MORTLOCK, Victor Sidney

No.5831260, Private, Victor Sidney MORTLOCK
Aged 24

2nd Battalion, Cambridgeshire Regiment
Died in Captivity at sea on Thursday, 21st September 1944

Victor Mortlock was born in Wickhambrook on 1st August 1919 (Risbridge Q3-1919 4A:1371), son of Charles William and Kate Amelia MORTLOCK (née PRYKE).

In the 1939 register his widowed mother [14-5-1880] was at Malting End, Wickhambrook (Fox View, Wickhambrook on his PoW card). There are 2 closed records. His father appears to have died in 1934 aged 66.

Victor was captured at the surrender of Singapore on 15th February 1942. The 2nd Cambridgeshires were fighting until the end, in the Braddell Road area of Singapore. He was a victim of the "Hell Ships". These were used to transport prisoners of war across the Pacific, mainly for slave labour in mainland Japan. Unfortunately they were never marked as carrying our men and since the Allies were aware of the whereabouts of these convoys, many were sunk en route. Conditions on these ships were such that a strong stomach is required to read the various books about them.

Victor survived working on the Burma-Siam railway. He was then part of a group to be sent to Borneo on the Hofuku Maru. This old ship was forced to call in at Manila, where it waited for a month with the prisoners still kept below in the hold, many dying of starvation and disease
Eventually,on September 20, 1944, the Hofuko Maru [KA-27} (with 1,289 prisoners on board) and 10 other ships formed Convoy MATA-27, and sailed from Manila for Japan. The following morning, the convoy was attacked 80 miles north of Corregidor by more than 100 American carrier planes. All eleven ships in the convoy were sunk. Of the 1,289 British and Dutch POWs on board the Hofuku Maru, 1,047 died.

photo from

Victor Mortlock is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial, column 60

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details