japanese at the fall of Hong Kong. I believe he was held for some time in Stanley POW camp in Hong Kong before being transfered to Japan. Like Isabella's father, he too was on the Lisbon Maru when it was torpedoed.

      Is there anyone else who has any interest in the Royal Scots? I would love to hear from anyone who has a relation that was in the Royal Scots or was on the Lisbon Maru.

      Lisbon Maru

      Isabella - >Linda, Can you let me know where I could get a copy of that particular book as my father was a survivor of the sinking of the Lisbon Maru and was in the Royal Scots. Glad to hear from you.

      Aaron - My grandfather was on the Lisbon Maru, I am Isabella Cooper's nephew, I live in South Australia. I never really new how much my grandfather went through untill I read his story he wrote not that long ago. It is so sad what those young men went through. They are all heros in my eyes.
      from linwood 19

      Linda - My father George Wilkinson was on board the Lisbon Maru Sadly he died in 1989 but before he died he wote his life story and gave an account of the sinking of the Lisbon Maru. I alo have a book called A Regiment at War The Royal Scots 1935-1945 which records the details.

      Marina - My father was also in the Royal Scots and a survivor of the Lisbon Maru sinking. I have tried emailing you regarding this but the emails are returned. Please email me.

      Brian - Could you please send me the account of the sinking of the Lisbon Maru. My great uncle Wilfred Drew was one of the 800 who died.

      Isabella - >Ron, I was talking to dad last night and he was going over the news letter that I had sent him copies of and told me to let you know that he was also in the Prison camp Notogawa along with 40 British, 40 American 40 Dutch and 40 Australians. Maybe this camp is not listed on the member sheet as one that he was in I know Shamshipo and Osaka are listed next to his name so can you please put this one on as well.

      Garth64 - My uncle was in hong kong when it fell to the japenese,he too was in the royal scots,i know at one time he was in the osaka pow camp but not much more,his name was david mckenzie,d.o.b 14-02-1918 (i think),my mum has not seen or heard from him since the war and if i could find any information i know she would be over the moon,but i dont know how to go about unearthing any details,i would be so grateful for any suggestions you could make ,and who knows maybe your dad and my uncle were best pals,many thanks and good luck.........garth oakes

      Bob_C - Any info regarding Robert Clapperton, of The Royal Scots would be much appreciated. He was my late fathers brother and I would like any info ( including that of the ship or prison camps involved ) so that I may complete that branch of my family tree.

      Ron - There is a pretty large article on the fall of Hong Kong I did a couple of years ago, it includes the Lisbon Maru.
      This was the article that gave me very bad nightmares, what they went through was far worse then just a nightmare.

      Please read:

      James McHarg Miller was also a Royal Scott and features heavily in the story.
      I also put the British deaths register of that ship on the site.

      Tony - There were in fact two Clappertons serving in Hong Kong in the Royal Scots, both in HQ company:

      Clapperton, James Private 3055328 U 10.9.45
      Clapperton, Robert Corporal 46786 U 1-2.10.42 LM

      I'm afraid I don't have any further information about Robert Clapperton, but James appears to have been one of the unfortunate ex-POWs who lost their lives when their Liberator (repatriating them) crashed in the South China Sea.

      I still owe you the full listing of Lisbon Maru fatalities - I haven't forgotten. Your current list, if you recall, is missing the Royal Navy victims &q Lieutenant Potter of the St. John's Ambulance.

      Ron - Thanks for reply, I had forgotten, if you can please, it would be appreciated.

      There are two articles which give me the chills, Sandakan and the Lisbon Maru. These both show the absolute hopelessness of the POWs situation, no one there to ask for help.
      A POW told me there were three ways a prisoner would go, off his head, religious or get hard and look after himself.

      In 'Summer will come again', John Lane recalls meeting some prisoners at Kobe House who were dressed in Japanese army uniforms, after some confusion he found they had been taken at the fall of Hong Kong and survived the sinking of the Lisbon Maru, they were very pale British POWs.
      There is some more detail on:


      gdandje - My Dad, Thomas(Tommy)Jones was a wireless operator in the Royal Navy, based on Stonecutter's Island. After the fall of Hong Kong he was incarcerated in Shamshuipo Camp. He later survived the sinking of the Lisbon Maru and ended up in Osaka working on the Docks.(I presume, from initial research, that he would have been imprisoned in Kobe.)He left a poem describing a little of his experiences entitled the 'Lisbon Maru.' As a result of his maltreatment he died in the mid 50's aged only 38. We know that he went to either Australia or New Zealand to recuperate, before returning to England on a hospital ship. (Not sure of the spelling but sounded like S.S. MAUGHMANOOIE.)I would be grateful for any information regarding the Navy, their wireless operators on Stonecutter's Island and their subsequent movements after repatriation. I am glad that the memories of those dreadful times are now being enhanced through the internet. Such inhumanity should never be forgotten.

      Ron - Is there any chance of adding the poem to our Fepow Verse pages please.

      In Hong Kong, the vital wireless installations on Stonecutter's Island were taken in working order; some were put to military use, while others were used to extend the voice of NHK Overseas Broadcasting Bureau.

      Taken from -

      Ron - Reg Shore sent me in a sketch drawn in Kobe of the Lisbon Maru on the fateful day of October 2nd 1942.

      Drawn by W.S. Johnson a Lieut in the U.S. Navy.

      Reg says it still gives him nightmares thinking of the Lisbon Maru.

      Tony - >Ron, If that's Shore, Lance Corp. 6201889 then I'd love his email address! Perhaps you could pass him mine and se if he's interested in corresponding?

      Ron - >Tony, I phoned Reg and he confirmed it is the same Reg Shore.

      Unfortunately he is having problems with his Internet connection with AOL.

      Reg lives a far distance from our home but next week I have promised him I will go to his home and put him on our service, then he will be able to get in touch with you and receive the Fepow list.

      > To All, I asked Reg how an American got on the Lisbon Maru and he told me the artist was not on the ship. W.S. Johnson drew the sinking from the detail given to him by Reg and three other survivors at Kobe.

      This makes it even more remarkable as when compared with a photo of the ship the detail is very close.

      gdandje - After the sinking of the Lisbon Maru I understand that survivors were assembled and counted at Shanghai.Later they were transferred to Japan on the Shinsai Maru. I have in my possession one of only two letters received by my mother over the four year period of my father's incarceration. It is written in pencil on Jap 'official' looking paper and dated 1944. He had also headed it 'OSAKA CAMP 2.'Does anyone have any information on this camp?

      Ron - Asked Reg (Kobe House) about Osaka, it was an overflow from Kobe House he didn't know the exact mileage away but he said it was very close.

      He said he was deloused there and as the doctor was looking at his patients he would collect and kill the lice with a mallet. Made me itch thinking about it.

      In an earlier email, I mentioned the survivors of the Lisbon Maru being at Kobe House in Japanese uniforms. Reg confirmed this, as they lost everything on board the Lisbon Maru the Japanese fitted them out with white socks which had a sole and were shaped like a mitten, they had one toe and the rest of the toes were together. The uniforms were Khaki and very small.

      At 88 Reg has just got a computer and enjoys the Fepow Community. I have got loads of stories from Reg and pictures, maps of Stanley Barracks, Hong Kong and much much more. It will take a time to get it all on as I have two stories in the pipe line at the moment but it will be worth waiting for.

      He was in the water 10 hours after the Lisbon Maru went down.

      Janet - Re lice:
      ( I'm not making any sort of untoward accusations you understand ) !

      My Dad always told me that they were so infested with lice ( but sadly I'm not sure what camp it was in ) that they boiled the blankets and then hung them out to dry over bamboo poles, the water obviously ran down both sides of the balnkets carrying the dead lice with it, and then when they had finished drying there were a pile of dead lice under each blamket 2 inches wide and an inch high. He said he would never have believed it , but there they were all dead, I think they repeated the operation many times over to try to do all the blankets.

      He also had his army belt, which he wore for years after the war and said that the lice and bugs would manage to get them selves into the crevices and the holes for the buckle fastener and he would dig them out with a piece of thin twig or such, and also commented that if he had known then, what he eventually knew about nutrition, he would have tried boilng some up for some extra protein !

      YUK !!!

      Ron - >Janet, Thanks, still itching but now feel sick as well.

      Stuart - >Janet, but surely they had already boiled them in the blankets, there they were, a two inch wide one inch high pile of protein..

      Even more yuk

      Janet - NO you don't, Mogli and Baloo eat them all the time in the Jungle Book, so do the primates, last time I spoke to King Kong he said they were absolutely delicous !

      Anyway, I guess what they should have done was fried them, cos everyone I know loves Fried Lice !

      I have to smile at my old mans antics, but he was actually serious, had he have known about the protein etc at the time, he would have eaten them. He also nearly caused a neighbour heart failure once, when she was saying about people eating dog or cat food, and that it would kill them, he tried to expalin that if it didn't kill your cat or dog it wouldn't kill you, any way this old girl wasn't having any of it and going on when he produced a tin of PAL and proceeded to eat a quarter of it in front of her ! he thought it was a good lesson for her, and then he realised that he had eaten some of the dog's dinner and that the dog would be short, so, ( this is true) he walked to the chip shop and bought the dog a nice piece of cooked chicken, took all the meat off the bone and mixed it with the remaing tinned food and his biscuits.As you will now expect me to report., the dog spent the next 10 years hoping he would repeat the treat and it did Dad no harm at all, however it's one thing I shall not be trying myself !

      Tony - This is a little peripheral to the main topic, but for those interested:

      In the early 1980s when I worked for Shell in Holland, a few of us were on a field trip studying rock formations around Bitburg in Germany. The conversation at dinner steered around to the war, and my then boss (Pieter Nachtegal) stopped us all in our tracks with the words: "When I was in a concentration camp..." and then proceeded to tell us of all the insects and animals (locusts, snakes, frogs, etc.) he used to catch in order to keep his mother alive when they were interned (he was a boy then) in Java.

      People, when hungry enough, will eat whatever they can find. Yet another reason why I am glad to be living in this fat & happy generation!

      Ron - Reg told me, he couldn't remember anyone getting a common cold in the camps, he puts it down to the way we eat and live in this day and age. Very strange when you think of the bad illness and diseases they did get.

      Keith - I was just debating if I should have breakfast, suddenly not very hungry! I bet your dad was not the only one to do this Janet.

      Going to have a shower now.

      Janet - >Keith, I bet you are right, but you have to laugh at his devilment in eating the dog food infront of the neighbour !

      It's like reading his letters, I am interested that the man I always remember as not terribly articulate, and although very literate he had difficulty in composition, was indeed a very articulate, skillfull letter writer, they give great insight into a side I don't remember, probably cos I was too young, being born 10 years after the war finished.

      I only remember a man who liked serious conversation, found sarcasm very tiresome, and valued education, he encouraged me to study whereas my Mum thought women should get married, have children and devote their lives to their families she therefore considered A levels and above totally unneccessary!

      My father also made sure I had my first driving lesson the day I was 17, this was quite unusual for girls in those days, and his resons were, " Every one should be able to drive the family car in an emergency", but more over" women and young women especially are not safe from the male species while walking home alone especially at night, if you are driving you eliminate an element of the risk". This seemed to shut the critics up as a lovely girl from our estate had been raped and murdered by her much older ex-lover one night while walking home from the cinema !

      He was quite wise, one of my friends said recently how wise he was, I guess thats wisdom born of pain eh !

      Sorry gang, I got a bit carried away here and went off the beaten track.

      Bob_C - Thanks to those whoe replied to my request. I have info on Robert Clapperton if anyone needs it

      manx_nosferatu - My Grandfather who is still alive was indeed at the fall of Hong Kong, serving with the Royal Scots. He went on the Lisbon Maru and was on the voyage when it was torpedoed. He managed to survive but was taken to Osaka I believe. If anyone wishes to discuss or has any information, I would be very interested.

      laridae65 - My great uncle, Norman Taylor, was in the Royal Artillery onboard the Lisbon Maru. I believe he died in the sinking. If anybody in this wonderful community knew of him and can provide any further information upon him I would be most grateful. His Sister in law (my grandmother) talks about him often. I have found his name in the memorial page, and know the details of the Lisbon Maru, but wonder if there is anyone who survived and knew him? He was Scottish and 21 years old on the 2nd Oct 42. Please do get in touch if you did.

      Beth Hutton -

      I have recently discovered your website and at long last have read the grim tale of the sinking of the Lisbon Maru. My grandfather Edmund Hutton (possibly known as Ted) was one of those who perished although I notice that the Royal Navy POWs are not on the list of those who died. I know I shall never know exactly what my grandfather experienced but I suppose there is a remote possibility that someone might remember him. With the 60th anniversary approaching it seems a good time to investigate further. I would love to find out more about him. For example, I don't know how he came to be on the Lisbon Maru. He was initially on HMS Tamar.

      Thank you for all the info on the website.

      Ron - >Beth, Unfortunately the Royal Navy were not on the list sent to me.

      The worst story I have ever written was on the sinking of the Lisbon Maru, it gave me nightmares just writing it.

      There is some new information on Hong Kong that I will get on soon.

      Also see HMS Tamar

      Michael - My father, WO,QMS (Art) Edwin Stuart Flinter, dogtag 1020057 of the Royal Artillery, was one of those poor gunners who drowned in the hold whilst trying to save the sinking of the Lisbon Maru after being torpedoed by the American submarine USS Grouper on 1/2 October 1942. (no fault of the Americans as the Japanese did not mark their troop ships as carrying POWs).

      After the fall of Hong Kong, Christmas 1941, he was interned in Shamshuipo concentration camp and he and many others on other 'Marus' were later to be shipped to Japan to be used as slave labour.

      His name, along with others, is listed on the tablets at Sai Wan Memorial, Hong Kong. This is their only 'cemetery' as they have no resting place only a watery grave!

      The story of the sinking, which took many hours, is horrific and a lasting testament to all those brave allied servicemen who were on board during that last frighful night of the 1/2 October 1941.

      Unfortunately and disgustingly man is still killing man and as a musician I am haunted by the old song 'When will they ever learn?' Why did my father die? So that we might live?! We are still being killed, and in the name of God for pity's sake!!! There are some awfully strange people in this world who don't understand that we are all in the same finite boat together!!!



Search Box

The Monthly Revue now covers over 150 pages, a search box has been added to help search for a topic.

This search can also be directed at the Fepow Community or London Gazette, selecting one of these limits the topic searched to that particular area of the site.

Search for
Get a Free Search Engine for Your Web Site


Sharing Information


Sharing information with others is rewarding in itself, the pieces from the jigsaw start to fit together and a picture begins to appear. Improve your knowledge and help make the Fepow Story an everlasting memorial to their memory.


The questions and answers from the emails sent in and the Message Board will be collated, any Leggies, including pictures or further information please send to:


Subscribe to Fepow-Community
Powered by