The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Procter
First Name:
Harold Edward
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX6172
Classification:
Driver
Company:
‘A’ Company
Enlisted:
13.07.1941
Discharged:
19.06.1946
DOB:
12.08.1905
Place of Birth:
Lancashire, England
Father's Name:
William Procter
Mothers's Name:
Rosa Procter
Religion:
Methodist
Pre-war Occupation:
Farmhand
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi; Johore Bahru; Adam Park; A.G.H. Roberts Barracks Changi (beri-beri and avitaminosis July-September 1942); Selerang Barracks Changi
Force:
‘ J ’ Force Japan, Wales Maru Party
Camps Japan:
Kobe (factory and dock work); Kawasaki Camp; Maruyama Park; Fukuoka sub-Camp No .26; Usui.
POW#:
703
Return Details 1945:
Nagasaki-Okinawa, USS Marathon; Okinawa-Manila, C 54 aircraft; Manila-Sydney, HMS Speaker; Sydney-Fremantle, HMT Duntroon

General Description

Procter Standing on Left, with 2/4th Mates

 

Procter was with A Coy No. 4 Platoon

Wounded in action at Hill 200, Ulu Pandan on 12/2/1942. Admitted to Field Ambulance with a shrapnel wound to his back and left arm. Admitted to 2/13th Australian General Hospital on 16/2/1942 and discharged to unit on 21/2/1942.

Harold was a member of ‘J’ Force transported from Singapore to Japan to a POW Camp at Kobe mid 1943. Some of the details of Kobe House are found at the story Kobe House, Japan.

Please read about ‘J’ Force and ‘Wales’ Maru

 

In Electoral Rolls pre war, Harold Proctor 1930, 1932, 1936, 1937 and 1943 was living Denmark working as a labourer, his parents William and Rosa were farming – Rosa’s address Block 403, Denmark.

With his mother Rosa, Harold aged 5 years sailed from Liverpool on ‘Afric’ 7 April 1910 with brother Clarence, Rupert, Herbert and sister Hilda.  They joining their father William at Denmark who had sailed to WA a year earlier.

Below: Ted played local cricket.  Also mentioned is Harry Tysoe of Denmark who was also sent to Japan with ‘J’ Force.  Harry died of illness in Japan.

 

Denmark Cricket

 

Below:  Harry officiates at 1939 wedding, Denmark.

Pro cter wedding 1939

 

 

Above:  Ted at Woodside Camp, SA 1941.

Above: 12 October 1941 the day 2/4th departed Adelaide for NT.

 

 

Above:  Ted Procter at Terowie, SA, October 1941.

 

Harold enlisted 13 July 1940, later joined 2/4th and ‘A’ Coy.  Others to enlist from the Denmark area included Harry Tysoe and ‘Nobby’ Clarke who also went to Japan with ‘J’ Force.

You may like to see the Denmark War Memorial

Ted’s mother Rosa died whilst he was a POW and sadly did not know her son was alive.  It appears Rosa had TB and was sent to Wooroloo which had one of the few Sanitoriums in WA.

 

 

 

After the war Ted returned to Adelaide.  He had met Ida Annie Pearl Walters while stationed at Woodside.  Ida and Ted married 2 March 1946 and settled in SA.   They had three kids, 2 girls and a boy (in that order).

IInitially Ida received a couple of telegrams telling her that Harold was missing in action.   It was not until she received a message from a lady in America that she learned for the first time, Ted was a POW and alive. The lady heard a Xmas Propaganda Broadcast from Japan during which prisoners (not all) were able to give their name, rank, serial No. and details of a loved one.

 

Proctor

 

Ted Proctor died of cancer 18 July 1977 in South Australia  buried at Centennial Park, Mitchum.  He was 71 years old.

Ted’s granddaughter Angela Spencer, whose mother is second daughter of Ted and Ida, provided the following information:

“My mum said that Ted suffered bouts of depression and nightmares due to his time as a POW.

He was a driver with ‘A’ Coy, No. 4 Platoon at Singapore and with  Lt. Herbert John Manning who had taken over command of No. 4 Platoon.  Manning was wounded at Hill 200, Ulu Padan at 2100 hours 12 February 1942.   Manning died about 1.5 hours later, he was hit in the neck by a fragment of shrapnel which exited through his chest.  Sgt MacLennan was also wounded with shrapnel to his right thigh – however took command of No. 4 Platoon that night.
Ted also received shrapnel wounds that night, to his back and left arm.  He was admitted to 2/13th Australian General Field Hospital several days later on 16 February  and discharged 21 February 1942.

The family said some small fragments of shrapnel surfaced many years later
We know at one time Harold was blinded for some months while suffering from Beri-Beri.”

(We believe his illness beri beri may have occurred at Singapore.  John Gilmour was hospitalised at Changi with eyesight problems and he also went to Japan with ‘J’ Force.  We know that many of those POWs selected with ‘J’ Force had been recently hospitalised and were recovering when selected for Japan. The Japanese told them they were going to rest at their new location!)

Also read about Ted’s return to Australia with HMAS ‘Speaker’

Camp Locations:

  • Adam Park Camp - Singapore
  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Roberts Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Kawasaki, Maruyama Park - Japan
  • Kobe, Osaka #2-B - Japan ***
  • Usui, Fukuoka #26 - Japan
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