The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Bunker
First Name:
Harold Thomas
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX9223
Classification:
Rangetaker
Company:
'A' Company
Enlisted:
30.10.1940
Discharged:
6.06.1945
DOB:
26.09.1920
Place of Birth:
Mount Barker, Western Australia
Father's Name:
George Edward Bunker
Mothers's Name:
Annie Ansit Bunker
Religion:
Methodist
Pre-war Occupation:
Orchardist
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi
Force:
A Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
POW#:
1509
Japan:
Rakuyo Maru Party, Kumi No. 35 (rescued by USS Queenfish)
Return Details 1945:
Saipan-Guadalcanal-Brisbane-Perth by aircraft 1.11.1944

General Description

Harry Bunker was one of the extraordinarily fortunate survivors of the sinking of ‘Rakuyo Maru’ by US Submarines and rescued several days later in the South China Sea.

Read the story Members of 2/4th nominated for Medal but not awarded.

And the story Surviving the Sinking of the Rakuyo Maru written by Roy Cornford NX44955 of the 2/19th Battalion, courtesy of Peter Winstanley.

 

Read the letters written to the mother of Vern Trigwell (Triggy) who died at sea following  ‘Rakuyo Maru’ Sinking.

Harry’s sister Ada married Don Ross WX9253 of 2/4th  who perished 23 May 1945 Sandakan.

Whilst the Bunker family considered themselves fortunate their son Harry miraculously survived the sinking of the ‘Rakuyo Maru’, their relief was short-lived when they learnt the death of their son-in-law Don, husband of their daughter Ada.

The Bunker family was to endure further loss and tragedy when in February 1947, Alan William Bunker aged 31 years,  brother of Harry and fourth son to George and Annie Bunker, died following an accident leaving behind his wife and 3 children.

Read the connections/marriages of the 2/4th

Harry Bunker died 2 March 2000.

The Return Home of H. Bunker – Escapee POW of Japan 1945

He’s coming up the street,
As yellow as a Chow.
He walks with weary feet,
But he is happy now.

 

He went away to fight
‘Gainst the aggressive Japs,
Because he thought it right
He went with other chaps.

 

They were all in their prime
When they reached Singapore,
A lot before the time
To make successful war.

 

They were not well equipped,
Were ordered to give in,
Much bitterness was sipped,
And they grew very thin.

 

A ship with him aboard,
Was sunk and left him free;
Away the Jap boats roared,
Free on a raft was he.

 

With others on that raft,
They spent four dreadful days,
Rescued by Yanks at last,
Who served them well always.
He’s coming up the street,
His people by his side,
Happy once more to greet
And in him they show their pride.

 

The above was read at the funeral of our Late Member, Harry Bunker, and published in ‘Borehole Bulletin’ April 2000. (author unknown)

 

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
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