by Valma Betty Martin (née Cannon) — daughter

My father, Cecil Fulton Cannon, who was known as Tom, was a marine engineer employed by WR Carpenter & Co on the ship MV Duranbah based at Rabaul. This ship was in port at Rabaul when the Japanese bombed the town in January 1942 and it was sunk.

Tom was subsequently captured by the invading Japanese, along with other crewmen of the Duranbah and Carpenter’s employees.

My mother, Betsy Rosena Cannon and I became aware that Tom had been captured when we received the letter below from mail dropped over Port Moresby during a Japanese bombing raid. This was the last letter received from him, and is shown below.

On 30 October 1945, my mother received a telegram from the Minister for External Territories advising that translation of the nominal role of prisoners  on the Japanese vessel Montevideo Maru indicated that my father was on board this ship which was lost with all hands.

Following my father’s capture, as my mother had no other means of support, she had to return to work and relocate our residence in Brisbane to allow me, an only child, to continue with my secondary education.