The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Gorringe
First Name:
John
Nick Name:
Jack or Cocky
Rank:
Sergeant (Promoted on 11.2.1942)
Regimental #:
WX9336
Awards:
British Empire Medal
Company:
‘B’ Company
Enlisted:
30.10.1940
Discharged:
11.12.1945
DOB:
18.01.1913
Place of Birth:
Subiaco, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Thomas Gorringe
Mothers's Name:
Eleanor Gorringe
Religion:
Methodist
Pre-war Occupation:
Butcher and Farmhand
Singapore:
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi; Changi Gaol Camp
Force:
‘F’ Force Thailand
Camps Thailand:
Shimo Sonkurai; Kanchanaburi (7.1.1944-30.3.1944 beri beri)
Camps Burma:
Tanbaya Hospital Camp (temporary medical staff)
POW#:
1/7833
Return Details 1945:
Singapore‐Darwin-Sydney,HMTArawa; Sydney-Melbourne by troop train; Melbourne -Fremantle, HMT Strathmore

General Description

Jack and his younger brother Sydney Gorringe enlisted 30 October 1940 and thereafter joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘B’ Coy.

Fortunately for the Gorringe family both Jack and Syd survived and returned to their family.

The Gorringe family originated from Surrey, England where several of the older children were born. In total there were 10 children with the younger ones being born in WA. Jack and Syd were not the only family members to enlist; older brother Maurice George died in Crete April 1941 with 2/1st F.D. Coy. He was 31 years old. There were two girls, Violet aged 15 years died in 1921.

NCO Jack Gorringe was admitted to 2/13th Australian General Hospital with malaria on 16 February 1942 and was not discharged to his unit until 9th March 1942.  Until he was selected with ‘F’ Force to work on the Thai-Burma railway, he was for nearly two years the most senior 2/4th NCO at Changi and as well as the excellent work he did there, he was also placed in charge of the cookhouse.

 

Jack was selected to work on Burma Thai Railway with ‘F’ Force.

When the Rail was completed toward end of 1943 the POWs were south to head back to Singapore.  Many were sent to Kanchanaburi.  The following extract is from Wally Holding’s written experiences  –

You can read further

https://www.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/202001/Holding_Walter.pdf
‘By the time we got to Kanburi big lots of troops were being brought down the line so we were parked in the scrub around the camp. Jack Gorringe had a group of 2/4th, I do not know how many there were now, but I got a really bad dose of malaria. I got to the stage where I was rambling – I reckoned the guards were after me – they put a bloke on to watch me as I was wandering. I just got weaker and I have no recollection of when we were put on the rail to return the Singapore the same way we had come up.’
‘What remained of “F” Force were at Kanburi by this time. Most went back to Singapore by rail, some went back to Bangkok and went to Singapore by boat, and a few stayed in Thailand.’

 

It is believed Jack Gorringe married.

His mother Eleanor Gorringe who had been residing in Hyden, died in  Perth January 1947.

John passed away during 1994.

Camp Locations:

  • Changi Gaol Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Kanchanaburi, 50k - Thailand
  • Shimo Sonkurai, 288k - Thailand
  • Tanbaya, 362k - Burma
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