The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Smith
First Name:
James Stanley
Nick Name:
Jimmy
Rank:
Lance Corporal (Promoted on 1.3.1942)
Regimental #:
WX7893
Company:
‘C’ Company, No. 12 Platoon
Enlisted:
13.08.1940
Discharged:
4.03.1946
DOB:
17.04.1906
Place of Birth:
Manchester, England
Father's Name:
Joseph Smith
Mothers's Name:
Mona E Smith
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Timber Worker
Java:
‘Blackforce’
Force:
‘A’ Force Burma, Java Party No. 4, Williams Force.
Camps Thailand:
Tamarkan, Chungkai, Nakom Payok, Lop Buri
Camps Burma:
Tanyin 35km, Anakwin 45km, Taungzan 57km, Mezali 72km, Apalon 77 km Khonkan 55km Camp
POW#:
3932
Return Details 1945:
Thailand-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Fremantle HMTMoreton Bay.

General Description

Read of Jimmy’s talented Tenor voice

Jimmy enlisted AIF Aug 1940 and later joined 2/4th MGB –   ‘C’ Company, 12 Platoon.

He was AWOL at Fremantle when ‘Aquitania’ sailed for Singapore on 16 January 1942.  Please read about this incident.

Jim was sent to Java where he joined ‘Blackforce’ to fight Japanese invasion.  Allied soldiers were taken POWs of Japan 8 Mar 1942.

HE was selected to work on the Burma end of Burma-Thai Railway with  ‘A’ Force Java Party No. 4, Williams Force. Please read about this work Force.

Williams Force was to endure a particularly hard life on the railway.  The bulk of the POWs were from 2/2nd Pioneers, an engineering Battalion which had been in the Middle East.  The Japanese were thrilled to have a work force with engineering expertise !  They were moved frequently up and down the railway, wherever there were problems, marching a whole night after working to be at the next camp to start work again.

There are no records of where the POWs worked – but we do know Jimmy was at Khonkan 55km hospital camp, Burma.  It is believed when the Japanese brought all the POWs working in Burma south to Thailand – Jimmy would have been evacuated from Khonkan to Tamarkan, then to Chungkai hospital camps.  The camps recorded for Jimmy are the movements of Java Party 4 Williams Force.

 

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Jimmy aged 7 years arrived with parents Joseph and Mona and siblings Mona, John, Ethel and Kate from Liverpool 1913 on ‘Zealandic’.  Joseph’s occupation was recorded as farm labourer.

(It is possible the family took up land with Group Settlement).

Jimmy would have received his school education in WA.

In 1936 he was living and working Duncan’s Mill, Forrest (believed to be Worsely area).  In 1943 he was living Greenbushes and working as a faller.

In 1949 and 1954 Jimmy was residing 31 Mill Point Road, South Perth working as a painter.

It would appear Jimmy not only had a good singing voice, but he maintained an interest in theatre after the war.

He married in 1957 at Fremantle, to Elsie Gertrude Montesole Mackay.  Elsie’s theatrical background and her family’s profile meant she had received a lot of media attention throughout her life.

Elsie was the widow of Max Montesole who died 1942. MacKay and Montesole both worked in theatre and radio in London and returned to Perth to live and work with ABC Radio.  Elsie was the only daughter of a well known pioneering pastoralist  and race horse owner Samuel Peter Mackay and his first wife Florence Gertude Mackay.

Elsie born about 1893, was attending school in Switzerland when her parents divorced in 1910.  She had a brother Keith who was at school in Victoria at that time.  Keith went on to inherit a vast portion of the Mackay’s West Australian properties.

Sam Mackay remarried 1910 to Miss Fanny Dango, a English-bone musical star who had come to Victoria to work for J.C. Williamson.   They had one son whom they named Peter Mackay who in 1933, aged 21 years inherited most of the Mackay estate.

 

In 1926 Keith Mackay died in a aeroplane accident.  He was 26 years old and unmarried.

 

 

Below:  Mackay family’s estate.

 

 

Below:  Elsie’s step-brother, Peter Mackay.

 

 

 

MacKay & Monesole toured country WA with Shakespeare – however not all their audiences were appreciative!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Smith died in Perth 11 June 1969 at Rivervale aged 63 years and buried Karrakatta.

 

Unfortunately little else is known of Jimmy either before the war nor after.  If family or friends should read this, please contact us to enhance the history of this member of the 2/4th who volunteered his services to Australia.

 

Camp Locations:

  • Chungkai, 60k - Thailand
  • Lopburi - Thailand
  • Nakom Nayok, Nakhon Nayok - Thailand
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Apalon, Apalaine, 80 Kilo, 337k - Burma
  • Khonkan, 55Kilo Hospital 360k - Burma
  • Taungzun, 60 Kilo, 358k - Burma
  • Bicycle Camp, Batavia, Jakarta - Java ***
  • Tanyin 35 Kilo Camp - Burma
  • Anakwin 45 Kilo Camp - Burma
  • Mezali 70km Camp - Burma
  • Kyondaw 95 Kilo Camp – Burma
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