The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Henry Jospeh
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
'E' Company, Special Reserve Battalion
Place of Birth:
Adelaide, South Australia
Father's Name:
Joseph Norman Johnson
Mothers's Name:
Olive Gertrude Johnson (nee Walker)
Pre-war Occupation:
Selarang Camp & Barracks Changi
'D' Force Thailand, S Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Tarsau, Kanyu II, Hintock, Chumphon, Petchaburi, Kachu Mountain Camp, Bangkok.
Return Details 1945:
Thailand-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Highland Brigade

General Description

JOHNSON Henry Joseph WX15640
JOHNSON Henry Joseph WX15640


Below: From AWM.
Studio portrait inscribed: Ben Jones WX8449 , Reg Carter WX8445; George Taylor WX8448 Pte J H Johnson? (back). 2/4 Machine Batt [Battalion]/ Singapore.
Believed to be WX9112 Corporal Benjamin Charles Jones (front left) who died whilst a prisoner of war on 5 November 1943; WX8445 Reginald Charles Carter (front centre) who died whilst a prisoner of war on 18 February 1945; WX8448 George Taylor, who was not a prisoner of war. (George Taylor escaped from Singapore during the battle, reached Sumatra and safely arrived Sri Lanka by ship)The person behind is possibly identified as Private J H Johnson, but cannot be further identified – we believe the man is Henry Joseph Johnson.  He enlisted 6 Aug 1941 and was transferred to reinforcements ‘E’ Company.


Following he capture at Singapore, he was sent to work on Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force, S Battalion in May 1943.





Above:  Harry’s parents married in 1911 in SA.
Harry was one of about 8 children born to parents Joseph Norman Johnson and Olive Gertrude Walker in SA. Harry was the younger of two sons.
Harry’s mother died in Nov 1924 aged 36 when he was about 4 years old.
His father remarried Sophia Emily Ruth Huddleston about 1930 and moved to West Australia. They had two daughters and one son, born between 1930 and 1933 and in 1937 were farming at Tweed Road, Bridgetown.  Harry was living/working at the Tweed Road property when he enlisted in 1941.
Harry’s older brother Reginald Norman born SA 1918, also enlisted WX21004.  Reg married three times and had 5 daughters and 3 sons.  He died 1977 in WA aged 79 years.
Harry’s father Joseph Norman Johnson died 1972.  He had been residing and farming at Sixth Road, Armadale for many years.
After the war and in the 1949 Electoral Roll, Harry returned to living and working at Bridgetown.   In 1951 he married Margaret Sinfield.  Margaret and Harry had a family of three children – Owen, Betty and Enid and were in 1954 and 1958 Electoral Roll residing at Wahkinup Estate, Kojonup.  Harry was employed as a farm labourer.



Interestingly, Harry died SA on 15 March1958 aged 37 years.  He is buried Centennial Park Cemetery, Adelaide.
Western Australian born Margaret Johnson died in WA in 2013 however was buried with her husband in Centennial Park Cemetery, SA.  Margaret remarried about 1963 to Paul Page.


Centennial Park Cemetery, Adelaide.




(As a young child aged about 8- -9 years, I can clearly recall visiting Harry and Margaret Johnson at Wahkinup farm, Kojonup with my father WX47000 Cowboy Matthews and my mother Marion who were then farming north of Kojonup.
Being on a farm 25 miles from town we did not see a large number of locals.  Cowboy left the family vehicle and met with Harry to talk.  They were both with 2/4th reinforcements and would have been together with ‘D’ Force S Battalion working on the Burma-Thai Railway. 
The reason I can recall so vividly is because I remember my father returning to the vehicle with Harry and Margaret, (we had all been waiting in the family vehicle with Marion without alighting) and they said goodbye.  As we drove away Cowboy spoke about Harry being very ill and his terrible imminent death.   I believe he had an inoperable tumor in his head – and the very reason I can recall is because Cowboy was obviously upset and had relayed the news to my mother without realising his young daughter was old enough to listen and understand.  (This was the era of ‘children should be seen and not heard’ – I would never have indicated I had heard their conversation.)  The Johnson’s must have soon after travelled to SA however Margaret Johnson returned to live in Perth……………………..Cheryl Mellor (nee Matthews), Historian and Committee Member, 2/4th Machine Gum Battalion ex-Members Assoc (Est 1946) Perth, WA)


Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Chumphon - Thailand
  • Hintok River Camp, 158k - Thailand
  • Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
  • Petchaburi - Thailand
  • Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand
  • Kachau Mountain Camp - Thailand