The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Lance Corporal
- Regimental #:
- ‘C’ Company Headquarters
- Place of Birth:
- Redhill, Surrey, England
- Father's Name:
- Arthur Spooner
- Mothers's Name:
- Francis Elizabeth Spooncr (nee Thomsett)
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Truck Driver
- Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 18, Age 33.
- Selarang Camp Changi
- ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
- Camps Burma:
- Victoria Point, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw, Augganaung,
- Rakuyo Maru Party, Kumi No. 35
- Cause of Death:
- Lost at Sea
- Place of Death:
- South China Sea
- Date of Death:
Alec Spooner enlisted AIF 6 Aug 1940 later joining 2/4th’s ‘C’ Coy Headquarters under CO Capt Cameron and Capt Thompson.
Darwin: Lofty Watts, Frank Halbert, Alex Spooner, Don Manning (Wenn Collection). Watts was the only soldier to survive to return home.
Alec Spooner was selected with the first work Party to leave Singapore. ‘A’ Force comprised of 3000 Australian POWs departed Singapore Harbour 14 May 1842. The Force was split into 3 Battalions of 1000 men each. Alec was with Green Force No. 3 Battalion was offloaded at Victoria Point, on the Burmese Coast.
Their role was to repair and extend the airfield which had been damaged during the departure of the British. This task took several months, after which the Group moved north, where some men remained at Tavoy and some moved on. Basically Green Force was destined for Burma, and arrived at Thanbyuzayat in 1942 to begin working on the Burma-Thai Railway.
Spooner survived months and months working on the railway, ‘Speedo’, Japanese bashings, starvation and illness and when completed the men were sent back south into Thailand, probably to Tamarkan. It was here the healthiest men were selected for work parties to Japan.
He was selected with Rakuyo Maru party which firstly travelled to French Indo-China where it was intended to send the men via Saigon. The men were eventually turned around and returned to Singapore to leave for Japan from Keppel Harbour. The American sea blockade in the South China Sea made it impossible for Japanese shipping to exit the harbour.
The Rakuyo Maru sank after an American submarine attack in the South China Sea on 14 September 1944. Only a few POWs survived the long days at sea and were lucky to be rescued.
Alex was one of hundreds who perished.
We assume Frank Nie was his brother-in-law.
SPOONER, Lance Corporal, ALEX, WX7337, A.I.F. 2/4 M.G. Bn., Australian Infantry. 14 September 1944. Age 33. Son of Arthur and Frances Elizabeth Spooner; husband of Winifred Florence Spooner, of Carlisle, Western Australia. Panel 18.
Labuan Memorial, Malaysia.
Kings Park Honour Avenue.
Alec aged 12 months departed on ‘Belgic’ from Liverpool Nov 1911 for WA with parents Arthur and Frances and siblings Thomas (14) Dorothy (11) Lizzie (2 years).
Alex’s mother Frances Elizabeth Spooner died August 1931 aged 59 years at Carlisle. His father died May 1956 the result of an accident.
In about 1933 Alec married at Perth to Winnifred Nie.
Win and Alec had three daughters – Frances, Doris and Glenys.
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
- Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
- Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
- Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma