ROBERT JAMES WYTHE

 

Born: 20th October 1918, Ipswich.

Died on or since: 21st September 1944; Age: 25; Japanese PoW lost in the Hofuku Maru.

Captured: 15th February 1942 – during the Fall of Singapore.

Residence: 74, Hawke Road, Ipswich.

 

Rank: Private; Service Number: 5830591.

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion – Infantry.

 

Final resting place unknown

Memorial Reference:

Column 56.

Singapore Memorial,

Singapore.

 

Father: Albert Arthur Wythe, born 1887, Ipswich – died 1921, Ipswich.

Mother: Alice Jane Wythe (nee Taber), born November 1890, Ipswich.

Step Father: Thomas Frederick Wright, born December 1890, Ipswich. A General Labourer.

 

Probate to Alice Jane Wright – mother.

4th Battalion:
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.

SUFFOLK REGIMENT MUSEUM

Friends of The Suffolk Regiment

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.

Hofuku Maru

Hofuku Mar

Posted in Second World War, Suffolk Regiment

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