The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Cripps
First Name:
David Charles
Nick Name:
Davey
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX15783
Company:
'A' Company, Headquarters Reinforcement.
Enlisted:
13.08.1941
DOB:
15.12.1921
Place of Birth:
Geraldton, Western Australia
Father's Name:
David Williams Cripps
Mothers's Name:
Mary Grace Cripps (nee Ridley)
Religion:
Methodist
Pre-war Occupation:
Labourer
Memorial:
Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 18, Age 22.
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi, River Valley Road Transit Camp (prior to departure to Japan)
Force:
'A' Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Tamarkan
Camps Burma:
Victoria Point, Thetkaw, Kendau, Meiloe, Aungganaung
POW#:
1502
Japan:
Rakuyo Maru Party, Kumi No. 35
Cause of Death:
Lost at Sea
Place of Death:
South China Sea
Date of Death:
12.09.1944

General Description

L-R back - Sutherland, Carlyon, Unknown, Front L-R E F Osborne, E E Randall, Dave Cripps
L-R back – Sutherland, Carlyon, Unknown, Front L-R E F Osborne, E E Randall, Dave Cripps, (mostly from Geraldton/Northampton area).

 

Read about ‘A’ Force Green Force No 3 Battalion

David Cripps was selected for Japan 27 March 1944 with Kumi 35 while he was at Tamarkan, Thailand.

The  ‘Rakuyo Maru’ party as they were to become known as, was sent by train from Tamarkan via Bangkok to Phom Penh, French Indo China. They made their way to Saigon and although the Japanese attempted several times the have them sail for Japan from this coastline, it appears it took some time before the Japanese realised it would be futile with the American submarine blockade which had successfully sunk most Japanese shipping attempting to leave.

The POWs were put to work mostly around the docks while in Saigon and eventually returned to Phom Penh to take to train trip to Singapore via Bangkok.

At Singapore the POWs were accommodated at River Valley Road Transit Camp and were sent out to work before they finally embarked on the ‘Rakuyo Maru’ at Keppell Harbour and sailed about 10th September 1944.   The whole process from when the men were selected for Japan in March 1944 had taken about 6 months.

 

Peter Cripps
Peter Cripps nephew of David.  Peter organised service and headstone.

 

David Charles Cripps WX15783.

Peter Cripps nephew of David Charles Cripps,  organised and held a service in Geraldton on 12 September 2013 in honour of his uncle and his service to Australia.   59 years previously his uncle, a POW sailing in a convoy which had left Singapore en-route to Japan drowned with hundreds of POWs in the South China Sea near Hainin Island following a US torpedo attack.

In the late afternoon of 12th September 1944, an exhausted David Charles Cripps aged 22 years, tragically lost his life when he slipped off the raft he managed to board having miraculously survived the sinking of the ‘Rakuyo Maru’.

Peter Cripps nephew of David Charles Cripps organised and held a service in Geraldton on 12 September 2013 in honour of his uncle and his service to Australia during WW2.   59 years previously his uncle, a POW on-board ‘Rakuyo Maru’ which was sailing in a convoy from Singapore en-route to Japan was torpedoed by US submarines. During the following days hundreds of POWs either perished or drowned in the South China Sea near Hainin Island.   The astounded crew of the very same submarines that had attacked the convoy picked a very fortunate small number of men up several days later.  The crews were completely unaware the convoy was carrying 100s of POWs to work in Japan.  The Japanese chose not to identify their human cargo.

In the late afternoon of 12th September 1944, an exhausted David Charles Cripps aged 22 years, tragically lost his life when he slipped off the raft he managed to board having miraculously survived the sinking of the ‘Rakuyo Maru’.

 

CRIPPS, Private, DAVID CHARLES, WX15783, A.I.F. 2/4 M.G. Bn., Australian Infantry. 12 September 1944. Age 22. Son of David Williams Cripps and Mary Grace Cripps, of Northampton, Western Australia. Panel 18.

Labuan Memorial, Malaysia.

Read Rakuyo Maru story

Read about the enlistments from Northampton.

Cripps
Cripps

 

Davey Cripps parents David William Cripps and Mary Grace Ridley married in 1919.  David William Cripps died unexpectedly in September 1924 aged 38 years.    Davey’s grandfather Thomas Charles Cripps had died in April 1923.

 

Davey Cripps

 

Cripps David Charles P. 1

Cripps, David Charles P 2

 

Cripps, David Charles P 3.

Camp Locations:

  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
  • Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
  • Meilo, 75 Kilo, 340k - Burma
  • Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
  • Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma
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