Cemeteries & Memorials
Labuan (part of Sabah, Malaysia) is a small island in Brunei Bay, off the coast of north-west Borneo. Labuan War Cemetery lies on the Jalan Tanjong Batu road which leads from the airport to the town. It is less than a kilometre from the airport and about 3 kilometres from the Island’s town; Victoria. Within the Cemetery will be found the Labuan Memorial and the Labuan Cremation Memorial.
Kranji War Cemetery – Singapore
Kranji War Cemetery is 22 kilometres north of the city of Singapore, on the north side of Singapore Island overlooking the Straits of Johore. It is located just to the West of the Singapore-Johore road (Bukit Timah Expressway) on Woodlands Road, just to the south of the crossroads with Turf Club Avenue and Kranji Road. There is a short approach road from the main road.
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery – Thailand (Siam)
The town of Kanchanaburi is 129 kilometres North-West of Bangkok and is best reached by road, along the National Highway which runs north from the capital. There are bus and train services from Bangkok. Kanchanaburi War Cemetery is situated adjacent to Saeng Chuto Road which is the main road through the town. When approaching from Bangkok, the cemetery is on the left side of the road, towards the far (northern) end of the town.
Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery – Myanmar (Burma)
The village of Thanbyuzayat is 65 kilometres south of the port of Moulmein, and the Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery lie at the foot of the hills which separate the Union of Myanmar from Thailand.
Djakarta War Cemetery – Djakarta
Jakarta War Cemetery contains the graves of many who died in defence of Java and Sumatra during the swift Japanese advance in 1942 and many others who perished afterwards as prisoners of war. Among the dead were sailors who fought in the Battle of the Java Sea, soldiers of “Blackforce” including a number of Australians whose graves lie together in plot 6, and airmen who died in flying battle and airfield defence. Jakarta (Djakarta) lies on the north-west coast of the island of Java. Jakarta War Cemetery is in the suburb of Menteng Pulo, 11 kilometres from the city centre and is adjacent to the Netherlands Field of Honour, Jakarta Selatan (South Jakarta).
Yokahama War Cemetery – Japan
Yokohama War Cemetery is 9 kilometres west of Yokohama city centre on Jido-Yuenchi-Dori, Hodogaya Ward. It was constructed by the Australian War Graves Group after the Second World War and contains the graves of Commonwealth servicemen who died in Japan as prisoners of war or with the occupying forces after the war. It comprises of four main parts; the United Kingdom section, the Australian section, the Canadian and New Zealand section and the Indian Forces 1939-1945 section.
Ballarat POW Memorial – Victoria, Australia
The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial was dedicated on Friday, 6 February 2004. It is located on the southern approaches to the Ballarat Botanical Gardens, on Wendouree Parade and adjacent to Lake Wendouree. Now recognised nationally as the official National Prisoner of War Memorial, the memorial honours more than 35,000 Australians who were held prisoner during the Boer War, World War I, World War II and the Korean War.
Toodyay War Memorial – Anzac Avenue, Toodyay WA
In 2012 the Toodyay RSL Sub Branch extended an invitation to 2/4h MG Battalion members to attend a dedication service on Sunday 7 October to commemorate those members of the community who lost their lives during WWII. Every effort was made to locate and extend invitations to families of the individuals to be commemorated.
2012 was also the 93th Anniversary of the founding of Toodyay RSL Sub-Branch.
With aid from Department of Veteran Affairs, the Toodyay Shire and Toodyay Community the RSL Sub-Branch had already established an Avenue of Honour to commemorate WWI heroes.
The first project was so well received by the Toodyay Community, the Sub-Branch decided to extend the Avenue of Honour to include those who lost their lives as a result of WWII. Whilst researching for this new project, it was discovered two WWI names had not been in included for varying reasons. Also the Toodyay Memorial inscriptions had two WWII names not included at the Australian War Memorial . With the passing of time and no written records to be found, their research found a further seven WWII names had been omitted from the Toodyay Memorial inscriptions.
The 2012 Service commemorated a total of 24 plaques of which eight were from the 2/4th.
WFX11175, Sister Alma M Beard, 113 Aust Gen Hospital, Army.
29888, F/ Sgt Robert Beard, 466 Sqn, RAAF.
W8589, Cpl Alan G Beardman, 4 Recruit Trg Battalion, Army.
427499, F/Off Peter W Clarkson, 13 Squadron, RAAF.
WX 9839, Pte William M Connolly, 2/48 Aust Inf Battalion, Army.
WX12440, Sapper George V Dempster, 2/6 Field Park Coy RAE, Army.
WX9274, Pte Gordon Dorizzi, 2/4 M/G Battalion, Army.
WX 7997, Pte Herbert Dorizzi, 2/4 M/G Battalion, Army.
WX12884, Pte Thomas H Dorizzi, 2/4 M/G Battalion, Army.
406553, Sgt Desmond J Drake-Brockman, 70 Operational Trg, RAF.
W10711, Pte Geoffrey, T Ferguson, 2856 LAD AAOC, Army.
WX7999, Pte Reginald P Ferguson, 2/4 M/G Battalion, Army.
WX8000, Pte Michael H Geary, 2/4 M/G Battalion, Army.
WX9320, Pte Herbert W Heal, 2/4 M/G Battalion, Army.
WX12516, Pte Benjamin Hutchings, 24 Trg Battalion, Army.
Lt Roderick Y Lee-Steer, Royal Australian, Navy.
W27375, Sapper Lionel C Markey, 1 Geo Sec AHQ Svy Coy, Army.
WX20068, Pte Henry W Ralph, 2/4 M/G Battalion, Army.
WX9357, Pte Leslie R Rayner, 2/4 M/G Battalion, Army.
WX12373, Pte Keith J Robinson, 2/16 Battalion, Army.
38259, Pilot Officer Fredrick C Smith, 25 Squadron, RAAF.
406965, Flying Officer Eric L Truscott, 18 Sqn, RAF.
WX2408, Pte Robert D H Weir, 2/11 Aust Inf Battalion, Army.
WX39502, Pte Cyril J White, 2/28 Aust Inf Battalion, Army.
POW Memorial, Kings Park, Western Australia
The POW Memorial is located nearest to the Corner of Saw Avenue and May Drive, off Kings Park Road. There is a small plaque dedicated to the 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion.
We host two services every year. The first for the Fall of Singapore is held on a Sunday, the day closest to the 15th February. Following the Service attendees gather nearby the Memorial with their BYO picnic lunches.
The second service is held on a Sunday the date closest to 15 August in recognition of VJ Day, (Victory over Japan as was the original name) and the end of WWII and lives as POWs.
The 2/4th MG Annual Luncheon follows from the Service. Commencing about midday, the luncheon is usually held at the Pavillion, Kings Park Tennis Club.
Sandakan Memorial, Boyup Brook, Western Australia
This Memorial is located behind the Boyup Brook Shire Council building.
A Remembrance Service is held on the 2nd Tuesday every September.
The above photograph with Harold Cowie, was taken 23 August 1991 – the year of the first service with the original memorial stone.
The memorial was completed on 20 August 1991 just 3 days prior to the service.
Local resident, retired farmer and former Japanese POW Ted McLaughlin who had served with 2/15th Australian Field Regiment, erected a memorial in Boyup Brook in 1991 in memory of three of his close friends who perished at Sandakan and the 130 Western Australians who had died in Borneo.
Most of Ted’s mates went to Sandakan with ‘E’ Force in mid-1943. “They tried to talk me into going to Sandakan with them in 1943 when we were in Singapore. But I said I didn’t volunteer for things like that”. Ted was sent to Thai-Burma Railway with ‘F’ Force.
To his surprise over 200 people arrived for the dedication of the memorial. Many had driven long distances.
This was one of the first Sandakan Memorials erected in Australia.
It had taken Ted three years to have the above plaque established. He paid for the plaque himself and could not see ‘what all the fuss over him was about’ ( Warren-Blackwood Times, Wednesday September 4th 1991).
‘Boyup Brook Shire President Ian Purse was presented with several books, tapes and videos for the town library by ex-war veteran associations.‘
‘Cr Purse said without Mr, McLaughlin the memorial plaque would never have happened’ and ‘It did not come without perseverance from Mr. McLaughlin and many were thankful for that‘.
In 1993 the service attracted 300 attendees. This led to the erection and dedication of a larger Memorial on 14 September 1994.
The 2/4th Machine Gunners had lost many of their mates at Sandakan and were keen to assist the project, donating funds towards the erection costs.
Every September large numbers of former machine gunners and their wives would travel to gather at Boyup Brook for the annual service. Their thoughts during the service would dwell on those who perished, their mates who never returned to their homes.
The vistors would stay overnight or 2 nights providing an important opportunity for the ‘boys’ to catch up.
The current centrepiece is the original 1991 Memorial erected by Ted McLaughlin. Today’s memorial records the names of the 130 Western Australian who perished at Sandakan.
The Sandakan Boyup Brook Service continues to be an important annual event for our Association. Dedicated veterans and members attend every year.
Sandakan to Ted McLaughlin meant death – brutal and slow.
In 1939, 28 year old Edward (Ted) McLaughlin WX70243, a rice farmer from NSW joined the army in Sydney as a gunner with 2/15th Field Artillery. His battalion was sent straight to Singapore and the men became POWs when Singapore fell.
After the war ended Ted returned to NSW. He married in 1947 and he and Mary had two sons. In 1960 Ted and Mary moved to Boyup Brook.
Ted died in June 2000.
We are grateful to Ted McLaughlin – for his dedication and contribution to the Sandakan Memorial.
Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Most of the group then travelled to Ballarat, visiting the POW Memorial before returning to Western Australia.