The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Kelt
First Name:
Robert James
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX9151
Classification:
Bricklayer
Company:
Headquarters Company
Enlisted:
30.10.1940
DOB:
29.11.1907
Place of Birth:
Scotland
Father's Name:
Dr James Alexander Mailor Kelt
Mothers's Name:
Helen Mary Kelt
Religion:
Presbyterian
Pre-war Occupation:
House Painter
Memorial:
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Plot 1, Row F, Grave 49, Age 36.
Singapore:
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
Force:
'D' Force Thailand, V Battalion
POW#:
4/6288 & 2261
Cause of Death:
Beri‐Beri
Place of Death:
Non Pladuk
Date of Death:
19.01.1944
Buried:
Grave No. 49, Non Pladuk.

General Description

Back row L-R E. Preedy, J. Heffernan, J. Holt, Bluey Smith, Lin Powell, R Kelt, 2nd row - Tom Firns, H. Elkins,Scotty McEwan, Front row - Darkie Rennie, Unknown, R Newling, J. Quinn, Barney Doolan
Back row L-R E. Preedy, J. Heffernan, J. Holt, Bluey Smith, Lin Powell, R Kelt, 2nd row – Tom Firns, H. Elkins,Scotty McEwan, Front row – Darkie Rennie, Unknown, R Newling, J. Quinn, Barney Doolan

 

Ray Kelt recalls the last time he saw his father, Robert James Kelt. ‘When the war broke out we were living in Palmyra. Dad was trying to earn a quid as a house painter but was battling a bit as things were very tough in those days and eventually he joined the A.I.F. Mum and I left Palmyra and moved into the Town Hall apartments. We only had one room where we slept, cooked our meals and dined. I can remember looking out the window across St John’s Church and watching the trams go past and listening to the Salvation Army play outside Nicholson’s music store. The last time I saw my dad was outside the entrance of our apartment building in High Street. He said to me: “Dad’s got a job to do, now you’re in charge so look after your mother until I return. He then marched down High Street turned and waved, then disappeared down towards the Round House at the end of the street. I was 12 years old, my mum died at 95 years of age. We were always close and good mates through all ‘the years ’.

Robert James Kelt was one of the few survivors from Major Alf Cough’s ‘D’ Force V Battalion but passed away at Non Pladuk camp on 19th January 1944. This war had claimed one more man from the A.I.F. and created yet another widow and fatherless child.

 

From West Australian Newspaper Deaths, 22nd September 1946

KELT, Robert James  (2/4th Machine Gun Batt) died while Prisoner of War Thailand, January 19th 1944; loved brother-in-law of Emma and Laurie Sayers (Fremantle) and fond uncle of Ken (AIF. NG). 

We have only a beautiful memory

To remember our life through

And its sweetness will linger forever

As we treasure the memory of you

 

KELT

Kelp Robert James

 

Photograph taken Kanchanburi War Cemetery January 2018.      C. Mellor

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Non Pladuk, 0k - Thailand
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