To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”




Edward Henry James King


1916/11/15 - Born Tilbury Docks, Essex

Son of Edward and Blanch King

Suffolk Regiment

4th Battalion

54th Infantry Brigade

18th Division



1941/10/31 - Sailed from Liverpool in the Andes, Convoy CT.5, destination Halifax

USS Wakefield-2

1941/11/08 - Reached Halifax and transferred to USS Wakfield (Ex Manhattan)

1941/11/10 - Left Halifax in Convoy William Sail 12X which consisted of  six American troopships, two cruisers, eight destroyers and the aircraft carrier Ranger,  the Convoy William Sail 12X  was under way, destination unknown.

The convoy passed through the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico and St Domingo, arriving at Trinidad on 17th November in glorious sunshine so our tropical kit came out, but unfortunately no shore-leave, we left after two days of taking on supplies. On 24th we crossed the equator, there was a crossing the line ceremony.

After a month the convoy arrived at Cape Town, South Africa. By this time the Americans were in the war as the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbour and attacked Malaya and the rumours were that they were heading for the Far East and not the Middle East as first thought.

On December 13th the convoy left Cape Town and sailed along the coast of East Africa past Madagascar and into the Indian Ocean heading for Bombay. After 17,011 miles at sea Bombay was reached December 27th 1941.

Embarked on 17th January back onto the Wakefield. The convoy sailed the next day with a British escort, the H.M.S. Exeter and H.M.S. Glasgow with British and Australian destroyers. Japan had entered the war by attacking Malaya on 8th December 1941, destination was the far East. The Prince of Wales and the Repulse had both been sunk by the Japanese off Malaya. Passing Colombo, (Ceylon), crossing the equator for the third time, the convoy passed through the Sundra Straits between Java and Sumatra and then the Banka Straits. The convoy was then bombed by Jap Planes, there was no damage, the Wakefield was the first of our convoy to reach the safety of Keppel Harbour, Singapore on the 29th January 1942. Ships were ablaze in the harbour, clouds of smoke drifted across the sky and the smell of fumes was overpowering, this was not the best of greetings. The Japanese had taken most of Malaya in the last three weeks and were only thirty miles away from Singapore.

The 18th Division was moved to hold the north-eastern part of the island near the Changi Peninsula.

On the 5th February the Empress of Asia bringing military supplies, including ammunition for the 18th Division, was hit by bombs and went aground on the Sultan Shoal, this did not help the now desperate situation the battalion was in. The following days saw heavy bombing and bombardment from the Japanese. On Sunday the 8th February, using makeshift rafts, the Japanese 18th Division and 5th Division began the movement across the Straits separating Malaya and north-western end of Singapore. The Australian troops who faced them didn't get the artillery support they needed, and shielded by the dense smoke, the Japanese soon got a foothold, the fighting was soon hand to hand.

The situation on the island was now very critical with many troops over run and the enemy threatening to take control of the water supply. The end came very quickly, at noon on the 15th a car travelled down the Bukit Timah road with a white flag above a Union Jack, Singapore had capitulated.


Japanese PoW

1942/02/15 - Captured Singapore

PoW No. 1121

Japanese Index Card - Side One


Japanese Index Card - Side Two


1942/06/24 - Transported to Thailand in June Mainland Party, Train 4

Commander Major Percy Duncan Weir, RA, 118 Field Regiment


Major Marten Turner Read, R.A.M.C, I/c 196 Field Ambulance Pers.

New PoW No. 1825

Transported to Singapore when Railway was completed

1944/07/04 - Transported from Singapore in the Hofuku Maru to Borneo where ship developed engine problems and left convoy SHIMI 05 to the Philippines for repairs

1944/07/19 - Arrived Philippines

The PoWs were kept on board during the engine repairs

1944/08/24 - Edward taken off ship at Manila as he was sick

1944/09/20 - Hofuku Maru sailed for Japan

1944/09/21 - The Hofuku Maru was sunk after leaving Manila

1945/06/08 - Edwar was liberated Bilibid Prison Camp, Manila, Lucerne

Liberation Questionnaire



Convoy William Sail 12X

KEW:- WO 361/2167, WO 361/758, WO 392/25, WO 345/29, WO 361/2177


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