The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- James William
- Regimental #:
- Battalion Headquarters (Reinforcement)
- Place of Birth:
- Grangetown, Sunderland, England
- Father's Name:
- William Luddington Robinson
- Mothers's Name:
- Elizabeth Robinson
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Miner and Truck Driver
- Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Plot 1, Row M, Grave 36, Age 28.
- Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
- ‘D’ Force Thailand, S Battalion
- Camps Thailand:
- Tarsau, Konyu II, Chungkai
- 4/6552 & 8841
- Cause of Death:
- Acute Enteritis
- Place of Death:
- Date of Death:
- Grave No. 317, Chungkai
Robinson enlisted AIF 20 Aug 1941 and as a reinforcement joined 2/4th MGB, boarding ‘Aquitania’ at Gage Roads 15 Jan 1941 for Singapore. He was one of thirteen reinforcements to join Battalion Headquarters Company under Command of Lt-Col Anketell (who was killed during fighting Singapore 8-15 Feb 1942.)
James William Robinson’s life is remembered at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand.
James Robinson aged 11 arrived from London at Fremantle on ‘Largs Bay’ in 1926 from London with his parents, sister and two younger brothers.
We are not able to trace the location of the Robinson family after they arrived in Fremantle. We assume James, his sister and brothers attended school, although probably did not remain beyond 14 years of age.
James’ birth mother Ellen had married his father in 1913 Sunderland, Durham, England. James was born in 1915 and Ellen died the same year. James’ father William Luddington Robinson remarried to Elizabeth Carr. William and Elizabeth had a daughter Hilda born in 1917 and two sons John and Joseph before migrating to WA.
William Robinson died in 1957 at Victoria Park and Elizabeth Robinson died in 1970.
James Robinson was recorded in 1936 Electoral Roll as living at Black Flag, Kanowna, working as a contractor. He is next found living in 1943 Electoral Roll (prior to enlisting) at Rivervale, working as a labourer. James was in fact living with his mother Elizabeth at Rivervale (as shown below) and it appears Elizabeth and William were living separately, William was at Victoria Park.
James was selected to work on Burma-Thai railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand S Battalion. This particular Battalion included more than 120 men from 2/4th, and departed Singapore Railway Station mid May on a horrific 4-5 day train journey. Crowded into small carriages the men were freezing cold at night and the days absolutely roasting hot.
The first camp they worked at was Tarsau which would become the Japanese HQ for ‘D’ Force. Soon after it became the Hospital Camp for ‘D’ Force. ‘S’ Btn worked several weeks at Tarsau – the work load did not prepare them for Konyu II and the Hellfire Pass region they were to work at! And they were to soon realise Changi was a holiday camp in comparison to working on then Railway.
We believe Robinson was one of many POWs evacuated to sick out of Konyu area and taken to Chungkai where he died of acute enteritis aged 28 years.
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Sime Road Camp - Singapore
- Chungkai, 60k - Thailand
- Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
- Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand