The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Ronald Edward
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
'D' Company, 16 Platoon
Place of Birth:
Perth, Western Australia
Father's Name:
John Thomas Arbery
Mothers's Name:
Elizabeth Agnes Arbery (nee Digan)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Selarang Camp Changi. Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selerang Barracks Changi
'D' Force Thailand, S Battalion.
Camps Thailand:
Kanu II, (evacuated sick to Kanchanaburi 5.7.1943‐30.11.1943), Chungkai (1.12.1943‐20.4.1944), Tamuang (22.4.1944-22.6.1944)
Camps Japan:
Yamane, Nihama (blast furnace)
4/4433, 8716, 1527.
Rashin Maru Party
Return Details 1945:
Wakayarna-Okinawa, USS Sanctuary, Okinawa-Manila, USS Bingham , Manila-Sydney, HMS Speaker, Sydney-Fremantle, HMT Dominion Monarch.

General Description

When a further Machine Gun Company was formed at Singapore Sgt Ron Arbery (formerly No 13 Ptn)  was appointed Commanding Officer with Sgt Des Colevas (formerly 14 Ptn) his 2 I/C and L/Cpl Stribley (from Coy HQ) 3 I/C.
Arbery was wounded in action at 0800 hours on 8/2/1942,  evacuated with a gunshot wound to his scalp he took no further part in the fighting. Admitted to 2/13th Australian General Hospital on 10/2/1942. Transferred to  2/2nd Convalescent Depot on 12/2/1942 and discharged to unit on 20/3/1942
Ron enlisted 15 January 1941, became Platoon Sergeant  ‘D’ Company 13 Platoon under Commanding Officer Lt Wankey.
For further reading D Company
And for more information please read No. 16 Platoon



Arbery is mentioned in Lou Daily’s card from Moulmein.



Read Ron’s diaries of 2/4th trip Adelaide to Darwin, 1941.


Ron Arbery was the youngest of four sons and 5 daughters born to John Thomas Arbery and Elizabeth Agnes Digan who married Quorn, SA in 1896.
John Arbery was born Moonta, SA and Elizabeth was born in Ireland.  From SA the couple first moved to Denmark for a few years before moving to Yarloop, Mornington Mills and eventually Victoria Park.   It is not known if the Arbery family was part of  Group Settlement Farms in Denmark – it is highly likely.
Ron was selected to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force S Battalion which left by train from Singapore on 14 March 1943.  S Battalion spent several weeks at Tarsau Camp preparing the area for the train line before making their way to Hellfire Cutting, to Konyu II Camp arriving 25 April 1943.  It was at Konyu the POWS faced the worst possible working and living conditions imaginable.  Ron was evacuated sick to Kanchanaburi Camp on 5 July 1943 where he remained until 30 November 1943.  He was then sent to
Chungkai 1 December 1943 to 20 April 1944
Tamuang 22 April 1944 to 22 June 1944
It was at Tamuang Ron was selected to work in Japan as part of the ‘Rashin Maru’ Party.  He was fortunately one of a large number of 2/4th men sailing to Japan first working at Yamane, then Niihama (blast furnace).  He returned to Australia via HMS ‘Speaker’ from Manila to the Sydney, then ‘Dominion Monarch’ to Fremantle 1945.

Below Ron’s father passes away in 1947 aged 73 years.


John Arbery enlisted WW1 in 1917, aged 43 years.    He was an Engine Driver and finally joined 2nd Railway Corps, AIF.  He sailed to England, however due to ongoing illness never served in France and was sent back to Australia several months later.


After the war Ron married Dorothy Fay Rogers at East Victoria Park in July 1946.
In 1954, Electoral Roll he was a Postal employee, residing St James Park.  In 1958 Ron was employed as a clerk.  In 1970s and 1980 Ron and Dorothy were residing at Lathlain, and Ron was classified as  Civil Servant, working at Admin at PMG.
Don died 4 October 1988.

Camp Locations:

  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Chungkai, 60k - Thailand
  • Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
  • Tamuang, Tha Muang 39k - Thailand
  • Nihama, Hiroshima #2-B- Japan
  • Yamane, Hiroshima #3-D - Japan