The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Eric William
Nick Name:
Ricky to his family
Regimental #:
Headquarters Company
Place of Birth:
Port Augusta, South Australia
Father's Name:
William Joseph Ryan
Mothers's Name:
Violet Jane Ryan (nee Addison)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Truck Driver
Selarang Camp Changi
‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Tamarkan Hospital (25.12.1943), Bangkok (medical orderley) Nacompaton
Camps Burma:
Victoria Point, Kendau, Thetkaw, Meiloe, Aungganaung, Khonkan 55km (left leg amputated above the knee 21.10.1943, due to a tropical ulcer)
Return Details 1945:
Thailand‐Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Highland Brigade.

General Description

He enlisted AIF 29 Sept 1941 at Claremont and became a reinforcement for  2/4th MGB.   Although not recorded in the ‘ColourPatch’ he joined No. 3 Platoon under commanding officer Quartermaster Capt Phelps.  The reinforcements joined the 2/4th on board ‘Aquitania’ anchored at Gage Roads, off Fremantle on 15 February 1942 – sailing for Singapore the next day.


Following capitulation, Ryan became POW at Selarang, Changi.  He was sent with the first work party to leave Singapore – ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion.  Please read further.
This Force headed for the Burma end of the Railway sailing from Singapore to south west coast of Burma where they would firstly repair and enlarge 3 airfields before heading to start work on the rail link on 1st Oct 1942.
There were 3,000 POWs – who would be split into 3 work parties to repair the airfields at Victoria Point, Tavoy and Ye.  Green Force disembarked at Victoria Point 21 May 1942 under leadership of Major Charles Green of 2/4th.
By 1 Oct 1942 Green Force arrived and was working on Burma end of railway at Kendau 4.8km.  They would remain working on the railway until end of Dec 1943.
Ryan worked through Kendau, Thetkaw, Meiloe and arrived Aungganaung 105 km Camp 11 May 1943.  It was here he developed a leg ulcer – unable to recover he was transferred to Konkhan Hospital Camp where his leg was amputated above the knee on 21 October 1943 by Albert Coates.
He was evacuated to Tamarkan Hospital Camp 25 Dec 1943.
He was medical orderly at Bangkok 1 Jan 1944.
He was recovered at the end of war from Nacompaton Hospital Camp having arrived 30 Aug 1945.
Please read about Khonkan Hospital Camp
Also, please read about Albert Coates the most senior Australian Surgeon on the Burma-Thai Railway and recognised and the best
Ryan was one of the very fortunate to survive the amputation and return home to his home state of South Australia.
He was moved to Nacompaton until the end of the war. Other Amputees from the 2/4th also at Nacompaton included Syd Gorringe, Allan Bamford and Tom Barbour.
Nacompaton was located about 30 miles west of Bangkok. Besides many amputees, POWs were sent to this camp to build up their strength following the completion of the Railway.  As their health improved slightly POWs were called out of Nacompaton in work parties.
When Japan surrendered in August 1945, Nacompaton became an Allied Forces collection centre for ex-POWs who were either moved out via Bangkok to Singapore direct or via Rangoon to Singapore.
Read further about Nacompaton Hospital Camp.


Ricky Ryan’s mother Ellen Jane Violet Addison was born Greenbushes, WA .  She married 1911 Port Augusta, SA to William Joseph Ryans.  Ricky was one of a very large family.
His father died SA in 1958 and his mother died 1971 Adelaide, SA
Ryan married and had at least 4 children.  He died at Seaton, SA 28 May 1986 aged 65 years.

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
  • Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
  • Khonkan, 55Kilo Hospital 360k - Burma
  • Meilo, 75 Kilo, 340k - Burma
  • Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
  • Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma