1917/08/01 - Born, Lumsden, Aberdeenshire
Son of George and Charlotte Ellis
Albert was the middle child with 2 brother and 2 sisters
Father George farm servant and his mother was a seamstress
1935/12/15 - Albert Enlisted
Regular Royal Navy
HMS Duncan and HMS Tern before the Prince of Wales
HMS Sultan - Shore Base Singapore
HMS Tug St. Breock
1942/02/12 - The St. Breock left Singapore with four R.N.A.D Lighters from the explosive anchoridge in tow to Batavia:-
St. Breock towed them out at about 2 knots but at the edge of a minefield N.A.59 and N.A.70 broke adrift. HMS Grasshopper was signaled of the loss.
1942/02/13 - The tug only sailed through the night as it was a sitting target in daylight. N.A.60 also broke loose and was lost. Lighter N.A.76 was seen aground on the beach of an island and all Fuses, Primers, Tubes and Detonators were removed from the Armament Depot.
1942/02/14 - During the morning N.A.70 broke adrift and the tow rope wound round the propellor shaft. It took over two hours to clear this. The HMS St. Breock was bombed and sunk by Japanese aircraft off Sumatra.
Aberdeen Evening Express
23 April 1942
Leading Seaman Albert Ellis, second son of Mr and Mrs George Ellis, 4 Kearn Terrace, Lumsden, reported ‘Missing’ in the Far East. He joined the Royal Navy almost seven years ago.
1942/03/17 - Captured Padang, Sumatra
PoW No. 139
Commander Major Campbell
Japanese Index Card - Side One
Japanese Index Card - Side Two
1942/06/30 - Medan Camp
Commander Major Campbell
1944/04/08 - Atjeh Camp
Commander Lt. Henman, Royal Navy Volunteer Researve
Commander Captain Gordon, Royal Artillery
New PoW No. 4089
Worked on Sumatra Railway
1945/08/15 - Numbers of PoWs at Pakan Baroe
(Albert was on the roll)
1945/10/15 - 1945/12/06 on ferry. Transferred to Allied forces in Pakan Baroe.
After the war Albert was flown home and spent a year in hospital with usual tropical illnesses and had a war pension because of maltreatment by the Japanese. Beaten with his mates with rifle butts for trying to smuggle eggs in bamboo given to them by the Malayans. This resulted in his wrist being permanently damaged as well as leg injuries.
When Albert came out of hospital he was drafted to RN Lossiemouth where he was rated Petty Officer and became a navel patrolman.
After serving his time he returned to Lumsden in 1948 where he became a gardener and driver for a local doctor. He was very green fingered and known in the village for this.
Albert met and married Catherine Petrie, 10th November 1951, they were blessed with a girl in 1952 and a boy, Neil, in 1953.
Albert then worked on a local estate with another ex POW, John Laing, who was a pipe sergeant major in the Gordon Highlanders. They planted trees, built roads through the hills and helped with game keeping.
He played football until the age of 40 for Lossiemouth and various local teams.
In 1970 he started working for a friend who had a successful carpentry business linked to the oil rigs. He worked there happily until retirement and then continued to work as a gardener at the local manse ( a clergy house inhabited by, or formerly inhabited by, a minister). He enjoyed his grandchildren very much and a pint with his friends in the local pub playing darts and pool.
Albert had a lot of health complications as a result of time in the POW camp which he succumbed to in the end but he really enjoyed his life and family and was always cheery. He spoke very rarely about his experiences but enjoyed meeting up with ex-servicemen.
1st March 2005
Neil Ellis - Son
RAN Armament Depots - Singapore Story
Liberation Questionnaire - COFEPOW
KEW Files:- WO 361/2006, WO 392/24, WO 345/16, WO 361/2013,