Date of birth: 18th November 1888
Parents: William and Sarah Ann Elliot
Wife: Helen Elliot
Address: Hong Kong
Occupation: Worked as a Factory Inspector for the Colonial Government
William was born in Warwick on 18th November 1888. He was baptised at St Nicholas Church on 19th December 1888. William was the second youngest of nine children. He had three older half brothers, James (born 1870), Charles (born 1872) and Henry (born 1874) although he died as a baby and his mother Emily died too in 1874 aged 30. William’s father, also William, married Sarah Ann Cleverley in 1875 and they had six children, Kate born 1878, George 1879, Emily 1883, Frederick 1885 and Ellen 1891.
According to the 1911 census the family were living at 19 Union Road, Packmores. William’s father was a print compositor. He died in 1920 aged 75 and his mother died in 1921 aged 68. In 1911 William aged 21 was a private in the Royal Army Medical Corps and was based at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Hound near Southampton.
William’s wife, Helen, was born in Edinburgh in about 1893. He was appointed as a second class Sanitary Inspector in Hong Kong in 1923 and promoted to first class in 1929. In 1935 William was granted 279 days leave and he and his wife travelled extensively from Hong Kong via Manila to Canada and the USA. William was promoted to Inspector of Labour in 1938. He had been in the post temporarily for two years after the previous inspector had died.
Rank & Number: Corporal, 3192
Regiment/Service: Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps
Date of death: 30th June 1944
Cause of death/Battle: Died of malnutrition whilst a prisoner of war
Commemorated/Buried: Buried in Stanley Military Cemetery, Hong Kong. 1. A. 34.
Commemorated locally at:
William served in the First World War as a Sergeant in the Royal Army Medical Corps – number 1973
William was captured on 23rd December 1941 and sent to Shamshuipo POW camp. He was then moved from this military camp to Stanley 10 miles away. This was a civilian camp. The adult population numbered at 1,370 men and 858 women, and children 16 years of age or younger numbered at 286, with 99 of whom were below the age of 4. Records show that 121 internees died in the camp, mostly due to illness, with half the deaths being of internees over the age of 50. There were also a few accidental deaths. Two internees died from falls and one child drowned. The worst accident occurred during the large US Navy attack against Hong Kong on 16 January 1945, when a plane accidentally bombed Bungalow 5 killing 14 internees. Another seven internees were executed by the Japanese authorities. These internees had possessed a radio set which they used to pass messages in and out of camp. Three Chinese policemen were also executed by decapitation for bringing cigarettes and tobacco to the camp’s internees.
William was mentioned in Despatches, posthumously in the London Gazette on 4th April 1946.
- Unlocking Warwick Research Group