The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
Headquarters Company, No. 3 Platoon.
Place of Birth:
Wurarga, Northampton, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Arthur Leeds
Mothers's Name:
Julia Carlyon
Salvation Army
Pre-war Occupation:
Selarang Camp Changi
'A' Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Tamarkan, Chungkai, Linson Wood Camp, Nacompaton
Camps Burma:
Victoria Point, Tavoy, Ye, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw 14km, Meiloe 75km, Augganaung 105km
(Linson) 12127
Return Details 1945:
Thailand-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Fremantle, H.M. Hospital Ship Karoa.

General Description

Bill Carlyon was one of eight Indigenous Western Australians to join the 2/4th.  He enlisted AIF 13 Aug 1941 and joined 2/4th MGB’s Headquarters Coy No. 3 Platoon.  He had been working at Galena, near Northampton when he enlisted.

Read about the boys who enlisted from Northampton area.


Hanson R, Carlyon W, Till J & Kemp L covered with red dirt when we arrived. Photographer marked Lt Till with a cross for good luck.
Hanson R, Carlyon W, Till J & Kemp L covered with red dirt when we arrived .. (assume Darwin). Photographer marked Lt Till with a cross for good luck.



L-R back - Sutherland, Carlyon, Unknown, Front L-R E F Osborne, E E Randall, Dave Cripps
L-R back – Sutherland, Carlyon, Unknown, Front L-R E F Osborne, E E Randall, Dave Cripps.
Randall and Cripps perished when ‘Rakuyo’ Maru sank following an American Submarine attack in South China Seas Sept 1944.
Sutherland and Eric Osborne were KIA during the fighting to save Singapore 8-15 Feb 1942.


Read Carlyon’s story
Bill remained single.  He had one sister.
Bill Carlyon died at Port Headland 28th February 1998.  He was buried at Onslow where he had lived much of his life.  He was much liked and respected by his 2/4th mates.


 Carlyon Bill, at home.

Carlyon Bill, at home.


Above:  Anzac Day 1985 Reunion – Tom Hampton, Bill Carlyon, Joe Beattie & ‘Pop’ Heppingstone (Beattie Collection)


Newspaper clipping from ‘The West’ February 16 1995


Bill was selected from Singapore to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion which sailed from Singapore with  3,000 POWs to Burma.
Read further about ‘A’ Force Green Force No. 3 Battalion.
With Green Force he disembarked at Victoria Point with 1,000 men to construct the airfield and roads.
He was then to work at Tavoy, Ye, Kendau, Thetkaw – evacuated sick to Thanbyuzat Hospital (6 Feb 1943 to 23 Feb 1943), Meiloe and Augganaung 105km.  At this time the Japanese began sending all the POWs working on the Burma end of the railway, south to Thailand.  Bill went to Tamarkan and Chungkai hospital camps.
From here he was selected for a work party to Linson Wood Camp – another Northampton boy was Bill McEwen.   It was here it was recorded Bill constructed a desk for the Japanese. Also he was instrumental in taking Tom Hampton on a stretcher by foot to a nearby hospital camp where he required an urgent operation for a perforated duodenal ulcer December 1944. Tom and Bill maintained a friendship throughout their lives.
Further reading about Linson Wood Camp
It has been reported Bill used his bush skills to  source valuable vitamins in plants/leaves from the jungle in an attempt to assist seriously ill mates.
Bill earning the nickname ‘the Tinsmith’ with ‘A’ Force Burma.  Please read further

Also please read about the other 7 Indigenous in 2/4th

Soldier Reunited with Saviour – as per August 1985 “Barbed Wire and Bamboo”
The generosity of Onslow residents has reunited veteran Tom Hampton with a man who helped save his life in a Japanese prisoner of war camp.
When Mr Hampton needed an emergency stomach operation, Bill Carylon was among the prisoners who carried him 2km through thick Thai jungle to an Australian surgeon.
The two friends fought with the WA 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion. The last time they met was on a ship home after the war.
Now the Onslow community has got together to raise more than $1100 to send Mr Carylon (80) to Perth for his first ANZAC Day march and to see Mr Hampton again.
Mr Hampton (68) said – “I will never be able to repay Bill, but it is good to be able to thank him properly. I had a burst duodenal ulcer in the POW camp, and I thought that I would be lucky to survive. But some of the boys had heard about an Australian surgeon at a nearby camp. They made a stretcher and persuaded the Japanese to let them take me.”
Mr Carylon said, “They have been marvellous. It was a total surprise when they told me about the trip. It means so much to me to see the men of the battalion again and Tom.”
Onslow storekeeper, Mr Martin Petering said, “We are all so proud of Bill. He is a wonderful old man. We knew how much he wanted to take part in the Perth ANZAC Day parade, so we started raising the money”.


Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Chungkai, 60k - Thailand
  • Linson Wood Camp, 202k - Thailand
  • Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
  • Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
  • Meilo, 75 Kilo, 340k - Burma
  • Tavoy (Dawei) - river port - Burma
  • Thanbyuzayat, 415k - Burma
  • Ye - Burma
  • Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
  • Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma