The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Thorns
First Name:
Arthur Stanley
Nick Name:
Codge
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX10289
Classification:
Driver
Company:
‘B’ Company
Enlisted:
18.12.1940
DOB:
18.11.1917
Place of Birth:
Trafalgar, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Albert Wilfred Thorns
Mothers's Name:
Amy Matilda Thorns
Religion:
Methodist
Pre-war Occupation:
Pipe Fitter
Memorial:
Epitaph, Labuan memorial, Panel 19, Age 27.
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selarang Barracks Changi
Force:
‘E’ Force Borneo
POW#:
4/6721 & 1936
Cause of Death:
Beaten to Death
Place of Death:
Ranau No. 2 Camp
Date of Death:
1.08.1945

General Description

This soldier was amongst the last group at Ranau to be massacred.  During the War Trials of Sandakan the final conclusion regarding the POWs at Ranau was  on 1st August a senior Japanese soldier gave the order to the guards to kill all remaining prisoners estimated to include 42 Australians and 7 British POWs.  Locals however, reported the men’s deaths to be later.  It is known ‘Codge’ Thorns was amongst the last surviving Australians and the only 2/4th soldier alive at this time, most of whom were extremely ill.   Codge was named by Lieutenant W H Sticpewich who had earlier escaped and was one of the only six survivors.

Information from ‘Sandakan – The Untold Story of the Sandakan Death Marches’ by Paul Ham.

We have learnt ‘Codge’ was a close mate of John Robinson WX10351.  Please read further .

Height 5′ 9″

Please read list of relics found Sandakan.

 

 

 

Thorns A.S.
Thorns A.S.

 

 

 

 

He was the son of Albert Wilfred and Amy Matilda Thorns, of Kalgoorlie and was last recorded residing with them at 23 President Street, Kalgoorlie.

 

  • WA. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of WX10289 Private Arthur Stanley Thorns, 2/​4th Machine Gun Battalion, Australian Infantry. He was one of over 2000 Allied prisoners of war (POW) held in the Sandakan POW camp in north Borneo, having been transferred there from Singapore as a part of E Force. The 500 Australian and 500 British POW’s who made up E Force, left Changi on 28 March 1943, on board the S.S. DeKlerk arriving at Berhala Island (adjacent to Sandakan Harbour) on 15 April 1943. The POW’s were held there until 5 June, when they were taken by barge to Sandakan. The next day they were transferred to the 8 Mile Camp, which was about half a mile from the B Force compound. Private Thorns, aged 27, died as a prisoner of the Japanese on 8 August 1945. He was the son of Albert Wilfred and Amy Matilda Thorns, of Kalgoorlie, WA. He is commemorated on the Labuan Memorial Panel 19. (Photograph copied from AWM232, items 4 and 5. Personal information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database.)

Camp Locations:

  • Adam Park Camp - Singapore
  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Ranau - Borneo
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