Robert Johnstone DOWNS [1915-1988] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Robert Johnstone DOWNS [1915-1988]

Robert Johnstone
Birthplace (town, state): 
Birthplace (country): 
c.1988-12-31 (Month, Day are approximate)

He is listed under 'Unallocated Royal Scots' at

Photos that show this person



UK Allied Prisoners of War

Robert Johnstone Downs captured 25 December 1941

Born 4 December 1915 Place of birth Boness Scotland Private Royal Scots Service Branch A Service Number 3059108

Osaka and Hiroshima Camps Name list as of 14 August 1945

Incoming passenger list 10 January 1946 Maunganui from Wellington New Zealand to Southampton

The Maunganui appears to be a hospital ship as all the passengers have ward references and diagnosis of their medical condition.

Ward PSY 3059108 Royal Scots Pte Downs R.J. Schizophrenic UK address Mrs. Downs Deansfield Crescent Boness Scotland

Scotlands People

There is only one registered record birth of Robert Johnston (sic) Downs  in the records and that is a birth in Bo'ness and the year of birth is 1918

There is only one registered record of death of Robert Johnston Downs in the records and that is in Shotts and the year of death is 1988 aged 69

Now this is interesting...according to the Ron Bridges collection:

First Name: Robert Johnstone

Surname: Downs

DOB: 04/12/1915

Birth town: Boness

Nationality: British

Fate: Died on the Lisbon Maru

Date of Capture: 25/12/1941

Date of Liberation: 06/09/1945

Rank: Private

POW Camp: Shamshuipo

Other POW camp: Osaka

Service Number: 3059108

Profession: Regular Army

Duty Location: Hong Kong

Next of kin: Mother: Isabell, Scotland, 19 Denefield Crescent, Boness

Service: British Army

Primary Unit: Royal Scots Fusiliers

Secondary Unit: 2nd Battalion

Given annpake's findings, he evidently survived the sinking of the Lisbon Maru. Can we cross reference that with known POWs on the ship?

There are several HKVDC members listed.

Listed  as civilian Mrs R MILLAR VAD pulmonary TB Doris Millar was  married to Robert MILLAR and would have been known as Mrs R Millar 

Private J E Tocher HKVDC is listed with no disability. He is mentioned under the Alexander Fraser Tocher heading on here

1938: The Blue Book lists a 'James Easson Tocher' working in the Fire Brigade. 

Lt J Adams HKVDC duodenal ulcer

Sgt C Hatt HKVDC Ulcer soft palate (probably Charles Hatt)

Gunner C L Marshall HKVDC  Beri Beri Hepatitis Optic Atrophy

L/Bdr O Marton HKVDC Beri Beri Malnutrition Peripheral neueritis Eczema legs

Sgt J P Murphy HKVDC Beri Beri Malaria Dysentery Fractured fibia and tibia

Gunner J Pearse HKVDC Bronchitis

Sgt. A Simpson HKVDC Malaria Dysentery


All thoses who died as a result of the sinking are commemorated on panels at the entrance to the Sai Wan CWGC cemetery on Hong Kong island.

Robert Downs not listed in this cemetery

What Links Here

His brother Tom's letter confirms that Robert Downs  survived as a POW and was expected to return home