The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Flarty
First Name:
Neave
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX17374
Company:
‘E’ Company, Special Reserve Battalion, No 3 Platoon.
Enlisted:
22.10.1931
Discharged:
8.04.1946
DOB:
22.10.1922
Place of Birth:
Moora, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Not Known
Mothers's Name:
His NOK was sister Margaret Flarty
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Farmhand
Singapore:
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
Force:
‘D’ Force Thailand, T Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Tarsau, Wampo, Konyu II, Kinsaiyok, Ubon
Return Details 1945:
Thailand-Singapore by aircraft; Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Highland Brigade

General Description

Neave Flarty was one of eight Indigenous Western Australians to join 2/4th.

He was wounded in action at Bald Hill, Bukit Timah on 11 February 1942 and admitted to Alexandra Hospital on 12 February with a shrapnel wound to his right knee.  He was discharged to his unit on 23rd February 1942.

Rear L-R T.Allen & H.Wilkes Front L-R M.Wilkins, T.Gough & N.Flarty
Rear L-R T.Allen & H.Wilkes
Front L-R M.Wilkins, T.Gough & N.Flarty

 

The above men were all reinforcements and joined ‘E’ Company, probably each had no more than 2-3 months training, completely inadequate for battle.
Surprisingly they all survived the Fall of Singapore!  On 12 February 1942 nearly half of ‘E’ Company lost their lives during a Japanese Ambush at Bukiut Timah – including most of the trained and experienced officers.
Even better, the five young men survived their incarceration and returned home to WA!

 

Flarty joined reinforcements for 2/4th just prior to boarding ‘Aquitania’ on its journey to Singapore 16 January 1942.  As with the majority of reinforcements he was young and had very little training.  Having enlisted 22 October 1941, he had been in the Australian Infantry 3 1/2 months when ‘E’ Company went into battle at Singapore.  This Battalion suffered very heavy loss of life.  Please read further.

‘E’ Company lost half their men, including most of the well-training experienced officers at the Japanese ambush at Bukit Timah 12 February 1945.

As a POW in Singapore Neave was selected with ‘D’ Force T Battalion to work on the Burma-Thai Railway.  T Battalion departed Singapore Railway Station on 16 March 1943 and headed for Bampong, Thailand.  Read further about T Battalion

Flarty worked on the cutting at Kinsaiyok and was at Ubon from where he was recovered at the end of the war.

 

 

 

Our research has returned minimal information about Neave Flarty.  As recorded above, his NOK was sister Margaret Flarty at Parkerville Childrens’ Home, Parkerville (we do not know whether Margaret was working there or if in fact she was there as a child in care, which is quite possible – Neave may well have been also. .

Records show Margaret Flarty married about 1937/38 at Mount Magnet to Arthur Joseph Palmer.  According to electoral rolls he was residing without Margaret during years 1949, 1954 and 1958 and living at Marillana Station, Roy Hill.

Records show Palmer enlisted, his Service No. WX21628.

According to his army personnel records Flarty had several addresses after the war – all in relation to receiving war medals, having had his originals stolen from his dwellings.

1945-46  18 Waverley Street, South Perth.

1957  C/- Mrs. B. Goodrick, Mullewa, WA

1964 Employed Temporarily WAGR Narambeen, WA

1965 Employed WAGR Temporarily East Northam.

1976  C/- F. Williams, Randwick Farm, Merinda via Bowen, Queensland 4805.

The 1972 Electoral Roll has Neave Flarty residing Bundaberg, Queensland working as plasterer.

1977 Roll, again Flarty is working as a plasterer at Merinda, 4805, Queensland.

Flarty died in Queensland in 30 January 1980.  He would have been 58 years old.  He is buried Collinsville Cemetery, Collinsville, Whitsunday Region, Queensland, Australia. (Momental Section Grave 822).

 

If any Flarty family should read this, we ask you to please contact us at our email 2nd4thmgb@gmail.com

We would really like to learn more about Neave’s life before the war and after.

Neave seems unable to settle to one place, and this is not uncommon amongst returned POWs, especially as he had no family to return to.  He very likely suffered ill-health and possibly mental health issues – and many returned POWs have been found to be reliant on alcohol at some time.   
His POW years combined with his aboriginal childhood (very likely lived in Government ‘care’) would have been most challenging especially as it appears he had no family as such to return home to when he most needed a family circle.

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Kinsaiyok Main, 170.2k - Thailand
  • Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand
  • Ubon - Thailand ***
  • Wampo, Wang Pho 114k - Thailand ***
  • Kanu 111, Kannyu, 152.50km - Thailand
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