The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Fraser
First Name:
James Eric
Nick Name:
Eric
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX6506
Classification:
Despatch Rider
Company:
‘D’ Company, Platoon No. 15
Enlisted:
6.07.1940
Discharged:
4.12.1945
DOB:
26.03.1915
Place of Birth:
Mount Hawthorn, Western Australia
Father's Name:
James McIntosh Fraser MP
Mothers's Name:
Ellen Fraser
Religion:
Roman Catholic
Pre-war Occupation:
Clerk with the Perth City Council
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi, River Valley Road (after Burma)
Force:
‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Tamarkan, Nacompaton (on camp construction party), Bangkok, Non Pladuk
Camps Burma:
Victoria Point, Tavoy, Ye, Khonkan 55km Camp, Victoria Point, Tavoy, Ye, Thanbyuzat, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw 14km, Aungganaung 105km, Meiloe 75km
POW#:
1522
Return Details 1945:
Saigon-Bangkok-Singapore by aircraft; Singapore-Labuan-Morotai-Darwin-Perth, B24 Liberator aircraft 25.9.1945

General Description

Soldier was wounded 8 February 1942 and admitted to 13th AGH suffering exhaustion and bayonet wound to left hand.  He was discharged to unit on 8 March 1942.

 

From Singapore Eric was selected to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battation which departed Singapore on 14 May 1942 sailing to Burma.

Green Force comprised about 1,000 of the 3,000 men in ‘A’ Force. They disembarked at Victoria Point.  Some remained working and living near the docks and the bulk of the POWs moved out of Victoria point firstly to construct roads, then repair and enlarge the airfield.  They departed Victoria Point about 5th August to Tavoy.  Eric was part of a group who remained to work at the Tavoy airfield and then moved to Ye to complete the airfield there.

The three airfields were completed by mid September 1942.  Green Force arrived at Kendau 4.8km Camp via Thanbyuzat to begin work on the rail link.

Please read further ‘A’ Force Burma Green Force No. 3 Btn

Once the Railway was completed the Japanese moved POWs working in Burma southwards to one of the larger camps.  Eric spent one month at Tamarkan.  It was here he was selected to work in Japan.  He contracted Dengue Fever and was not included in the Kumis for  Rakuyo Maru which sank with most lives lost in the South China Seas in 1944.

At Bangkok he was appointed Medical Officer at the hospital on 1 January 1944.

Read about Nacompaton Hospital Camp.

It is believed Eric Fraser was selected to work in Saigon whilst he was at Non Pladuk, Thailand.  He was was one of many boys from 2/4th who left Singapore for Saigon on 2 February, 1945.

Read about Both Party, Saigon.

Eric arrived with Both Party at Saigon Docks Camp from Singapore on 7 September 1945.  They had sailed on 4 March 1945 to Cape Jacques and from near the big river tributary of the Mekong the POWs walked into Saigon.

Eric worked at the aerodrome at Da-Lat in the mountains as well as the Railway at Huy.  At Huy the POWs could see the US Forces flying over.

Eric was recovered from Saigon at war’s end on 20 September 1945 and flown to Singapore.  From here he few to Lubuan on 24 September 1945 and arrived Morotai 25 September 1945. He arrived Perth from Darwin on 6 October 1945.

Eric should have gone to Japan on ‘Rakuyo Maru’ however became sick with dengue fever.

 

LABUAN, BORNEO 1945-09-24. GROUP OF AUSTRALIAN EX PRISONERS OF WAR WHO ARRIVED AT LABUAN AIRSTRIP FROM SINGAPORE WITH MAJOR GENERAL CALLAGHAN, GENERAL OFFICER COMMANDING 8TH DIVISION. LEFT TO RIGHT, BACK ROW : QX16805 DRIVER K. C. HAWES, 2/3RD MOTOR TRANSPORT COMPANY; WX10809 PRIVATE W. J. NICHOLAS, 2/4TH MACHINE GUN BATTALION; WX6506 PRIVATE J. E. FRASER, 2/4TH MACHINE GUN BATTALION; WX2995 PRIVATE D. R. STUART, 2/3RD MACHINE GUN BATTALION; SX14921 DRIVER L. L. CHAPMAN 2/2N RESERVE MOTOR TRANSPORT COMPANY; FRONT ROW: VX39088 SERGEANT A. F. SHEPHARD 2/29TH BATTALION; VX48213 CORPORAL H. R. RYAN 2/29TH BATTALION AND WX8813 PRIVATE T. JACKSON 2/4TH MACHINE GUN BATTALION.(PHOTOGRAPHER LT A. W. HORNER)
LABUAN, BORNEO 1945-09-24. GROUP OF AUSTRALIAN EX PRISONERS OF WAR WHO ARRIVED AT LABUAN AIRSTRIP FROM SINGAPORE WITH MAJOR GENERAL CALLAGHAN, GENERAL OFFICER COMMANDING 8TH DIVISION. LEFT TO RIGHT, BACK ROW : QX16805 DRIVER K. C. HAWES, 2/3RD MOTOR TRANSPORT COMPANY; WX10809 PRIVATE W. J. NICHOLAS, 2/4TH MACHINE GUN BATTALION; WX6506 PRIVATE J. E. FRASER, 2/4TH MACHINE GUN BATTALION; WX2995 PRIVATE D. R. STUART, 2/3RD MACHINE GUN BATTALION; SX14921 DRIVER L. L. CHAPMAN 2/2N RESERVE MOTOR TRANSPORT COMPANY; FRONT ROW: VX39088 SERGEANT A. F. SHEPHARD 2/29TH BATTALION; VX48213 CORPORAL H. R. RYAN 2/29TH BATTALION AND WX8813 PRIVATE T. JACKSON 2/4TH MACHINE GUN BATTALION.(PHOTOGRAPHER LT A. W. HORNER)

 

WX6506 discharge doc

 

WX 6506 Burma Railway

WA Men on the Burma-Thai RailwayWW2 002

 

Bill Castles & Eric Fraser at 2nd4th reunion

Bill Castles and Eric at a 2/4th reunion.

James Fraser's notices
James Fraser’s notices

 

 

Eric passed away aged 88yrs, December 11 2003, at Osborne Park, WA.

 

Camp Locations:

  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand
  • Non Pladuk, 0k - Thailand
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
  • Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
  • Khonkan, 55Kilo Hospital 360k - Burma
  • Meilo, 75 Kilo, 340k - Burma
  • Tavoy (Dawei) - river port - Burma
  • Thanbyuzayat, 415k - Burma
  • Ye - Burma
  • Saigon - French Indo China
  • Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
  • Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma
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