The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Nick Name:
Jack or Cocky
Sergeant (Promoted on 11.2.1942)
Regimental #:
British Empire Medal
‘B’ Company, 8 Platoon
Place of Birth:
Subiaco, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Thomas Gorringe
Mothers's Name:
Eleanor Gorringe (nee Budgen)
Pre-war Occupation:
Butcher and Farmhand
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi; Changi Gaol Camp
‘F’ Force Thailand
Camps Thailand:
Shimo Sonkurai; Kanchanaburi (7.1.1944-30.3.1944 beri beri)
Camps Burma:
Tanbaya Hospital Camp (temporary medical staff)
Return Details 1945:
Singapore‐Darwin-Sydney,HMTArawa; Sydney-Melbourne by troop train; Melbourne -Fremantle, HMT Strathmore

General Description

Jack and his younger brother Sydney Gorringe enlisted AIF 30 October 1940 and thereafter joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘B’ Coy.  John with 8 Platoon where he was Sergeant to CO Lt McKinnon.  Syd was with 7 Platoon.
Jack was residing at Kondinin when he enlisted, his mother and brother Syd were living in Hyden.
Fortunately for the Gorringe family both Jack and Syd survived and returned to their family. Tragically their brother Maurice was KIA.
NCO Jack Gorringe was admitted to 2/13th Australian General Hospital with malaria on 16 February 1942 and was not discharged to his unit until 9th March 1942.  Until he was selected with ‘F’ Force to work on the Thai-Burma railway, he was for nearly two years the most senior 2/4th NCO at Changi and as well as the excellent work he did there, he was also placed in charge of the cookhouse.


Jack was selected to work on Burma Thai Railway with ‘F’ Force.

Below:  Harold Cowie compiled this list of 2/4th men in F Force

Shimo Sonkurai Camp hospital – dysentery & beri beri 26 June to 15 July 1943
Tanbaya Hospital Camp – temporary medical staff 29 Sept 1943 (Please read below)
Evacuated south to Thailand with all POWs from  Burma to Tamarkan – beri beri 7 Jan 1944 – 30 Mar 1944 – this means when the bulk of ‘F’ Force returned to Singapore, Jack was one of quite a few sick POWs left behind.
When the Rail was completed toward end of 1943 the POWs were sent south to head back to Singapore (see above where Jack was left behind) Many were sent to Kanchanaburi.  The following extract is from Wally Holding’s written experiences  –
You can read further
‘By the time we got to Kanburi big lots of troops were being brought down the line so we were parked in the scrub around the camp. Jack Gorringe had a group of 2/4th, I do not know how many there were now, but I got a really bad dose of malaria. I got to the stage where I was rambling – I reckoned the guards were after me – they put a bloke on to watch me as I was wandering. I just got weaker and I have no recollection of when we were put on the rail to return the Singapore the same way we had come up.’
‘What remained of “F” Force were at Kanburi by this time. Most went back to Singapore by rail, some went back to Bangkok and went to Singapore by boat, and a few stayed in Thailand.’
Sgt John Gorringe was recommended by Capt G.W. Gwynne CO ‘D’ Coy to be recommended for British Empire Medal for his work at Tanbaya Camp Hospital in 1943 an honour truly earned.



The Gorringe family originated from Surrey, his parents married in 1901. Several of the older children were born in England prior to the family moving to WA.   In total there were 10 children with the younger ones being born in WA. Jack and Syd were not the only family members to enlist; older brother Maurice George died in Crete April 1941 with 2/1st F.D. Coy. He was 31 years old. There were two girls, Violet aged 15 years died in 1921.


Below:  Older brother Maurice died in Crete 1942.


Jack Gorringe receives his B.E.M.


Below:  father Thomas Gorringe was injured in a bus accident in 1945.    He died about 1952.


We believe Jack Gorringe married to Joyce Margaret Owen Dunn at Perth, 1945.
His mother Eleanor Gorringe who had been residing in Hyden, died in  Perth January 1947.  Eleanor was mother to 10 children;  8 sons and two daughters.

In the 1958 Electoral Roll John was farming and residing 18 Riverview Street, South Perth with Joyce.  His brother Syd was also in South Perth.  In 1977 John was residing Allness Street, Applecross.
John passed away 5 Dec 1994 aged 81 years.  He was buried Karratha.  Joyce died  in 1998.

Camp Locations:

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