The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- William Andrew
- Nick Name:
- Bill /Chooka/Chunka
- Regimental #:
- 'D' Company, No 15 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- John Joseph Dwyer
- Mothers's Name:
- Marie Annie Dwyer
- Roman Catholic
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Plot 1, Row H, Grave 22, Age 24.
- Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
- 'D' Force Thailand, V Battalion
- 3/7649 and 2237
- Cause of Death:
- Malaria and Dysentery
- Place of Death:
- Date of Death:
- Grave No. 47, Brankassi
Dwyer enlisted AIF 18 Dec 1940 later joining 2/4th MGB’s ‘D’ Company No. 15 Platoon under Commanding Officer Lt. Meiklejohn. Please read further about this Platoon.
He was admitted to 2/10th Australian General Hospital on 12.2.1942 badly shell shocked and suffering from nervous exhaustion. Discharged to unit on 20.2.1942.
Bill Dwyer was selected from Selarang with ‘D’ Force V Battalion to work on Burma-Thai Railway. They travelled by train from Singapore to Bampong, Thailand crowded into small carriages unable to all sit or sleep at one time. V Battalion was to endure the highest death rate of any Battalion in ‘D’ Force. Please read further.
He was beaten to death for laughing whilst standing to attention in the ranks waiting to go to work. The Japanese hated to be laughed at.
The beating did not take place straight away. The Japanese waited until the men had marched from their camp to their worksite. It was here the Japanese took their spiteful revenge. They called him aside from the others.
It was not until a while later that Dwyer was found unconscious having taken a terrible beating – this would have been the work of several guards.
The POWs were forbidden to attend to Dwyer. He remained unconscious in the same position the whole day. At the end of the working day the guards ordered POWs to carry Dwyer back to camp. He was taken straight to hospital and died several days later.
Dwyer’s headstone at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.
There were two William Dwyers in the 2/4th MGB. Both men were from the Goldfields. Sadly both men died.
William Dwyer WX20076 was a reinforcement and died in Japan.
Chunka’s parents John Joseph Dwyer and Marie ‘Annie Schiff married 1910 at Coolgardie.
Willhelm Schiff, grandfather to William Andrew Dwyer, died 1895.
Mrs Schiff, also known as Anna remarried Jacobson. Her brother William A. Schiff was KIA France WW1 in 1918.
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Brankassi, Prang Kasi, 208k - Thailand