The following two men from 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion have their names honoured on the above Memorial:
WX9318 LALLY, Kenneth
Born Northam 1915, Lally enlisted AIF 30 October 1940. As part of 8th Division the 2/4th was sent to Singapore. He was taken POW of Japan 15 February 1942 following surrender by the Allies and a short bitter fight resulting in many deaths and injuries. He was selected to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand V Battalion departing Singapore by train 17 March 1943.
Lally was one of the fortunate few to survive. V Battalion had one of the highest death rates of all Australian Forces on the railway.
When the railway was completed the Japanese regrouped all POWs from Burma and Thailand to 4 of largest camps in Thailand, for many it was for desperately needed medical treatment and the remainder, time to recover from their months and months of slavery, starvation and ill-treatment. Ken was considered fit by his Japanese captors and selected to work in Japan and travelled with ‘Aramis’ Party.
He died at Omuta Coal Mine, Japan 23 March 1945 when crushed between two trucks whilst working underground at the mine. The men were devastated. Ken was a well respected and much liked young Australian. He had survived the battle for Singapore, the ill-fated ‘D’ Force V Battalion with a 50% death rate whilst working on the railway. Survived the sea journey from Singapore to Japan on ‘Aramis’.
Ken Lally was 30 years of age.
WX16674 MURPHY, James Joseph
Was born 1917 Pinnaroo, South Australia to James and Gwendoline Murphy. James enlisted 22 September 1941. Within four months he was serving in Singapore as a reinforcement with ‘E’ Coy Special Reserve Battalion. Three days into the Battle for Singapore on 11th February 1942, James Joseph Murphy was KIA at South-West Bukit Timah, aged 25 years. Please read further about Special Reserve Battalion.