The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Raphael
First Name:
Geoffrey Wyatt Alfred
Rank:
Lieutenant
Regimental #:
WX3447
Company:
Battalion Headquarters
Enlisted:
21.11.1940
DOB:
29.07.1916
Place of Birth:
West Perth, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Alfred Raphael
Mothers's Name:
Maria Raphael
Religion:
Jewish
Pre-war Occupation:
Trainee Executive
Memorial:
Epitaph, Singapore Memorial, Column 135, Age 25.
Cause of Death:
Executed by the Imperial Japanese Army
Place of Death:
Singapore
Date of Death:
19.02.1942

General Description

Lt Curnow, Lt Royce and Lt Raphael
Lt Curnow, Lt Royce and Lt Raphael

 

George Raphael and Ruth Young
George Raphael and Ruth Young
2nd4th MGB AIF Abroad - Lt G.A. Raphael
2nd4th MGB AIF Abroad – Lt G.A. Raphael

There were 7 members of the 2/4th who were taken by the Japanese Imperial Army for execution. In all cases there does not seem to be any apparent motive except the fact that they were machine gunners. Considering the punishment dealt out by the 2/4th during the Battle of Singapore this was probably reason enough for the Japanese to take vendettas out on the men.
The following is from the diary of Captain Avon Smith-Ryan’s diary for 15 February 1942
‘We were ordered to join the rest of the battalion at the Chinese Cemetery off Holland Road at 1800 hours. I found the rest of ‘B’ Company there as well as Major Green, Anderson, Thomas, Raphael, Thompson and later Tom Bunning. About midday on the 16th we fell in and walked to the Raffles College padang remaining there for 2 days. Thompson, Raphael and one other were whisked away on a truck and haven’t been seen since. RSM Airey was also taken.”

Major Green’s report states
‘Captain Thompson, Lieutenant Raphael and Private Brown were with the unit at Buona Vista on 15th February 1942, the date of the capitulation of Singapore. On the 16th a portion of the unit was moved to Holland Village and thence to Raffles College Square. During the afternoon of the 16th whilst we were concentrated at Raffles Square a Japanese soldier entered the square and ordered Captain Thompson, Lieutenant Raphael and Private Brown (who were standing at the end of a column) to accompany him. They were marched to the roadside where they were placed on a truck’.

It is believed that these men were questioned on the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and on Thursday 19th February, at 1715 hours were executed with their hands tied behind their backs.

*Capt. Avon Smith-Ryan Diary, AWM Canberra.
*Report by Major Charles Green on the disappearance of Capt. Thompson, Lieut Raphael & Pte. Brown. Original copy loaned by Major Green’s daughter, Mrs Barbara Brand.

Hale School Memorial
Plaque No 90:
Lieut. Geoffrey Alan Raphael

Hale School 1925-1934
2/4th Machine Gun Battalion
Geoffrey attended Hale School between 1925 and 1934 from West Perth. He was a prefect and took part in rowing, cricket, football and boxing; he was also active in debating and drama.
After leaving School he eventually joined his father’s firm but continued with his great interest in photography. Before the war he joined the militia 28th Battalion and was commissioned while serving with that unit.
Eventually he joined the 2/4th Machine Gunners and arrived in Singapore on the day that the city fell to the Japanese. The next day he was detailed into a work party by his captors and upon finishing the work he and his men were summarily executed. Geoffrey was 25 years of age.
After the war Geoffrey’s family donated a trophy to the School in his memory. Initially it was awarded for photography but in latter years it has been awarded to the Hale student who has made the most valuable contribution to the chess fraternity in the School – The Geoffrey Raphael Prize for Chess.
Placed by sister, Mrs Audrey van Hattem.

Raphael

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