Cohen, Norman

Plot LocationCommonwealth War Cemetery, Yokohama, Japan
Brit. Sec. Q. B. 13
Given Name(s)Norman
Place of BirthHackney
Date of Birth (Eng)March 21, 1918
Date of Birth (Heb) 
Date of Death (Eng)October 31, 1942
Date of Death (Heb) 
Age at Death24
Hebrew Name 
Spouse’s Name 
Father’s NameBenjamin Cohen
Mother’s NameRachel Rayner Kaplan
Other Surnames 
Marital StatusS
Maiden Name 
Service RankPrivate
Religious Status (כ/ל/י) 
Cause of DeathBacillary dysentery
Other Family DataBrothers and sister: Ron, Stella and Gerald
Inscription (Eng) 
Inscription (Heb) 
Inscription (Other) 
HistoricalMiddlesex 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 December 25, 1941. After a stay in the Shamshuipo 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 1,800 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 before managing to break out. Japanese troops initially shot at the 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.

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