Image from the Evening Star – 20th April 1942.
Born: 1921, Ipswich.
Died: 21st September 1944; age: 23 – drowned aboard ‘Hofuku Maru’ as a Japanese PoW.
Captured: 15th February 1942 – Fall of Singapore.
Residence: 67, Levington Road, Ipswich.
Occupation: as a Librarian at Ipswich Public Libraries.
Joseph joined the Army in August 1939.
Rank: Lance Corporal; Service Number: 5828747.
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion – Infantry.
Final resting place unknown.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Joseph Sydney Pawsey & Nora Pawsey (nee Renacre), of Sandown, Essex.
Father: Joseph Sydney Pawsey, born 1895, Ipswich.
Mother: Nora Pawsey (nee Renacre), born 1892, Ringfield, Suffolk – died 1925, Ipswich.
Step mother: Annie Elizabeth Pawsey (nee Perry), born August 1904, Essex.
Joseph was educated at the King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford, Essex, followed by Northgate School, Ipswich.
Probate to Walter Ernest Mothersole – paternal uncle (husband of Constance Mary Mothersole (nee Pawsey)), a Farmer’s Assistant and Livestock/Pig Dealer, of 56, Clapgate Lane, Ipswich.
Joseph is also remembered on the war memorial at the Town Hall, Ipswich.
Chelmsford Chronicle – 28th September 1945
SANDOWN – MISSING AT SEA
The parents of Joseph Richard (“Dick”) Pawsey, of Howe Green, received the sad news on Tuesday that he has been reported “missing at sea.” The official message says: “A report has been received from the Japanese Government the L.-Cpl. J.R. Pawsey, Suffolk Regiment., is among those missing following the sinking of a Japanese transport which was conveying prisoners of war from Thai to Japan. The date of the sinking is not stated, but is thought to have occurred in the autumn of 1944.” A card dated 22.5.44 was received from him on New Year’s Day. Dick Pawsey, who was 23 was interred in No. 2 Camp, Thailand. For a time he attended the King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford, and later the Northgate School, Ipswich, where his parents formerly lived. He afterwards became a library assistant at the Ipswich Public Library, joining the Army in August, 1939. The parents thank the many kind friends who have shown such interest in Dick’s welfare as a prisoner of war and for the sympathy extended.
The Battalions were attached to the 18th East Anglian Division.
15 February 1942: After the fall of Singapore, approximately 620 of the Battalions were taken POW and later mostly died on the Burma-Thailand Railway.
Many men from his battalion perished on this day:
21st September 1944
The Hofuku Maru cargo ship carrying 1,289 British and Dutch prisoners of war in squalid and inhumane conditions. The ship being part of a convoy consisted of 10 other ships, 5 of which caring a total of 5,000 POWs. Most of the men had been captured at Singapore in 1942 and were being used as slave labour. The Japanese decided to move the POW’s to Japan to work in factories, mines and shipyards.
80 miles north of Corregidor in the Philippines, the ship was sunk by an American aircraft, which they believed the ships to be caring cargo for the Japanese war effort. 1,047 POW’s died on board unable to escape from the hold. Those who were able to break out spent five days at sea clinging to wreckage, most were recaptured by the Japanese. All 11 ships were sunk.