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James Mariner

Able Seaman

James survived the sinking, during which he manned the machine guns with PO Linkhorn, shooting several Japanese.

Extract from 'This is Dorset' archives, published on Wednesday 08 November 2000:
Payment is 'better late than never' by Geoff Davis

FOR four years James Mariner and his HMS Peterel crewmates endured torment after torment together at the hands of Japanese forces - now he is the only one still alive to receive compensation for their suffering.

The crew of the gunboat, who survived a bloody battle off Shanghai, were locked in a freezing cell together wearing just the remnants of their torn clothes after refusing to sign obedience papers on their capture.

Later they were to be transported through Manchuria, Korea, China, Japan and its northern islands, slaving in the jungle or in underground mines.

Mr Mariner, 82, of Hankinson Road, Charminster, told the Daily Echo: "I am the only one of that crew who is still alive, I have all their pictures upstairs and I still speak to them, sometimes I shed a tear or two.

"Friendships that you make in a dreadful situation of suffering like that last you a lifetime."

The award from the UK government, expected to be around 10,000 for each of the estimated 7,000 surviving ex-POWs, has come after a long campaign which began with the Japanese government being asked to apologise and pay compensation.

This article is reproduced here by kind permission of the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo

There is another 'This is Dorset' article about James here

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Nationality: United Kingdom 
Rank: Petty Officer 
Regiment: Royal Navy 
Unit Text: H.M.S. Peterel 
Date of Death: 08/12/1941 
Service No: C/JX 126299 
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead 
Grave/Memorial Reference: 41, 3.