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William Dawber

Leading Seaman
D SSX 19538

HMS Prince of Wales


My lovely late father, was a man any son or daughter would be proud of, a real gentleman.

My Father William Dawber was born in Liverpool in 1915. 
He had joined the RN in 1936 and before joining HMS Prince of Wales, had been on a small vessel HMS Witch then served on the ill fated HMS Glorious and left her just weeks before Operation Juno.

On HMS Prince of Wales he served on S3 turret as a Gunner. He survived the sinking,

I have, among my family archive, a letter written by my father in Singapore, to my mother and eldest sister in late 1941, detailing his experiences (I think some other crew members are mentioned) of the ship's journey via South Africa to Singapore. Also in his letter he details the attack by the Japanese, and of the ship's evacuation. It's a very moving letter, but unfortunately badly faded over the years, as it was written in pencil. I guess he lost his pen along with all his personal items during the sinking.
He was eventually captured off the coast of Java in March 1941, whilst trying to get to Australia, and was incarcerated by the Japanese as a prisoner of war and subsequently suffered terribly during three and half years of Japanese 'hospitality'.
He came home in late 1945 to my Grandmother in Liverpool at the end of the war and was cared for by my mother.
He left Liverpool in 1973 and lived in the Royal British Legion village near Maidstone, Kent.
He died in 1984.

Many years ago, I had the pleasure and honour of meeting survivors of the POW and Repulse at a reunion in Devonport during the late 80s or early 90s, accompanied by my late mother and my brother, John (also in the RN for over 20yrs).

Yours truly,
Mr Andrew N. Dawber.
and Jennifer Storer


Contact Andy (webmaster) with any information.

Andy Wade (Webmaster)

Information provided by

Andrew N. Dawber (Son) and Jennifer Storer (Granddaughter).