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Remembering World War II
John Murdock Acorn Rifleman F/40906 Royal Rifles of Canada, R.C.I.C. “C” Force. July 11, 1917 Trenton, Nova Scotia July 13, 1940 Charlottetown, PEI Wood Islands, PEI 23 5 feet 7 inches Light Hazel Brown Single (at enlistment) Married: March 20, 1941 Labourer/Farmer Presbyterian Effie Acorn (Mother) Wood Islands, PEI (at enlistment) Lillian Acorn (Wife) Botwood, Newfoundland (Married in March, 1941, Newfoundland) December 23, 1941 24 Sai Wan Memorial, Hong Kong, China Column 24 Commemorated on Page 22 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on January 20, 21, and 22 John Murdock Acorn was the son of John Mathews Acorn (1863-1963) and Euphemia Ann "Effie" (MacPhee) Acorn (1877-1954), the husband of Lillian (White) Acorn (1905-2017) and father of Murdock Willis Gordon Acorn (b. April 17, 1942). His cousin, Rifleman Joseph Amon Acorn also served with the Royal Rifles of Canada and was also killed in action on December 23, 1941 in Hong Kong. John Acorn initially enlisted with the West Nova Scotia Regiment and trained at Aldershot, NS. He transferred to the Royal Rifles of Canada on November 28, 1940. He served in Newfoundland from December, 1941 through August 18, 1941 when he was assigned to Valcartier, Quebec. He left Canada on October 17, 1941 sailing to Hong Kong as part of “C” Force. The battle in Hong Kong was fought between December 7 and December 25, 1941. The Royal Rifles of Canada fought the Japanese at the area of the Repulse Bay Hotel between December 20 and December 22, 1941. On December 22, 1941 Rifleman John Acorn and his cousin, Rifleman Joseph Acorn were soldiers in a party of a platoon that left the Repulse Bay Hotel intending to report to Camp Stanley when they were ambushed by Japanese machine-gunners. The two soldiers were hit by machine gun bullets in the chest and abdomen and killed instantly. The bodies were left behind and were never recovered. The bodies of two Lieutenants, also part of the group, were found, both with hands wired behind their backs and both apparently shot through the back. Both John Murdock Acorn and his cousin Joseph Amon Acorn are listed on the Sai Wan Memorial, Hong Kong.
John Murdock Acorn
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Name: Rank: Service No: Service: Date of Birth: Place of Birth: Date of Enlistment: Place of Enlistment: Address at Enlistment: Age at Enlistment: Height: Complexion: Eye Colour: Hair Colour: Marital Status: Trade: Religion: Next of Kin: Date of Death: Age at Death: Cemetery: Reference:
The Sai Wan Memorial contains 2072 names of Commonwealth soldiers who died in the Battle of Hong Kong in 1941 or in prisoner-of-war camps and who have no known grave.