Cohen, Norman

Plot Location Commonwealth War Cemetery, Yokohama, Japan
Brit. Sec. Q. B. 13
Surname Cohen
Given Name(s) Norman
Place of Birth Hackney
Date of Birth (Eng) March 21, 1918
Date of Birth (Heb)
Date of Death (Eng) October 31, 1942
Date of Death (Heb)
Age at Death 24
Hebrew Name
Spouse’s Name
Father’s Name Benjamin Cohen
Mother’s Name Rachel Rayner Cohen née Kaplan
Other Surnames
Sex M
Marital Status S
Maiden Name
Service Rank Private
Religious Status (כ/ל/י)
Cause of Death Bacillary dysentry
Other Family Data Brothers and sister: Ron, Stella and Gerald
Inscription (Eng)
Inscription (Heb)
Inscription (Other)
Historical Middlesex Regiment, 1st Battalion, service number 6203958.

He fought in the battle for Hong Kong, and was captured by the Japanese when the British surrendered on 25 December 1941. After a stay in the Sham Shui Po prisoner of war camp, he was put on the Japanese ship Lisbon Maru on September 25, 1942, for transportation to the slave camps in Japan, together with some 1800 other prisoners of war and about 800 Japanese troops. The ship set sail two days later but on October 1 it was hit by a torpedo from an American submarine, about 200 km southeast of Shanghai.

As the ship began to sink, the Japanese troops were taken off but the POWs were left battened down in the holds. They stayed there for 26 hours then managed to break out. Japanese troops initially shot at men in the water but eventually started picking them up, as did some local Chinese villagers. 825 POWs drowned, but Norman Cohen was one of the survivors, and he was taken to Shanghai. From there he was shipped to Japan on the Washington Maru to Moji. A train then took him to Kobe, where he was placed in a POW camp. He died a few days later.

Parents lived at 69 Wellington Avenue, London N15.

Do you have any information about this person that you would like to share?
If so, we’d like to hear from you!