The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Baker
First Name:
William Robert Samuel
Nick Name:
WRS or Bob
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX8682
Classification:
Driver
Company:
'B' Company
Enlisted:
23.10.1940
DOB:
27.04.1919
Place of Birth:
Esperance, Western Australia
Father's Name:
William Edward Johnson Baker
Mothers's Name:
Lulu Esther Rouse
Religion:
Methodist
Pre-war Occupation:
Miner
Memorial:
Epitah, Labuan Memorial, Panel 18, Age 25
Force:
'Blackforce' attached to 2/3rd MCB
Camps Thailand:
Java Party No. 4 Black Force
POW#:
4665
Japan:
Rakuyo Maru Party, Kumi No 38
Cause of Death:
Lost at Sea
Place of Death:
South China Sea
Date of Death:
12.09.1944

General Description

Bob Baker married Ethelwyn Margaret Madge Smith on 23 April 1939 at Esperance. It is believed the Baker’s had two children.

Pte. Baker was residing at Norseman prior to his enlistment in 1940.  He was AWL from ‘Aquitania’ when it sailed for Singapore from Gauge Roads, Fremantle on January 16th, 1941.

Bob Baker was one of about 93 men of 2/4th who was unable to reboard their ship, and later sailed for Singapore via Java.  During the voyage it became obvious Singapore would fall to Japan and the party of men remained in Java to reinforce the Allied Forces and later were imprisoned as POWs at several Camps in Java, including Bicycle Camp.

Baker was with ‘Blackforce’ Java.  Please read further.

Bob Baker was selected in Java with ‘A’ Force Java Party No.4 Black Force to work on Burma-Thai Railway.  It is thought he became part of Williams Force and survived the terrible hardships of slaving and starving on the railway.

Read about Java Party No. 4 Black Force

He was selected by the Japanese to be considered fit for work in Japan and was to tragically lose his young life when the ‘Rakuyo Maru’ was hit by American torpedoes.  He was 25 years of age.

Please read the story of Rakuyo Maru

 

Pte W.R.S. BakerWX8682 and Pte Joe Starcevich WX8758
Pte W.R.S. Baker WX8682 and Pte Joe Starcevich WX8758
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