The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Airey
First Name:
George Frederick
Nick Name:
Fred
Rank:
Warrant Officer Class 1
Regimental #:
WX13977
Company:
Battalion Headquarters
Enlisted:
24.07.1939
Discharged:
18.07.1950
DOB:
17.10.1898
Place of Birth:
Kendal, Westmoreland, England
Father's Name:
James Airey
Mothers's Name:
Dora Alice Airey
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Packer
Singapore:
Taken on Strength with 2/3rd Machine Gun Battalion after escaping to Java
Java:
Bandeong, Bicycle Camp Batavia, Makasura
Force:
‘ D ’ Force Thailand, Java Party No 6. O Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Hintok, Tarsau, Tamuang, Nacompaton
Camps Java:
Bandoeng, Bicycle Camp Batavia, Makasura
POW#:
6506
Return Details 1945:
Bangkok-Rangoon by aircraft, Rangoon-Singapore, HMT Highland Brigade, Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Moreton Bay.

General Description

Frederick George Airey had soldiering in his blood.  He served with the British Army during the Great War and when “Call to Arms” came for WWII, he was already serving with the Militia in Western Australia.  Following the “Battle of Singapore”, Fred, along with 3 other men from 2/4th MG Battalion and 11 others were marched off to a remote location to be shot.  Fred was one of the lucky ones to survive and managed to escape to Java by way of Sumatra. Fred them later passed himself off as an Australian Officer during his time as a POW so as not to draw attention to his past.

EPSON MFP image
Fred Airey

 

For further reading about Fred Airey Two came Home – The Firing Squad

 

He was one of 5 Australians who arrived  Bandeong  camp 8 July 1942 amongst a large group of POWs including 800 Dutch and other Allied POWs.

After escaping Singapore Airey managed to 5 day sail in a small boat to Sumatra.  After Sumatra fell to Japan, he put to sea with others in a lifeboat which became wrecked, repaired and set off again for Australia.

With only 3 week’s rations and formidable currents after nine weeks they were no further than southern Java.   In desperation and poor health they put ashore.  Airey was taken POW and eventually sent to Bandeong.

Camp Locations:

  • Hintok, 154k - Thailand
  • Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand
  • Tamuang, Tha Muang 39k - Thailand
  • Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand
  • Bandoeng - Java ***
  • Bicycle Camp, Batavia, Jakarta - Java ***
  • Makasura - Java
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