The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Beer
First Name:
William John
Nick Name:
Bill
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX7636
Company:
'D' Company
Enlisted:
10.08.1940
DOB:
7.02.1917
Place of Birth:
Bunbury, Western Australia
Father's Name:
George Henry Joseph Beer
Mothers's Name:
Margarette Mary Beer
Religion:
Roman Catholic
Pre-war Occupation:
Not Known
Memorial:
Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 18, Age 28.
Singapore:
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
Force:
'E' Force Borneo
POW#:
1581
Cause of Death:
Malaria
Place of Death:
Ranau, Second Ranau march.
Date of Death:
14.06.1945

General Description

Bill was the second of four sons and four girls born to parents George Henry Joseph Beer and Margarette Mary O’Neill who married at Boulder in 1910.

Bill was living and working as a plasterer  in Bunbury prior to his enlistment in 1940.

WA. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of WX7636 Private William John Beer, 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 E Force. The 500 Australian and 500 British POW’s who made up E Force, left Changi on 28 March 1943, on board the S.S. DeKlerk arriving at Berhala Island (adjacent to Sandakan Harbour) on 15 April 1943. The POW’s were held there until 5 June, when they were taken by barge to Sandakan. The next day they were transferred to the 8 Mile Camp, which was about half a mile from the B Force compound. Private Beer, aged 28, died as a prisoner of the Japanese on 14 June 1945. He was the son of George Henry Joseph and Margarette Mary Beer, of Bunbury, WA. He is commemorated on the Labuan Memorial Panel 18. (Photograph copied from AWM232, items 4 and 5. Personal information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database.)

Beer William John 1

Beer 2

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Lintang Officers Camp, Kuching - Sarawak
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