The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Spooner
First Name:
Alec
Rank:
Lance Corporal
Regimental #:
WX7337
Classification:
Driver
Company:
‘C’ Company Headquarters
Enlisted:
6.08.1940
DOB:
13.12.1910
Place of Birth:
Redhill, Surrey, England
Father's Name:
Arthur Spooner
Mothers's Name:
Francis Elizabeth Spooncr
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Truck Driver
Memorial:
Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 18, Age 33.
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi
Force:
‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
Camps Burma:
Victoria Point, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw, Augganaung,
POW#:
1447
Japan:
Rakuyo Maru Party, Kumi No. 35
Cause of Death:
Lost at Sea
Place of Death:
South China Sea
Date of Death:
14.09.1944

General Description

Alec Spooner was selected with the first work Party to leave Singapore.  ‘A’ Force comprised of 3000 Australian POWs departed Singapore Harbour 14 May 1842.  The Force was split into 3 Battalions of 1000 men each.    Alec with Green Force No. 3 Battalion was offloaded at Victoria Point, on the Burmese Coast.

Their role was to repair and extend the airfield which had been damaged during the departure of the British.  This task took several months, after which the Group moved north, where some men remained at Tavoy and some moved on.  Basically Green Force was destined for Burma, and arrived at Thanbyuzayat in 1942 to begin working on the Burma-Thai Railway.

Spooner survived months and months working on the railway,  ‘Speedo’, Japanese bashings, starvation and illness and when completed the men were sent back south into Thailand, probably to Tamarkan.  It was here the healthiest men were selected for work parties to Japan.

Read further about ‘A’ Force Green Battalion No. 3

He was selected with Rakuyo Maru party which firstly travelled to French Indo-China where it was intended to send the men via Saigon.  The men were eventually turned around and returned to Singapore to leave for Japan from Keppel Harbour.  The American sea blockade in the South China Sea made it impossible for Japanese shipping to exit the harbour.

The Rakuyo Maru sank after an American submarine attack in the South China Sea on 14 September 1944.  Only a few POWs survived the long days at sea and were lucky to be rescued.

Alex was one of hundreds who perished.

Read further about Rakuyo Maru.

SPOONER, Lance Corporal, ALEX, WX7337, A.I.F. 2/4 M.G. Bn., Australian Infantry. 14 September 1944. Age 33. Son of Arthur and Frances Elizabeth Spooner; husband of Winifred Florence Spooner, of Carlisle, Western Australia. Panel 18.

Labuan Memorial, Malaysia.

 Spooner Alec

Spooner Pt 1

Spooner Ot 2

 

Spooner

 

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
  • Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
  • Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
  • Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma
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