The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Osborne
First Name:
Sydney Albert
Nick Name:
Syd
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX7634
Classification:
Driver
Company:
‘D’ Company
Enlisted:
10.08.1940
DOB:
23.05.1919
Place of Birth:
London, England
Father's Name:
Not Known
Mothers's Name:
Not Known
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Truck Driver
Memorial:
Labuan War Cemetery, Plot 20, Row C, Grave 13, Age 31.
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi
Force:
‘B’ Force Borneo
POW#:
1105
Cause of Death:
Malaria
Place of Death:
Sandakan No. 2 Camp
Date of Death:
21.06.1945
Buried:
Sandakan

General Description

Soldier was wounded in action at Ulu Pandan. Admitted to 2/13th Australian General Hospital on 16.2.1942 with shrapnel wounds to the back, shoulder and left buttock. Discharged to unit on 7.3.1942.

Soldier was  a Kingsley Fairbridge Farm Schoolboy arriving in Australia on 11/2/1924 on ‘Randall’ aged about 5 years. Osborne was housed at Jenner Cottage.   It appears there may have been an older brother John Thomas Osborne, who arrived on same ship, he was 10 years old.  This however has not been confirmed.

In 1935 and 1936 Osborne was working at ‘Woolgorong’ Station, Mullewa.

Sydney Albert Osborne married in 1937 to Irene Daphne Randall. The couple resided at Swanview.  When the ‘Aquitania’ sailed for Singapore Syd left behind his wife and  2 young sons, Ross and Brian.   Brian was not then 12 months old.

Irene Daphne Randall was a Fairbridge girl.  She arrived in WA in November 1929 and was housed in Wolfe cottage.

Sydney Osborne had extraordinary strength of mind to remain alive in the horrendous circumstances existing at Sandakan until 21 June 1945 when he died of malaria (according to Japanese records).   It is thought Syd was one of the last few 2/4th POWs remaining alive.  He was 6’4″ and well built.

This brave young man fought hard to remain alive wanting to return to his wife and young family.

We today, can not begin to imagine how Syd and his mates kept going day after day. Starved, ill and brutalised. What did they have that kept them going?

After the war Syd’s body was recovered and identified with relic’s in a grave near Sandakan No. 2 Camp and reburied at Labuan War Cemetery. His Japanese death certificate records indicate he died of Malaria.

 

A delightfully smiling and happy Syd Osborne – this photo was for his WA Pay Book

WA. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of WX7634 Private Sydney Albert Osborne, 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion, Australian Infantry. He was one of over 2000 Allied prisoners of war (POW) held in the Sandakan POW camp in north Borneo, having been transferred there from Singapore as a part of B Force. The 1494 POW’s that made up B Force, were transported from Changi on 7 July 1942 on board the tramp ship Ubi Maru, arriving in Sandakan Harbour on 18 July 1942. Private Osborne, aged 31, died as a prisoner of the Japanese on 21 June 1945. He was the husband of Irene Daphne Osborne, of Swan View, WA. He is buried in the Labuan Cemetery Section 20, Row C, Plot 13. (Photograph supplied by the Army’s Soldier Career Management Agency. Personal information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database.)

 

 

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Sandakan - Borneo ***
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