Image from the Evening Star – 20th April 1942
Born: 19th November 1920, Black Horse Square, Ipswich.
Died: 21st September 1944; age: 23 – Japanese Prisoner of War. ‘Hofuku Maru’
Captured: 15th February 1942 – Fall of Singapore.
Residence: 28, Pickwick Road, Ipswich.
Rank: Private; Service Number: 5826702.
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion – Infantry.
Final resting place unknown.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Edward William & Alice Elizabeth Liffen, of Kirton.
Father: Edward William Liffen, born August 1881, Ipswich. An H.M. Army Pensioner and Furniture Porter.
Mother: Alice Elizabeth Liffen (nee Keeble), born June 1884, Bramford, Suffolk.
Probate to Edward William Liffen – father.
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.
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.