George Biderman

Telegraphist, H.M.S. Anking
Service number: P/LD/X 5418
Died 4 Mar 1942
Commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial
Age 28

George was born on 18 January 1914 in St Albans, Hertfordshire to Polish parents Max, an electrical engineer, and Sophie nee Gelbfarb and he had two younger brothers Leslie and David. His brother Leslie, a Serjeant in the Leicestershire Regiment, died in Tunisia on 22 February 1943.

George was a telegraphist on the ship HMS Anking. After the fall of Singapore, orders were given on 27 February 1942, to clear all remaining British auxiliary craft from Jakarta. About midnight HMAS Yarra and the Indian sloop HMIS Jumna sailed escorting a convoy to Tjilatjap. Arriving off Tjilatjap at 11am on 2 March, the ships were warned not to enter harbour. The Yarra was ordered to take the convoy, which consisted of the depot ship Anking, the tanker Francol and the motor minesweeper MMS 51, to Fremantle while the Jumna sailed for Colombo.

HMS Anking was shelled and sunk in the Indian Ocean 300 nautical miles south of Java, Netherlands East Indies by the Imperial Japanese Navy with the loss of 40 of her 97 crew. Some survivors were rescued by Dutch vessels, others reached Java and were taken as prisoners of war.