The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Wilkinson
First Name:
Mervyn Wilfred
Nick Name:
Merv
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX10049
Classification:
Signaller
Company:
Headquarters Company
Enlisted:
13.12.1940
Discharged:
1.02.1946
DOB:
7.06.1909
Place of Birth:
East Guildford, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Charles James Wilkinson
Mothers's Name:
Isabel Augusta Wilkinson (nee Lethbridge)
Religion:
Methodist
Pre-war Occupation:
Cost Accountant
Java:
‘Blackforce’, attached to the 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion
Force:
‘A’ Force Burma, Java Party No. 5A, Robertson Force and later attached to Williams Force.
Camps Thailand:
131km, 133km, Kanchanaburi (evacuated to Nacompaton 19.8.1944), Prachuab Kirikhan-Mergui Escape Road (evacuated to Nacompaton June 1945), Bangkok.
Camps Java:
Garoet, Bicycle Camp Batavia
POW#:
10683
Return Details 1945:
Bangkok-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Sydney, HMT Highland Chieftan, Singapore-Melbourne-Perth by troop train.

General Description

Gang of '7' Signals in Adelaide. rear L-R Ron Evans, Kack Kyros, Claude Gault, Merve wilkinson. Fr Vern Hoppe, Bill Grundy & Ted Cosson.
Gang of ‘7’ Signals in Adelaide.
rear L-R Ron Evans, Kack Kyros, Claude Gault, Merve Wilkinson.
Fr Vern Hoppe, Bill Grundy & Ted Cosson.

Ted Cosson, Merv Wilkinson, & Rusty Rutherford (who died 13/10/1943 Chungkai of Cardiac Beri-Beri.)

Cosson, Ted, Wilkinson, Merv & Rutherford, Rus;ty

Wilkinson and Cosson had been close mates from childhood.

Merve kneeling Front Row, 1st Left.

Merve was one of a large number of men from 2/4th who had jumped ship at Fremantle Gauge Roads when ‘Aquitania’ arrived from Sydney on 15th January. When the ship departed the next day 16th January 1942  for Singapore, about 90 men had not re-boarded for many reasons, including not being able to find transport, some had been ‘locked up’ and were unable to free themselves, etc.

Whilst a POW in Java Merve was selelcted to work on Burma-Thai Railway with Robertson Force Java Party No. 5A with 3 other 2/4th men – Ted Cosson, Cyril Vidler and Les Lee who joined them at Singapore having arrived sick during transit from Java with Java Party No. 4.

Read further about Robertson Force Java Party No. 5A

Merve Wilkinson died 7th April 1970 Perth, WA aged 60 years.

He had married Marjorie Ada Brook in 1941.  They had 4 children, sadly 2 died in their early lives, however two sons survived.

Please read about POWs sending news cards from Burma.

Camp Locations:

  • Kanchanaburi, 50k - Thailand
  • Mergui (Myiek) Escape Road - Thailand
  • Tonchan South, 131k - Thailand
  • Bicycle Camp, Batavia, Jakarta - Java ***
  • Garoet - Java
Back