The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Robertson
First Name:
Donald Charles
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX16427
Company:
‘ B’ Company, No. 8 Platoon
Enlisted:
10.09.1941
Discharged:
6.11.1946
DOB:
29.08.1917
Place of Birth:
Northam, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Charles Aloysius Robertson
Mothers's Name:
Ada Miriam Jane Robertson (nee Thackrah)
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Administrator, New Guinea Patrol Officer
Java:
‘Blackforce’
Force:
‘ A’ Force Burma, Java Party No. 4, Williams Force
Camps Thailand:
131km, l33km, Kanchanaburi, Tamarkan, Kanchanaburi, Rin Tin, Tamarkan
Camps Burma:
Beke Taung 40km Camp (2.7.1943)
POW#:
4590
Return Details 1945:
Thailand‐Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Perth, PBY Catalina aircraft

General Description

Robertson was AWOL from Fremantle when ‘Aquitania’ anchored overnight on her journey from Sydney to Singapore.  He was one of about 90 machine gunners who were unable to reboard before their ship sailed the following day on 16 January.

Please read about those who were AWOL

This group of men then sailed several weeks later to Singapore, but they were diverted to Java as Singapore was about to fall.

Robertson was one of a large number of machine gunners to join ‘Blackforce’ and prepare for the Japanese invasion.  He was a POW of Japanese by 8 Mar 1942.

Probably imprisoned at Bicycle Camp, Java, Don

Robertson was selected to work on Burma-Thai Railway with ‘A’ Force Burma, Java Party No. 4 Williams Force.

Please read about this Force

This Force sailed from Java to Singapore, then up the coast of Burma to Rangoon, inland and  down the river to Moulmein, Thanyuzayat, to work on the railway line gathering at Tanyin.  Williams Force moved frequently due to the engineering expertise and experience of most of POWs who were from 2/2nd Pioneers.

Many in Williams Force continued working up and down the line mostly in Burma, however we believe Ron was to spend the latter time in Thailand.   Kanchanaburi, Tamarkan, Rin Tin and was recovered from Tamarkan at the end of war.  (There are no records to substantiate any POW records.)

 

__________

 

 

Don was born to Charles Aloysius Robertson and Ada Miriam Jane Thackrah who married Northam about 1912.  They had a family of five children, Mary, John, Donald, Basil and June.

Charles Robertson died Northam 1957 aged 77 years and Ada Robertson died Feb 1972 aged 83 years.  Both are buried at Northam Cemetery.

 

 

In 1946 Don Sutherland married to Madge Solin.

In 1958 and 1963 Electoral Roll Don is residing Hamilton Street, Fremantle and occupation is civil servant.

In 1977 and 1980 he is recorded at 8 Riches Way Bullcreek.

Donald passed away aged 85yrs, September 6 2002, at Bullcreek, WA.

Camp Locations:

  • Kanchanaburi, 50k - Thailand
  • Rin Tin, Lin Tin 180k - Thailand
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand
  • Apalon, Apalaine, 80 Kilo, 337k - Burma
  • Beketaung, 40Kilo, 374k - Burma
  • Taungzun, 60 Kilo, 358k - Burma
  • Bicycle Camp, Batavia, Jakarta - Java ***
  • Tanyin 35 Kilo Camp - Burma
  • Anakwin 45 Kilo Camp - Burma
  • Mezali 70km Camp - Burma
  • Kyondaw 95 Kilo Camp – Burma
  • Payathonzu or Paya-thonzu Taung 108 Kilo Camp, Burma
Back