Private David Cripps arrived in Singapore just weeks before it fell to the Japanese in February 1942.
He became a prisoner of war and survived the horrors of the infamous Burma-Thailand railway, only to be killed when the Japanese hellship Rakuyō Maru was sunk by an American submarine on 12 September 1944.
“It must have been absolutely horrific for his mother,” said his cousin Peter Cripps. “He was only 19 when he enlisted, and he was an only child in that he’d lost his older brother at birth.
“She had already lost one child – and a husband – and yet, she was only one woman in all of this; there were hundreds and thousands of women throughout the world who lost families on both sides during the war."