The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Morrissey
First Name:
Albert Edward
Nick Name:
Bert
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX15751
Company:
‘A’ Company, 6 Platoon
Enlisted:
13.08.1941
Discharged:
4.01.1946
DOB:
13.10.1914
Place of Birth:
Perth, Western Australia
Father's Name:
William Frances Morrissey
Mothers's Name:
Marjorie Morrissey (nee Edmondstone)
Religion:
Roman Catholic
Pre-war Occupation:
Miner
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi; Johore Bahru; Adam Park; Selerang Barracks Changi, River Valley Road Transit Camp
Force:
‘ D ’ Force Thailand, S Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Tarsau, Kanu II, Hintock, Tamuruang
Camps Japan:
Yamane; Niihame
POW#:
3 /8773, 8809 and 1690
Japan:
Rashin Maru Party
Return Details 1945:
Wakayama-Okinawa, USS Sanctuary; Okinawa-Manila. USS Bingham; Manila-Sydney, HMS Speaker; Sydney-Melbourne-Perth by troop train.

General Description

 

Bert Morrissey was the eldest of 8 children born to William Francis Morrissey and Majorie Edmondstone who married about 1912.  The family mostly resided in the Yalgoo area.
In 1939 Bert married Phyllis Courtenay. On 13 August 1941 Bert who was employed as a miner, enlisted with the AIF, joined 2/4th and was Taken on Strength to Woodside Camp, SA on 5/101941 to join the Battalion and further training.
At the time of Bert’s enlistment, the young couple had two sons.

The birth of son Robert William in 1942.
Bert Morrisey was one of many 2/4th men who jumped ship at Guage Roads, Fremantle when their ship from Sydney ‘Aquitania’ anchored one night on 15 January 1942.
Bert fortunately re-boarded before ‘Aquitania’ sailed the following day on 16 January, headed for Singapore.
About 99 men were left behind, most of whom were imprisoned in Fremantle.  They were to later sale for Singapore, however with the Fall imminent, the men were redirected to Java and taken POWs about 8 march 1942.
Bert was with ‘A’ Company 6 Platoon under COs Lt Johnny Morrison an Lt. Branson.
Following the Fall of Singapore as a POW Bert was selected with D’ Force S Battalion to work on Burma-Thai Railway.  S Battalion had one of the largest number of 2/4th men – Bert was with mates!  Work was terrible at Hellfire Pass – he survived.
Again he was selected with a large contingency of 2/4th men to board  ‘Rashin Maru’ for Japan and again he survived.  This 70 day sea journey was horrific.

Bert was recovered from Niihama, Japan.  From the Phillipines he was one of a large number who sailed to Sydney, Australia on HMS Speaker.

We believe photo below includes most of the 2/4th men returning  on Speaker.
2/4th men arrived Sydney HMS ‘Speaker’ from Manila 1945. There were approximately 500 PoWs on board. ‘Cowboy’ Matthews 2nd from Rt. If you recognise these men please contact us.

 

 

Read the story of Pte. Albert Edward Morrisey WX15751
Bert Morrissey died 13th May 1947 aged 32 years leaving his wife Phyllis May Morrissey with 3 young sons to care for.  Bert Morrisey’s headstone is located at Yalgoo Cemetery  (approx. 125 miles east north-east of Geraldton) where he lived most of his life.

 

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The loss of Bert under these extremely distressing circumstances was devastating for his wife Phyllis and 3 young sons.  Phyllis now alone, was financially unable to care for them and it was agreed her sister and brother-in-law would take care of the boys.
This tragedy changed the course of the lives of Bert’s sons and widow.
Phyllis never remarried and spent her life working on farming properties, working as domestic help.  Her sons only ever met with her on one or two occasions as they were residing in remote WA most of their lives with their Aunt and Uncle who was with the Police Force.

Below:  Phyllis during her earlier days.

 

 

Camp Locations:

  • Adam Park Camp - Singapore
  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Hintok River Camp, 158k - Thailand
  • Hintok Valley Camp, 154k - Thailand
  • Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
  • Tamuang, Tha Muang 39k - Thailand
  • Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand
  • Nihama, Hiroshima #2-B- Japan
  • Yamane, Hiroshima #3-D - Japan
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