1916/04/12 - Born London
Son of George and Ella Spooner
1934/04/12 - Enlisted
1942/01/14 - WO 417/36, Casualty List No. 720. Missing
1942/08/14 - WO 417/48, Casualty List No. 902. Previously shown on Casualty List No. 720 as Missing, 25/12/1941. Now Prisoner of war
1941/12/25 - Captured Hong Kong
Japanese Index Card - Side One
Japanese Index Card - Side Two
1942/09/27 - Sailed from Hong Kong in the Lisbon Maru
On the third day at sea Diptheria broke out.
1942/10/01 - A noise like air rushing out of a tyre woke the sleeping PoWs and they realised a torpedo had just missed the ship. A few minutes later there was a loud explosion and the ships engines stopped.
The submarine, USS Grouper SS-214 had attacked and hit the Lisbon Maru.
At 7.30pm the Japanese destroyer ‘Kure’ and the Toyokuni Maru took of all the Japanese except a machine gun crew who had their gun trained on the Battened down hold.
1942/10/02 - Lisbon Maru sunk
Chinese fishing boat picked up William and Private Myles and they asked the Chinese to help them escape but the Chinese would not help and landed them at Woosung, Nr. Shanghai.
Interned Shanghai PoW Camp with Private Francis Myles as they were both too sick to be transported with the other survivors to Japan.
Taken from Tony Banham’s Book ‘ We Shall Suffer There’
1945, May 5th - Wednesday May 9th - Kiangwan Camp near Shanghai was closed down. With the exception of some twenty-five men (who were sent to Municipal Police Hospital in Shanghai, their number including Heather of the Middlesex) too sick or injured to make the trip, the entire POW population was sent on their way to Japan.
They stayed at a makeshift camp at Fengtai near Beijing, arriving on May 14th at noon, for about a month, then went on to Pusan, Korea for a few days. Almost 1000 strong (though with only 30 or so from Hong Kong) they arrived in Japan in late June 1945, and were sent to the Hakodate camps on the northern island of Hokkaido."
1945/06 - To Hakodate 2B PoW camp, Akahira, Japan
1945/09/16 - Liberated Hakodate 2B
1945/11/01 - WO417/98, Casualty List No. 1899. Previously reported on Casualty List No. 902 as Prisoner of War now Not Prisoner of War. Previous Theatre of War, Hong Kong.
Tony Banham’s books:-
‘Not the Slightest Chance’
‘The Sinking of the Lisbon Maru’
‘We Shall Suffer There’
KEW:- WO 345/49, WO 392/26, WO 361/1969, WO 361/2026, WO 361/1744/2, WO 361/1744, CO 980/138,