The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Laurence Harold
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
'D' Company Headquarters
Place of Birth:
Darkan, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Harold Silas Lewis
Mothers's Name:
Emily Lewis (nee Berriman)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
'A' Force Burma, Java Party No. 4, Williams Force
Camps Thailand:
Tamarkan, Ubon
Camps Burma:
Tanyin, Anakwin, Taungzin 57km, Mezali 72km, Apalon 77km, Kyondaw 85km, Payathanzu 108km
Camps Java:
Bicycle Camp.
Return Details 1945:
Thailand-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Moreton Bay.

General Description

Lewis enlisted AIF 5 April 1941.  Taken on Strength to Woodside Camp, South Australia on 5 October 1941 and joined ‘D’ Company Headquarters under Commanding Officer Alf Cough.
Also known as ‘Strangler’ – Lewis was named after a well known Wrestler.  Wrestling was a popular sport.



He failed to or was unable to reboard ‘Aquitania’ when she sailed for Singapore on 16 January 1942 heading for Singapore.  Please read about the men (90) who were left behind at Fremantle.
Lewis was taken to Java where he was taken POW of Japan about 8 March 1942.  He missed the battle for Singapore.
While a POW Bicycle Camp,Java, Lewis was selected to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with Java Party No 4, Williams Force.
He was sent to work with a party to Ubon, Thailand early 1945 from where he was recovered at the end of the war.

Above, Lewis learns his mate George Lilly died from injuries received at Morotai.  George Lilly’s name is on the Darkan/West Arthur Road Board Memorial WW2.


Four Lewis brothers enlisted from  Darkan.

Laurie’s younger brother WX11305  Ronald Hector Lewis who was born 7 March 1918 also enlisted.   Ron married 1941 Amelia Emily Pumphrey Northam 1941.  He also returned home safely.
WX11593 Norman Frederick Lewis b 25 Mar 1920 enlisted WW2.  He married Linda Beatrice Farmer.
WX22761 Brother Walter Gilbert Lewis b. 1 Mar 1925 also enlisted and returned home.  He married Eileen Noela Moriaty.

Below:  Wedding of Norman Frederick Lewis.






Laurie is eldest son of Harold Silas Lewis and Emily Berriman who married in 1912.  They had a large family whilst residing much of the time at Darkan on a property ‘Mavis Dale’ before his parents moved to Bunbury


Below:  Harold and Emily Lewis moved to live in Bunbury, and then withdrew the sale of their property Mavis Dale, Darkan in 1948.

In 1943 Harold Silas Lewis is residing Darkan, working a a timber worker.  His son, Laurence is labourer.
In 1946 Lewis married Essie Rhoda Guttrey.  1949 Electoral Roll Essie and Lewis are residing 145 Claisebrook Road, East Perth, Lewis is a labourer.  1954 Laurence and Essie are residing Bennett St, East Perth, he is working as a labourer. In 1958 Laurie is living Goderich St, East Perth and working as a brewery worker.
 Laurie’s marriage to Essie failed.
According to records, Lewis married 1960 to Rhonda Gladwin McAtee.  Essie Lewis remarried in 1957.
1972 they were residing Albany Highway, Gosnells, Lewis was a cleaner.
1977 Rhoda & Laurie were residing Inglewood, both are cleaners.
When his father Harold Silas Lewis died in 1977, Bunbury he was 93 years old.  Laurie’s mother Emily died Bunbury 1979.

Below:  Laurie’s parents.

Laurie ‘Strangler’ Lewis passed away at age 87yrs, February 3 2001.


In 1928, tragedy struck Laurie’s Uncle and Aunt when their 12 year old daughter Ivy was murdered at Darkan.  Albert (Bert) Edward Lewis and his wife Annie Foster May Orr married about 1900 Port Pirie, South Australia.  Bert and Annie moved to WA, firstly to Arthur River and then to Darkan.   Bert’s younger brother Harold Silas Lewis followed his brother and also moved to Darkan.


Camp Locations:

  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Ubon - Thailand ***