The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Gray
First Name:
Charles William
Nick Name:
Tiny
Rank:
Corporal (promoted on 24/1/1942)
Regimental #:
WX10378
Company:
'B' Company
Enlisted:
18.12.1940
Discharged:
7.01.1946
DOB:
9.11.1914
Place of Birth:
Ravensthorpe, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Charles Herbert Gray
Mothers's Name:
Mary Edith Gray
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Gold miner
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park
Force:
Japan 'B' Party, Korea Fukkai Maru
POW#:
331 & 271
Return Details 1945:
Korea-Manila, USS Mercy & HMS Collosus, Manila-Darwin-Perth PBY Catalina aircraft A24-377

General Description

Bill Gray, SA
Bill Gray, SA

 

Bill Gray Darwin
Bill Gray Darwin

Camps Korea:  Keijo (Warehouse), Konan (carbide factory)

For more information read “Korea – Destination for Ted Roots, Jack Taylor, Jim Clancy, Bill Gray and Hubert ‘Dutchy’ Holland”

View Peter Winstanley’s video interview of Bill Gray WX10378.

A member of 8 Platoon, B Company Bill was promoted to Corporal on 24 Jan 1942.
Captured on 15 Feb 1942 when Singapore was surrendered to the Japanese. After a short period in Singapore POW camps, he was transported to Korea aboard the SS Fukkai Maru, leaving Singapore on 20 Aug 1942, and arriving at Pusan in Korea on 21 Sep 1942. POW Numbers 331 & 271.
“Adam Park Camp – Singapore, Johore Bahru – Malaysia, Selarang Camp Changi – Singapore, Keijo – Korea ***, Konan – Korea”
Repatriated from Keijo, Chosen (Korea). Return Details 1945: Korea-Manila, USS Mercy & HMS Collosus, Manila-Darwin-Perth Consolidated PBY Catalina aircraft A24-377

 

KOREA POW CAMP – WA Mother’s Good News Hand-written Letter received Mrs CH Gray of Kelmscott, a member of the 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion Women’s Circle, has received a letter written in his own handwriting from her son, Cpl Charles William Gray, who is a prisoner of war at Keijo, Chosen (Korea).
This letter, which his relatives say is in the same writing and style of those he sent before the fall of Singapore, has been encouraging to other members of the circle. In the letter Cpl Gray wrote : “There area a few West Australians in this camp, including Ted Roots (Albany), Bert Holland (Wagin), and Jack (Squizzy) Taylor (Queen’s Park). We are living under pretty good conditions. The quarters themselves are clean and comfortable, having coal stoves to heat the rooms in winter. There are also ample washrooms and bath-houses, and we get two hot baths a week. We are out at work each day except Sunday, which is a day of rest on which we can do our washing and general repairs. Church services are held. We usually go to the evening service, thus helping us to keep in touch with things that are common to us all. Cigarettes are available three times a week through the canteen. The Red Cross parcels are indeed a godsend and are greatly appreciated by everyone. Most of the English chaps have just recently received letters from home, which were indeed very cheering to us here. When we left Captain Bunning in Singapore he was in the best of health and spirits: what a soldier he turned out! Next time you are in town go to see his people in case they have not heard. Now, Mum please don’t worry about us as things are going to come right soon. I can always see your dear smiling face, which helps to cheer me on.”
Since taken prisoner when Singapore fell on February 15, 1942,  his mother received a telegram from the Army stating he was a prisoner of war at Keijo; a cablegram from her son; a card from Singapore (before he was moved to Korea prior to November, 1942); a card from Korea; a letter typed on a card and signed by her son; a letter printed on a card by her son and last month the letter mentioned above.
Bill’s mother was fortunate to receive this mail.  Many families received zero.
Discharged 7 Jan 1946

 

GRAY West Australian (Perth, WA - 1879 - 1954), Thursday 1 June 1944, page 4

 

Borehole Bulletin April 1990 – Bill wrote from 20 Symonds Street, Esperance advising they had sold their house and would move to Busselton.  Bill thanked the Committee for their work and dedication for 2/4th.

Camp Locations:

  • Adam Park Camp - Singapore
  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Keijo - Korea ***
  • Konan - Korea
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