The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Parke
First Name:
Charles Spencer
Nick Name:
Charlie
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX7738
Company:
‘A’ Company
Enlisted:
10.08.1940
Discharged:
21.02.1946
DOB:
13.08.1916
Place of Birth:
Brunswick Junction, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Sydney Spencer Parke
Mothers's Name:
Kathleen Mary Parke
Religion:
Methodist
Pre-war Occupation:
Coal Miner
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi; Johore Bahru; Adam Park; Selarang Barracks Changi, River Valley Transit Camp
Force:
‘D’ Force Thailand, V Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Kinsaiyok, Hindaine, Kanchanaburi, Non Pladuk
Camps Japan:
Fukuoka sub‐Camp No. 17, Omuta
POW#:
1 /12129 and 601
Japan:
Aramis Party
Return Details 1945:
Nagasaki-Manila, USS Lunga Point; Manila-Morotai-Darwin, PBY Catalina aircraft A24-377; Darwin-Perth, B24 Liberator aircraft A72-379.

General Description

Quorn, SA. 11 October 1941. Group portrait of four members of A Company, 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion in front of a train locomotive en route from Woodside camp to Alice Springs. From left to right: Charlie Parke, WX7007 Edward George (Eddie) Burton (died of illness on 21 February 1945 in Sandakan, Borneo, whilst a Prisoner of War (POW)), A. S. Parke, unidentified.

Quorn, SA. 11 October 1941. ‘A’ Company members, 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion en route from Woodside Camp to Alice Springs. L-R  Albert (Bert) Parke WX7007,  Edward George (Eddie) Burton (died of illness 21 February 1945 Sandakan) Charles Spencer (Charlie) Parke and Eric Joseph Holst WX8678 (perished Sandakan March 1945).

 

Charles Spencer Parke is younger brother to Albert Sydney Parke WX7724.

Parke Brothers, Charles & Albert Sydney
Parke Brothers, Bert and Charlie.

 

Following the capitulation of Allied Forces in Singapore Feb 1942, Charlie Parke was at several Camps – Selarang, Johore Bahru, Adam Park,  Selarang Barracks Changi before he was selected to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand, V Battalion which left Singapore by rail for Thailand May 1943.

This Force was to endure one of the highest losses of life on the railway.  Please read further.

When the rail link was completed by  end of 1943, the Japanese began bringing the POWs to one of the larger 4 or 5 Camps.  We believe Charlie was sent to Kanchanaburi – in fact he may have been sick when sent there from Hindaine as early as Augst or as late as December 1943.  Unfortunately we have know way of confirming as there are no records.    From Kanchanaburi he was sent to Non Pladuk.  From here the Japanese selected him as being ‘fit’ to work in Japan.

Charlie joined ‘Aramis Party’ to sail to Moji Japan.  Please read further.

The POWs who sailed on ‘Aramis’ and had the misfortune to be sent to Omuta Camp in Japan, and were indeed unlucky.

Omuta was a hell camp. Run the American Mafia and the most cruel and sadistic Japanese guards.   Please read further.

You can also read Krasnostein’s Affidavit for War Trials.

Charlie was recovered from Omuta at the end of war.  On his return to Australia he was hospitalised for four months.

During his time as a POW he had suffered beri beri, probably malaria and no doubt other tropical illnesses.

He gave evidence about a Japanese guard known as ‘the Pig’.

 

 

Charlie’s parents married 1912.

Charlie’s older brother Albert Sydney ‘Major’ Parke WX7724 was born in 1914 and Charlie in 1916.

 

 

After the war Charlie and his wife Mary farmed at Nornalup Road, Manjimup from at least 1949 through to 1980s.  He had married in about 1941 to Mary Forrester Duncan.

 

 

Camp Locations:

  • Adam Park Camp - Singapore
  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Hindaine, Kui Mang 200k - Thailand
  • Kanchanaburi, 50k - Thailand
  • Kinsaiyok Main, 170.2k - Thailand
  • Non Pladuk, 0k - Thailand
  • Omuta Miike, Fukuoka #17-B - Japan
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