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