The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Farmer
First Name:
Arthur Ernest
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX9199
Company:
‘A’ Company, No. 6 Platoon.
Enlisted:
30.10.1940
Discharged:
22.01.1946
DOB:
30.11.1904
Place of Birth:
London, England
Father's Name:
Septimus William Farmer
Mothers's Name:
Martha Farmer
Religion:
Presbyterian
Pre-war Occupation:
Railway Employee
Java:
‘Blackforce’
Force:
‘ A’ Force Burma, Java Party No.4, Williams Force
POW#:
4645
Return Details 1945:
Thailand-Singapore by aircraft; Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Tamaroa

General Description

Arthur had married in 1932 to Alexandrina Macdonald.

Arthur Farmer was amongst the 90 or so men from  2/4th unable to reboard ‘Aquitania’ before their ship left for Singapore on the morning of 16th January 1942.  There is no doubt Arthur was anxious to see his wife before he went to fight the Japanese!

Read further about this group of men

This group departed Fremantle some weeks later, however by the time their small convoy had reached Indonesian waters, it was realised Singapore would soon fall to the Japanese Imperial Army and therefore the men would be left at Java – as reinforcements to the Allied Forces already on Java and further Australian Battalions who would arrived about the same time.  They became POWs of Japan about a month later and were incarcerated on the island, probably for Farmer it was Bicycle Camp.

He was selected to work on the Burma end of  Thai-Burma Railway with ‘A’ Force Burma No. 4 Group. They arrived from Java in Singapore on 12 October 1942 – departing again by ship for Victoria Point in Burma on 14th October 1942.

Please read further about A Force Burma, No 4 Group who would become Williams Force. 

And further reading.

The men of Williams Force endured a terrible time, slaving on the rail link extraordinary long hours under appalling conditions and moving camps frequently whilst enduring the endless monsoonal rains.

Arthur was rather fortunate to be included in the Cattle Party on 1 May 1943,  He was returned to Tamarkan, Thailand from Augganaung 105 km Camp in Burma.

He was recovered from Thailand at the end of the war.

He suffered from leg ulcers until his death in April 1977.

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