Private Edward Morrison (6213567) served in 1st Battalion Middlesex Regiment during the Second World War. He was the son of James Morrison and Lucy Morrison of Saintfield, Co. Down.
James died between 1st October 1942 – 2nd October 1942 aged 23 years old on S.S. Lisbon Maru. He was a Prisoner of War, captured by Japanese Forces in Hong Kong on 25th December 1941. Sister Miss Cassie Morrison of Downpatrick Street, Saintfield, Co. Down received news of their brother’s internment in July 1942.
Starting at 0700hrs on 1st October 1942, U.S. Submarine Grouper fired 6 torpedoes at S.S. Lisbon Maru around 6 miles off the Chinese coast. Of these, 5 missed the target but a single torpedo impacted the stern. The 7,053-ton vessel was transporting British and Canadian Prisoners of War from Shamshuipo Prisoner of War Camp, Hong Kong to Japan. The American Military was not aware of the Prisoners on board and attacked the unmarked, heavily armed vessel with 778 Japanese Military personnel on deck.
The sinking of S.S. Lisbon Maru
A Japanese Freighter Toyukuni Maru came alongside the damaged Lisbon Maru rescuing Japanese troops but no Prisoners of War. It began to tow the stricken vessel towards Shanghai, China but Lisbon Maru began to sink by the stern.
The prisoners on board endured horrific conditions before and following the attack. As the vessel began to sink, prisoners in Hold No. 3 were already underwater. Japanese troops shot some prisoners who broke free, others swam toward the Toyukuni Maru. As they climbed ropes, Japanese troops on board kicked them back into the water. Eventually, most surviving Prisoners of War made it back to Shanghai, China on Japanese vessels. Some who swam in the opposite direction found refuge and rescue at the hands of Chinese fishermen.
A total of 846 Prisoners of War died when S.S. Lisbon Maru went down including 154 of the Middlesex Regiment. News of Edward’s presumed death reached the press in Northern Ireland in October 1944. Edward Morrison has no known grave. His name is on Column 15 of the Sai Wan Memorial, Hong Kong.
British Newspaper Archive British Newspaper Archive British Newspaper Archive British Newspaper Archive British Newspaper Archive British Newspaper Archive British Newspaper Archive Commonwealth War Graves Derek J. Collins F.E.P.O.W. Hong Kong War Diary Lisbon Maru Roll of Honour Wrecksite