The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Halbert
First Name:
Francis
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX8250
Company:
'C' Company
Enlisted:
16.08.1940
DOB:
16.06.1907
Place of Birth:
Menzies, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Josef Dudley Halbert
Mothers's Name:
Jane Halbert
Religion:
Roman Catholic
Pre-war Occupation:
Prospector
Memorial:
Thanhyuzayat War Cemetery, Plot A6, Row B, Grave 7, Age 35.
Singapore:
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
Force:
'F' Force Thailand
POW#:
1/7898 and 3/7950
Cause of Death:
Cholera
Place of Death:
Shimo Sonkurai
Date of Death:
4.06.1943
Buried:
Grave No. 24, at the 126km peg, Thailand

General Description

Halbert
Halbert in centre.

Francis was youngest child born to Joseph Dudley Halbart and Jane Shelley.  Joseph and Jane married in 1898 at Menzies and the family continued to live in the area with Joseph working as a miner.  It is believed both Joseph and Jane originally came from around Eaglehawk, Victoria.

Frank’s older brother Ernst born about 1898 and 9 years older,  enlisted in WW1 in 1916. He survived several times with influenza and a GSW to left shoulder.  In the West Australian Newspaper October 1918, his name was included in a long list of wounded. Ernst returned to WA.  Frank had 3 sisters Clarice, Bernice and Kathleen known as Kitty. Ernst an Clarice were twins.

In November 1925 Frank was a pillion passenger riding with his brother Ernst.  Ernst, who had married since returning from WW1 and Europe, died instantly when the bike crashed.  This experience would have been shocking for 18 year old Frank.

Halbert

 

In 1937 Frank’s father Joseph died and was buried at Menzies where he had live and worked most of his life,   His mother initially continued to reside at Kalgoorlie.

 

Halbert Frank

Kalgoorlie Miner Newspaper September 1945.

 

Halbert

 

Frank Halbert was selected with ‘F’ Force to work on Burma-Thailand RaiIway.  The 3,600 British an Australian workforce departed Singapore in April 1943.  ‘F’ Force was to work on the central stretch of the railway up to the Pagoda Pass.  Their HQ was at Neike.  1,060 Australians died and 2,037 British.  A shockingly high death tally.

One of the purposes of Sonkarai camp was because the POWs were building a very big bridge across the river.  There was a large camp where the men were accommodated and a smaller ‘hospital’ camp further away for the very sick where the doctors and orderlies tried beyond their best to assist and provide care and comfort with little or no medical equipment or medicines.

 

 

 

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Shimo Sonkurai, 288k - Thailand
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