The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Robert George
- Nick Name:
- Bob or Jock
- Regimental #:
- ‘C’ Company, No. 12 Platoon - Platoon Sgt
- Place of Birth:
- Guildford, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- George Ernest Whitfield
- Mothers's Name:
- Haidee Cora Whitfield
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selarang Barracks Changi, River Valley Road,
- ‘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)
- 8725 & 1540
- 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.
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.
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
The Norseman-Esperance News Thu 2 May 1957
Bob & Mrs Whitfield with Bill Castles
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
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.
- 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