The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Whitfield
First Name:
Robert George
Nick Name:
Bob or Jock
Rank:
Sergeant
Regimental #:
WX10561
Company:
‘C’ Company, No. 12 Platoon - Platoon Sgt
Enlisted:
3.01.1941
Discharged:
24.01.1946
DOB:
4.05.1922
Place of Birth:
Guildford, Western Australia
Father's Name:
George Ernest Whitfield
Mothers's Name:
Haidee Cora Whitfield
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Storeman
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selarang Barracks Changi, River Valley Road,
Force:
‘D’ Force Thailand, S Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Kanu II, Kanu I (brought up supplies from the river camp), Tarsau, Nacompaton
Camps Japan:
Yamane, Niihama (wharf and refinery)
POW#:
8725 & 1540
Japan:
Rashin Maru Party
Return Details 1945:
Wakayama‐Okinawa, USS Consolation, Okinawa-Manila, USS Bingham, Manila Morotai-Darwin, PBY Catalina aircraft A24-70, Darwin -Adelainde, B24 Liberator aircraft, Adelaide-Perth, ANA airliner.

General Description

Whitfield wounded in action at Hill 200, Ulu Pandan on 12/2/1942. Admitted to 2/13th Australian General Hospital with shrapnel wound to right forearm. Discharged to unit on 27/2/1942.
Bob enlisted Jan 1941 – joined “D” Coy, became Sergeant of No. 12 Platoon.  During the defence of Singapore with  Commanding Officer Mick Wedge -12 platoon was equipped with 6 Machine Guns in three sections and had task of supplying support fire for 7/8th Punjab Regiment with 44th Indian Brigade which covered to south western section of Island.
You can read further about ‘C’ Coy No. 12 Platoon.
Whilst at Selerang Bob came across an old school friend, Fred Skeels who was a survivor from the sinking of ‘Perth’ and arrived in Singapore from Java where he was initially incarcerated.  In Fred’s book ‘Java Rabble’ Page 72 he wrote
“I met up with an old school friend, Bob Whitfield, a sergeant in the 2/4th.  He and several others were playing two-up at the time and he (Bob) gave me five Singapore dollars with which to have a bet.  Regrettably I lost it.” 
Skeels wrote of Selerang that unless you were out on a work party, it was pretty boring.  Men sat around playing cards.  There weren’t work parties every day, and then you may not be selected.  Food of course was minimal.
Bob was selected with D Force S Battalion to work on the Burma Thai Railway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bob and his family ran the Norseman hardware and building products store as well as having a gyprock board plant.

 

 

This photo shows both machine gunners Bob and Ron Gibbons (WX7607) post war in the Norseman Volunteer Fire Brigade Team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The West Australian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The West Australian Sat 17 Feb 1951 – TROVE

 

 

 

 

The Norseman Esperance News Thu 26 Jan 1956

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kalgoorlie Miner Fri 3 Sep 1943

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Norseman-Esperance News Thu 2 May 1957

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bob & Mrs Whitfield with Bill Castles

 

40TH ANNIVERSARY DINNER 1985

 

50th Anniversary Dinner – Bob Whitfield

 

Bob Whitfield WX10561 December 2003

An extensive interview of Bob can be seen at the Australia At War Film Archive

 

Fairbridge 2004 No 2

Trevor James, Jim Burns, Alf Worth, John Lane, Des Colevas, Bob Whitield, Joe Pearce (rear), Tom Pilmoor (front), Owen Morris, Jim Elliott, Ron Badock, Gordon Lynam

Bob passed away aged 89yrs, October 2005, at Mandurah, WA.

Camp Locations:

  • Adam Park Camp - Singapore
  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Kanu 1 151.00k - Thailand
  • Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
  • Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand
  • Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand
  • Nihama, Hiroshima #2-B- Japan
  • Yamane, Hiroshima #3-D - Japan
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