The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Melville Roy
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
‘A’ Company, 4 Platoon
Place of Birth:
Subiaco, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Victor Roy Docking
Mothers's Name:
Mary Elizabeth 'Minnie' Docking (nee Schumann)
Pre-war Occupation:
Bread Carter
A. G. H. Roberts Barracks Changi, Selarang Barracks Changi. Following return from Thailand - Selarang Barracks Changi, X3 Party, Changi Gaol Camp.
‘F’ Force Thailand
Camps Thailand:
Shimo Sonkurai, Tanbaya (Burma), Kanchanaburi
13927, 1/7519
Return Details 1945:
Singapore-Darwin-Sydney, HMT Arawa, Sydney-Melbourne by troop ship, Melbourne-Fremantle, HMT Strathmore

General Description

Docking enlisted 7 July 1941 aged 19 years into AIF from Albany where his family resided.  He soon after joined 2/4th’s ‘A’ Company No. 4 Platoon under CO Lt McCaffrey.


Ted Bates, Mel Docking & possibly Alexander Hack.
Ted Bates, Mel Docking & Alexander Hack – No. 4 Battalion.


Mel Docking was a trumpet player.  There arose a situation whereby his trumpet went missing (details are not known to us) and with Tom Bunning and Jamieson attended a tribunal to decide who it belonged to.

Docking was part of A Coy No. 4 Platoon

Soldier wounded in action at Buona Vista on 15/2/1942.  Admitted to 2/19th Field Ambulance with a shrapnel wound to right buttock.  Transferred to  2/13th Australian General Hospital.  Soldier was a patient at Australian General Hospital Roberts Barracks until July 1942.  Due to partial paralysis caused by damage to the sciatic nerve and loss of use of his right foot, this soldier was given an ‘E’ Medical Classification.  He worked in the cook house for a time on light duties to promote his recovery.
Below:  48 men of 2/4th in ‘F’ Force.  List compiled by Harold Cowie.

On 20 April 1943 he as selected and left with ‘F’ ForceThailand  to work on the Burma-Thai Railway.  He reported he was at Shimo Sonkurai, Tanbaya (Hospital Camp) and Kanchanaburi.
Docking provided a description of several camps.

Docking was sent with X3 Party at Singapore

Mel Docking ‘s parents Victor Roy Docking born in Prahan, Victoria and Mary Elizabeth Schumann known as Minnie born Albany were married 1921 in Perth.  Mel was an only child.

Victor died in 1937 in Geraldton at the age of 41 years.


The Docking Brothers, Edward Charles, Arthur Austin and Victor Roy – all served overseas during WW1 and came home.  The three brothers were born on Prahan, Victoria but relocated to Western Australia with their parents.  Their father died in 1900.


Below:  Mel’s grandmother Mrs M Schumann died 1936.


Please read about 2/4th boys from Albany

Mel returned from the war to his hometown of Albany.

He soon resumed playing footy.


Below:  in 1949 Mel’s grandfather died.

He married 1947 to Mary Jane Dawson and they resided in Albany where he was employed with carpentry.
His mother died in 1972.
Mel Docking died 25 October 1993 aged 72 years.
Below:  January 1994 ‘Borehole Bulletin.’
Borehole Bulletin January 1994




Below:  Mel’s maternal grandfather John Schumann (born Germany) was a diver.

48th Battalion WW1

The 48th Battalion was raised in Egypt on 16 March 1916 as part of the “doubling” of the AIF. Roughly half of its new recruits were Gallipoli veterans from the 16th Battalion, and the other half, fresh reinforcements from Australia. Reflecting the composition of the 16th, the men of the new battalion hailed mainly from regional South Australia and Western Australia. The new battalion formed part of the 12th Brigade of the 4th Australian Division. It became known as the “Joan of Arc” (the Maid of Orleans) battalion because it was “made of all Leanes” – it was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Ray Leane, his brother was the adjutant, and several other relatives were scattered throughout the battalion.
The 48th’s first major battle on the Western Front was Pozieres. Here, it was tasked with defending ground captured in earlier attacks by the 2nd Division and entered the firing line on two separate occasions – 5 to 7 and 12 to 15 August. During the former period the battalion endured what was said to be heaviest artillery barrage ever experienced by Australian troops and suffered 598 casualties. A diorama at the Australian War Memorial depicts the battalion’s experience at Pozieres. Before it had recovered from the trials of Pozieres, the 48th was also required to defend ground captured during the battle of Mouquet Farm.
1917 was also a trying year for the 48th Battalion. In two of the major battles in which it fought – the first battle of Bullecourt, in France, and the battle of Passchendaele, in Belgium – it was forced to withdraw with heavy casualties as result of poor planning and inadequate support. On neither occasion did the battalion fail for want of courage or skill amongst its own troops.
Like most AIF battalions, the 48th rotated in and out of the front line through the winter of 1917-18. In the spring of 1918 it played a crucial role in blocking the main road into Amiens when the Germans launched their last great offensive. When it came time for the Allies to launch their own offensive, the 48th took part in the battle of Amiens between 8 and 10 August, and the battle to seize the Hindenburg “outpost line” between 18 and 20 September. This was the 48th’s last battle of the war. It disbanded on 31 March 1919.

Camp Locations:

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