The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- James Eric
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- Despatch Rider
- ‘D’ Company, Platoon No. 15
- Place of Birth:
- Mount Hawthorn, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- James McIntosh Fraser MP
- Mothers's Name:
- Ellen Fraser
- Roman Catholic
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Clerk with the Perth City Council
- Selarang Camp Changi, River Valley Road (after Burma)
- ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
- Camps Thailand:
- Tamarkan, Nacompaton (on camp construction party), Bangkok, Non Pladuk
- Camps Burma:
- Victoria Point, Tavoy, Ye, Khonkan 55km Camp, Victoria Point, Tavoy, Ye, Thanbyuzat, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw 14km, Aungganaung 105km, Meiloe 75km
- Return Details 1945:
- Saigon-Bangkok-Singapore by aircraft; Singapore-Labuan-Morotai-Darwin-Perth, B24 Liberator aircraft 25.9.1945
Eric Fraser enlisted AIF 6 Jul 1940 later joining 2/4th MGB’s ‘D’ Company No 15 Platoon under Commanding Officer Lt. Meiklejohn. Please read further about this Platoon.
Fraser was wounded 8 February 1942 and admitted to 13th AGH suffering exhaustion and bayonet wound to left hand. He was discharged to unit on 8 March 1942.
From Singapore Eric was selected to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion which departed Singapore on 14 May 1942 sailing to Burma.
Green Force comprised about 1,000 of the 3,000 men in ‘A’ Force. They disembarked at Victoria Point. Some remained working and living near the docks and the bulk of the POWs moved out of Victoria point firstly to construct roads, then repair and enlarge the airfield. They departed Victoria Point about 5th August to Tavoy. Eric was part of a group who remained to work at the Tavoy airfield and then moved to Ye to complete the airfield there.
The three airfields were completed by mid September 1942. Green Force arrived at Kendau 4.8km Camp via Thanbyuzat to begin work on the rail link.
Once the Railway was completed the Japanese moved POWs working in Burma southwards to one of the larger camps. Eric spent one month at Tamarkan. It was here he was selected to work in Japan. He contracted Dengue Fever and was not included in the Kumis for ‘Rakuyo Maru’ which sank with most lives lost in the South China Seas in Sep 1944.
At Bangkok he was appointed Medical Officer at the hospital on 1 January 1944.
Read about Nacompaton Hospital Camp.
It is believed Eric Fraser was selected to work in Saigon whilst he was at Non Pladuk, Thailand. He was was one of many boys from 2/4th who left Singapore for Saigon on 2 February, 1945.
Eric arrived with Both Party at Saigon Docks Camp from Singapore on 7 September 1945. They had sailed on 4 March 1945 to Cape Jacques and from near the big river tributary of the Mekong the POWs walked into Saigon.
Eric worked at the aerodrome at Da-Lat in the mountains as well as the Railway at Huy. At Huy the POWs could see the US Forces flying over.
Eric was recovered from Saigon at war’s end on 20 September 1945 and flown to Singapore. From here he few to Lubuan on 24 September 1945 and arrived Morotai 25 September 1945. He arrived Perth from Darwin on 6 October 1945.
Bill Castles and Eric at a 2/4th reunion.
Below: 1985 Anzac Day reunion – Eric Fraser, Trevor James, Dick Ridgwell
Above from Beattie Collection was dated 1 October 1987
Eric passed away aged 88yrs, December 11 2003, at Osborne Park, WA.
- River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand
- Non Pladuk, 0k - Thailand
- Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
- Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
- Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
- Khonkan, 55Kilo Hospital 360k - Burma
- Meilo, 75 Kilo, 340k - Burma
- Tavoy (Dawei) - river port - Burma
- Thanbyuzayat, 415k - Burma
- Ye - Burma
- Saigon - French Indo China
- Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
- Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma