The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Ramsbottom
First Name:
Jack Kenneth
Nick Name:
Dag Arse, Sheeps Bum
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX14836
Company:
‘A’ Company
Enlisted:
4.07.1941
Discharged:
5.02.1946
DOB:
18.11.1922
Place of Birth:
Ramsgate, Kent, England
Father's Name:
Not Known
Mothers's Name:
Mrs Buckthorpe (nee Ramsbottom)
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Farmhand
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi; River Valley Road Camp; Mount Pleasant Camp; Selarang Barracks Camp
Force:
‘ J ’ Force Japan, Wales Maru Party
Camps Japan:
Kobe, Kawasaki Camp, Maruyama Park, Wakinhama
POW#:
714
Japan:
Kobe; Kawasaki Camp; Maruyama Park; Wakinohama
Return Details 1945:
Yokohama-Okinawa by aircraft; Okinawa-Manila by aircraft; Manila-Sydney, HMS Formidable; Sydney-Melbourne-Perth by troop train

General Description

Darwin, NT. October 1941. John Ramsbottom, 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion cutting mangrove saplings to use for beds at Winellie Camp. When the unit arrived at the camp, galvanised huts had been erected, but many were without concrete flooring and windows, requiring the first weeks at the camp to be spent finishing the accommodation off.
Darwin, NT. October 1941. John Ramsbottom, 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion cutting mangrove saplings to use for beds at Winellie Camp. When the unit arrived at the camp, galvanised huts had been erected, but many were without concrete flooring and windows, requiring the first weeks at the camp to be spent finishing the accommodation off.
Darwin, NT. c. October 1941. WX8707 Private (Pte) Frank Nazzari and John Ramsbottom, both of 5 Platoon, A Company, 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion beside an A frame bed which they are constructing from bamboo and mangrove saplings to use at Winellie Camp. When the unit arrived at the camp, galvanised huts had been erected, but many were without concrete flooring and windows, requiring the first weeks at the camp to be spent finishing off the accommodation. Pte Nazzari later died of illness on 24 April 1945 in Borneo, whilst a Prisoner of War (POW). (Donor J. Lane)
Darwin, NT. c. October 1941. WX8707 Private (Pte) Frank Nazzari and John Ramsbottom, both of 5 Platoon, A Company, 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion beside an A frame bed which they are constructing from bamboo and mangrove saplings to use at Winellie Camp. When the unit arrived at the camp, galvanised huts had been erected, but many were without concrete flooring and windows, requiring the first weeks at the camp to be spent finishing off the accommodation. Pte Nazzari later died of illness on 24 April 1945 in Borneo, whilst a Prisoner of War (POW). (Donor J. Lane)

Soldier was a Kingsley Fairbridge Schoolboy.

After his discharge this soldier re-enlisted in the Australian Regular Army in 1950 under the legally adopted name of John Kenneth Lane with the Regiment No. 5/1507. He served 16 years with the Western Command Band before being posted to the Army Apprentices School in Victoria where he served a further two years as a music teacher before retiring with the rank of Staff Sergeant. This 18 years additional service qualified him for the Long Service and Good Conduct Medals. After his discharge from the Regular Army, he served another year as Bandmaster in the Western Command Reserve Band with the rank of W.O.1. He was a member of the Combined Army bands which performed at the opening ceremony of the Melbourne Olympics in 1956.

John Lane is the author of several books, including ‘Fairbridge Kid’ and ‘Summer will come Again’ which is his personal story of his POW years in Japan.

J.K. Lane (Ramsbottom) and R.C. Reid
J.K. Lane (Ramsbottom) and R.C. Reid
John Lane, (formerly Ramsbottom) Fairbridge
John Lane, (formerly Ramsbottom)
John arrived in Australia on “Otranto” 30/5/1933 aged 11 years.

 

John was a member of ‘J’ Force transported from Singapore to Japan to a POW Camp at Kobe mid 1943. Some of the details of Kobe House are found at the story Kobe House, Japan.

Listen to the oral history interview of John recorded in Singapore February 2001.

View Peter Winstanley’s video interview of John Lane (Ramsbottom) WX14836.

Fairbridge 2004 No 2

Trevor James, Jim Burns, Alf Worth, John Lane, Des Colevas, Bob Whitield, Joe Pearce (rear), Tom Pilmoor (front), Owen Morris, Jim Elliott, Ron Badock, Gordon Lynam

 

Fairbridge 2001
Fairbridge 2001

Back Row L-R: Jim Burns, John Lane, Jim Elliott, Cowboy Matthews, Frank Evans, Alf Worth, Trevor James, Wally Lynn, Les Cody, Owen Morris
Front Row L-R: Greg Burdon, Ron Badock, Des Coleves, Jim Gilmour, Joe Pearce.Back Row L-R: Jim Burns, John Lane, Jim Elliott, Cowboy Matthews, Frank Evans, Alf Worth, Trevor James, Wally Lynn, Les Cody, Owen Morris

John Lane passed away 24th June 2008 of Motor Neurone Disease, a long illness he fought courageously against.  On the 29th June a service was held at Fairbridge to celebrate his life.
Throughout his life John continued his close relationship with Fairbridge and Old Fairbridgians Assoc.

John Lane Obituary The
West Australian July 8 2008

 

Please read about the men from Gnowangerup.

John must have been working in the region of Gnowangerup before enlisting.

Please read about the opportunities POWs in Japan took to enjoy a laugh at expense of Japanese guards.

 

Camp Locations:

  • Mount Pleasant Camp - Singapore
  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Kawasaki, Maruyama Park - Japan
  • Kobe, Osaka #2-B - Japan ***
  • Wakinohama, Osaka #14-B - Japan
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