My Uncle Eric (who died in 1943) was best friends with Marine Stanley Williams who is listed on the POW. I have a photo of him with another marine on the ship and letters to / from my uncle to him including the last one returned as Stanley was KIA.
I hope the stuff is of some use. I have attached the envelope of the final letter, which shows how it was received back as he was missing in action at that stage. I know my fatherís family were extremely upset at the time. My father always believed Stanley was killed in action aboard the Prince Of Wales though I found out he died some months after POW was sunk I did not realise until now that he died in the capitulation of Singapore. Again it is a strange world as we used to live there in the late 50ís and early 60ís when dad was in the army not knowing that it was where Stanley and so many of his shipmates died.
Uncle Eric died of TB days before he got his call up papers. He always looked forward to joining up but never got the chance.
I am not 100% sure which he is but I think my father said he was on the right. My father knew Stanley who was a good friend of the family. Unfortunately my father died three years ago and so I am left only with his memorabilia. Stanley grew up with my fatherís brother Eric Cookson and exchanged letters whilst Stanley was serving on the POW. My father also had a brother called Stanley who died aged 18 months who was named after Stanley Williams. I was named after him, so there is a tenuous link there.
This photo was sent by Stanley to his friend Eric in 1941. Stanley has written on the back of the photo, it says:
Marine S Williams
Marine R W Brown
HMS Prince of Wales
There is a Marine R W Brown listed for HMS Prince of Wales as Brown - Robert William Charles Marine PLY X 3812 - Prisoner of war, he survived the war.
We believe this is probably the same man.
|Marine S. Williams
HMS Prince of Wales
13 - 7 - 41
Just a few lines to let you know that arrived safely at my destination,
Well my first day back off leave. I felt like ten men, Nine dead and one dying.
How is the world treating you now?
Well the sergeant is coming around saying come and away to your hammocks it's gone pipe down.
So just I'm afraid he means me.
So goodnight all.
All yours Stan.
On the reverse of the letter it says:
P.S. Will you do me a good turn pls. Please Please Please will you send me 2 rolls of film 620. I have not much money til the end of the month
So let me know how much they are and I will send money later.
620 film size was made by Kodak and produced from 1932 until it's withdrawal from sale in July 1995. The negative size was 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 and it had 8 exposures per film roll.
sent by Eric to Stan which never arrived:
Contact Andy (webmaster) with any information.
Information provided by
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Regiment: Royal Marines
Unit Text: H.M.S. Prince of Wales.
Date of Death: 16/02/1942
Service No: PLY/X 100178
Additional information: Son of William Henry and Elizabeth Williams, of Leasowe, Moreton, Cheshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 75, Column 1.
Cemetery: PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL