Aircraftman 2nd Class
Service number 1061437
Died 29 Nov 1943
Commemorated Singapore Memorial
Charles was born on 29 February 1912 in Prestwich, Lancashire to Russian born parents Louis and Cissie nee Lawrence and had three sisters, Jennie, Beatrice and Rhoda. Their father worked as a tailors machinist and the family lived in Leeds in 1939.
Charles married Shirley Wilder in 1934 in Leeds and lived with her widowed mother. Charles worked as a master hairdresser. He enlisted early in the war signing up in January 1940.
Charles was a Japanese prisoner of war when he was killed. He was onboard the ‘Hell Ship’ S.S. Suez Maru. The ship was a 4,645-ton freighter with passenger accommodation. She sailed on 25 November 1943 with 548 POW’s (415 British and 133 Dutch) from Ambon bound for Surabaya. The POW’s were all sick men from the work-camps on the Moluccas and Ambon. On 29 November 1943 the ship was torpedoed by USS Bonefish near Kangean Island. Most of the POW’s drowned in the holds of the ship. The crew of the Bonefish were unaware that the ship was carrying allied prisoners. Those who escaped from the holds and left the ship were shot by the Japanese. There were no survivors.