1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, Defence Medal, War Medal
In box of issue named to widow, living in Bognor and with condolence slip to Major L. W. D. Walker (typed).
Leighton William David Walker, Major (acting Lt. Colonel), 2nd Royal Scots is recorded as captured (POW) on 25th Dec. 1941 – the date of the fall of Hong Kong, when 2 Royal Scots formed part of the garrison.
He is recorded as being wounded on 22nd Dec. 1941 with Battn. HQ and as “missing on board ship” on 1st Oct. 1942. This was the famous (or infamous) “Lisbon Maru” incident, when a ship carrying hundreds of British PoWs (to be used as forced labour in Japan) and Japanese troops returning home was torpedoed and sunk by the allied submarine, USS “Grouper”.
Most of the Japanese soldiers were rescued before the ship sank, but many of the British pows were trapped below decks and could not escape. There were few survivors amongst them.
“Of the 1816 POWs who had left Hong Kong only 973 … survived leaving 843 (46%) who were assumed to have been killed by the Japanese firing on them or drowned – many of the latter being non-swimmers, without life-jackets or other means of support, and some, it was reported, as the result of shark attack. Amongst The Royal Scots a total of 183 died, many more than the 107 killed in the whole of the battle for Hong Kong.”[Royal Scots website]
There is a huge amount of info on this incident online.
Walker was the senior serving officer of the battalion and is recorded as having given his lifebelt to a non-swimmer and was never seen again.
Commemorated on the Sai Wan Memprial, Hong Kong.
Son of the Revd. W. Walker and Mary Walker; husband of Dora Walker, of Bognor Regis, Sussex, England.
A rare and researchable group to a senior Regular officer who died during a famous and awful incident.