The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Austin Newman
- Nick Name:
- Corporal (Promoted on 12.2.1942)
- Regimental #:
- 'C' Company, No 11 Platoon.
- Place of Birth:
- Perth, Western Ausltalia
- Father's Name:
- Murray Climie (Stepfather: William Thomas Jacks)
- Mothers's Name:
- Eliza Martha Climie (nee Newman)
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Truck Driver
- Yokohama British Commonwealth Cemetry, Australian Section, Plot A, Row A, Grave 15, Age 37.
- Selarang Camp Changi
- 'A' Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
- Camps Thailand:
- Tamarkan, River Valley Road Transit Camp
- Camps Burma:
- Victoria Point, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw, Khonkan,Meiloe, Aungganaung
- Camps Japan:
- Kawasaki Camp No. 14D
- 2896 and 6103
- Rakuyo Maru Party, Kumi No 36 (rescued)
- Cause of Death:
- Killed during an Allied air raid
- Place of Death:
- Kawasaki Camp No. 14D
- Date of Death:
Read the story Members of 2/4th nominated for Medal but not awarded.
And the story Surviving the Sinking of the Rakuyo Maru written by Roy Cornford NX44955 of the 2/19th Battalion, courtesy of Peter Winstanley.
Aussie had been selected at Singapore to work on the Burma end of the railway, with ‘A’ Force Green Force No. 3 Battalion.
Climie first worked at Victoria Point, probably Tavoy then Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw 14 km, Meiloe 75 km, Aungganaung 105km before being evacuated with most of the POWs in Burma to Thailand. Climie going to Tamarkan where he was to later on 27 March 1944 selected to work in Japan. This trip would be many months in the pipeline. The POWs were sent bn rail to Saigon, French Indo-China from where they were supposed to sail for Japan. They spent about 3 months here working on the docks and other local labouring jobs before being sent back to the rail head at Phom Penh to travel to Singapore. (The Japanese realised it would be futile to send any further shipping from this area as the US submarines had maintained a very successful blockade.)
Back to Singapore by rail the POWs were accommodated at River Valley Road Camp and began working at the docks and other labouring jobs until Rakuyo Maru arrived.
At Tamarkan Aussie was selected for Japan on 27th March 1944. Following the sinking of Rakuyo Maru in the South China Sea Aussie (along with Bert Wall, Syd Clayden and others) was rescued by a Japanese Corvette, transhipped to Kibibi Maru via Hainan Island. (Wall, Clayden and Climie were all from ‘C’ Coy)
Having survived several POW years, the sinking of the Rakuyo Maru, being picked up by the Japanese, Aussie was sent to work at the Kawasaki Camp where in July 1945 he was killed during an Allied air raid. It seems so unfair so survive so much and the war ended in August!
Yokohama War Cemetery, Japan.
Aussie’s parent’s Muray Felix Austin Climie and Eliza Martha Newman married September 1904 in South Australia. In 1910 Murray Climie at the age of 27 years was killed in a mining accident at Sons of Gwalia mine. Aussie would have been about 3 years of age. One can’t imagine was a terrible calamity this would have been for this young mother and her son.
Although the name used is Charles Climie, it is believed to be an error in his christian name.
During 1942 when Aussie was a POW at Singapore his mother died in May. It is unknown whether Aussie ever learnt of his mother’s death. Eliza Climie had remarried, and Aussie had at least one half-sister Dorothy Bransby, who he recorded as his NOK on his enlistment papers.
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
- Kawasaki, Maruyama Park - Japan
- Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
- Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma