The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Clay
First Name:
John William
Nick Name:
Jack (or Silverthorne)
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX12488
Company:
‘C’ Company
Enlisted:
6.04.1941
Discharged:
10.12.1945
DOB:
9.10.1916
Place of Birth:
Fremantle, Western Australia
Father's Name:
William Richard Silverthorne
Mothers's Name:
Marian Dorothy Clay
Religion:
Roman Catholic
Pre-war Occupation:
Farmhand
Singapore:
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi, Pulan Blakang Mati, Changi Gaol Camp, Kranji Camp Woodlands
POW#:
4/5998
Return Details 1945:
Singapore-Darwin‐Sydney, HMT Arawa, Sydney-Melbourne by troop train, Melbourne-Fremantle, HMT Strathmore.

General Description

SINGAPORE. 1945-09-09. MEMBERS OF 8TH AUSTRALIAN DIVISION, EX-PRISONERS OF WAR OF THE JAPANESE, AT KALANG AERODROME WAITING TO GREET MEMBERS OF THE 1ST AUSTRALIAN PARATROOP BATTALION ON THEIR ARRIVAL FROM LABUAN. IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE:- SAPPER (SPR) D. H. HERBERT, 2/6TH AUSTRALIAN FIELD PARK COMPANY (2); DRIVER R. J. LEES, 2/18TH AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY BATTALION (3); SPR J. HUNTEL, 2/10TH AUSTRALIAN FIELD COMPANY (4); PRIVATE (PTE) J. W. CLAY, 2/4TH AUSTRALIAN MACHINE GUN BATTALION (5); PTE G. J. WADE, 2/4TH AUSTRALIAN MACHINE GUN BATTALION (6); SIG C. BROOKES, 8TH AUSTRALIAN DIVISION SIGNALS (8).
SINGAPORE. 1945-09-09. MEMBERS OF 8TH AUSTRALIAN DIVISION, EX-PRISONERS OF WAR OF THE JAPANESE, AT KALANG AERODROME WAITING TO GREET MEMBERS OF THE 1ST AUSTRALIAN PARATROOP BATTALION ON THEIR ARRIVAL FROM LABUAN. IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE:- SAPPER (SPR) D. H. HERBERT, 2/6TH AUSTRALIAN FIELD PARK COMPANY (2); DRIVER R. J. LEES, 2/18TH AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY BATTALION (3); SPR J. HUNTEL, 2/10TH AUSTRALIAN FIELD COMPANY (4); PRIVATE (PTE) J. W. CLAY, 2/4TH AUSTRALIAN MACHINE GUN BATTALION (5); PTE G. J. WADE, 2/4TH AUSTRALIAN MACHINE GUN BATTALION (6); SIG C. BROOKES, 8TH AUSTRALIAN DIVISION SIGNALS (8).

 

Jack Clay was one of 9 men from 2/4th who was sent to Pulau Blakang Maki.  Please read further

 

View the video – audio not available – of John Clay’s return to Singapore.

Jack Clay married 1940 Frances Helen Bedford.

Below, Frances’ father dies while Jack is POW.

 

Prior to enlisting Jack was living in Fremantle area and employed as a tractor driver.

After the war he found employment with WAGR and was found to be residing in Marmion Street,  Palmyra.  They remained here through to 1972 although Frances died in 1965.

We know little of his childhood.  His mother Marion Dorothy Clay was born Tasmania about 1879.  She married William Richard Silverton about 1900 in Coolgardie.  Marian died in 1938 East Coolgardie aged 59 years.

Jack Clay died in Rockingham in 1985.

Camp Locations:

  • Changi Gaol Camp - Singapore
  • Kranji Camp Woodlands - Singapore
  • Pulau Blakang Mat - Singapore ***
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
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