The Soldier's Details

First Name:
William Herbert
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
'C' Company, No. 12 Platoon
Place of Birth:
Subiaco, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Henry William Beard
Mothers's Name:
Florence Eva Beard
Roman Catholic
Pre-war Occupation:
Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 18, Age 34.
Selarang Camp Changi
'B' Force Borneo
Cause of Death:
Place of Death:
Sandakan No. 2 Camp
Date of Death:

General Description

Bill enlisted AIF Aug 1940 later joining 2/4th’s ‘C’ Company.

Please read about the men of No. 12 Platoon.


BEARD, Private, WILLIAM HERBERT, WX7883, A.I.F. 2/4 M.G. Bn., Australian Infantry. 10 July 1945. Age 34. Son of Henry William and Florence Beard, of Worsley, Western Australia. Panel 18.                                                       Labuan Memorial, Malaysia.


Beard Bill

Beard West Australian (Perth, WA _ 1879 - 1954), Saturday 3 November 1945, page 1 (1)



Beard Bill

Bailey 2 jpg


The above notice was from Jim Goldie’s family.  Jim Goldie died on 4 June 1945 on Sandakan-Ranau march.    Don Manning died Kuii Camp, Burma- Thai Railway October 1943 of Avitaminosis at the age of 28 years.

The three men, Goldie, Beard and Manning enlisted in 1940 and were in ‘C’ Coy.  Beard and Goldie were in No. 12 Platoon and Manning was in No. 10 Platoon.

Bill was working at Worsley before enlisting with the AIF.  He like so many young men, had little opportunity to meet prospective wives, and as the eldest, worked hard to probably assist their family financially particularly during the 1930’s depression years.


Please read further about ‘B’ and ‘E’ Forces who went to Sandakan Borneo from Singapore to construct an aerodrome for the Japanese Military.


Bill died Sandakan  10.7.45 malaria aged 34 years. (this was wired section of No. 2 Camp – on ground – no longer their huts).  His body was recovered after end of war at Sandakan 3 Cemetery – slit trenches in No. 2 Compound.  The burial site for all those who died after 29 May 1945.  The POWs were too weak to be able to provide burials (except 23 massacred airfield 13 July 1945 & 75 POWs who left 14 June 1945 on 3RD Sandakan-Ranau March).  


And Please look at Sandakan to Ranau Map and photographs of all West Australians who perished.


Bill’s name is included on the WW2 War Memorial at Collie.



Mrs June Edwards (93 years) attends the 2018 Sandakan Service, Boyup Brook.  June was just a young girl when her eldest and beloved brother Bill Beard left WA.  Bill perished at Sandakan along with his close mate Jim Goldie.  June tearfully recalls home visits by Bill and Jim and other friends including ‘Bubbles’ Holme.

June continues her membership with the 2/4th MGB ex-Members Assoc.



Above:  Seated Right is Bill’s sister June Edwards, her daughter and granddaughter attending  2019 Sandakan Service at Kings Park where they laid flowers in remembrance of Bill Beard who perished at Sandakan 1945.


Camp Locations:

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