The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- 'D' Company, No. 15 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Bridgetown, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Magnus Christian Henrich Hansen
- Mothers's Name:
- Lucina (Lucy) Parfit (nee Ryan)
- C of E
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Main Roads Department
- 'A' Force Burma, Java Party No. 4, Williams Force
- Camps Thailand:
- Neikhe Wood Camp 131, Neikhe 133, Changaraya 113km,Tamarkan, Kanchanaburi, Bangkok
- Camps Burma:
- Tanyin, Anakwin, Taungzan, Mezali, Apalon, Kyondaw, Payathonzu, Aungganaung 105
- Camps Java:
- Bicycle Camp Batavia
- Return Details 1945:
- Thailand-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Fremantle HMT 'Highland Bridgade'
Hansen R, Carlyon W, Till J & Kemp L covered with red dirt when we arrived. Photographer marked Lt Till with a cross for good luck.
Following his enlistment with reinforcements, he joined 2/4th and Taken on Strength to Woodside, SA 5 October 1941.
When Hansen returned via Fremantle on 15 January 1942 with 2/4th on ‘Aquitania’ he was one of a large number of men who ‘jumped ship’ to see families before heading to war. Hansen was one of about 95 men who did not return before ‘Aquitania’ sailed the next day 16 January 1942.
These men sailed for Singapore a week or two later, however as Singapore was about to fall, thelanded at Java. Hansen joined ‘Blackforce’ part of Allied Forces and Dutch Indonesian Army to fight the Japanese. The Dutch almost immediately surrendered, the men were soon taken POWs of Japan.
Selected in Java with ‘A’ Force Burma, Java Party No. 4, Williams Force to work on Burma-Thai Railway.
They departed 8 Oct 1942 from port Tanjong Priok, Java on crowded ships to Singapore where they waited until Java Party 3 joined them. The group then boarded ‘Maebashi’ Maru to sail to Rangoon departing Singapore on 23 October. A total of 43 men from 2/4th were in this group.
Camps where Java Party No. 4 Williams Force worked included Tanyin, Anakwin, Taungzan and at this point Williams and Anderson Forces merged into No. 1 Mobile Group. They were to move up and down the railway as there were many trained and experienced engineers who had been with 2/2nd Pioneers taken POW Java. It was a gruelling work schedule beginning with Mezali, Apalon, Kyondaw,Payathonzu, into Thailand to Kami Sonkurai 116 km, 122km Camp, Neikhe Wood Camp 131km, Neikhe 133km, Changaraya 113km and back to Aunggannaung 105. The men were constantly moving, finishing up late one day and marching through the night to start work that morning at the next destination.
There are no official records -so we cannot be certain Bob was at all of the above camps but it is an outline for Williams Force’s movements.
Some known details are:
First Interned Cycle Camp, Java
Arrived Singapore 12 Oct 1942
Departed Singapore 14 Oct 1942
No. 4 Group departed Changi 14 Oct 1942
105 km Camp 21 Sep 1943
Hansen suffered bruised left side of his chest during building a bridge (location unknown)
Arrived Kanchanaburi No. 3 Camp 9 April 1944
Sent to No. Camp Kanchanaburi 6 Sep 1944.
Hansen was recovered from Kanchanaburi in Thailand, sent to Bangkok, flown to Singapore. He sailed home on HMT ‘Highland Brigade’.
Above: Robert with his mother Lucy Hansen.
Robert’s father Magnus Christian Henrich Hansen married 1908 Bridgetown to Lucina (Lucy) Parfitt (nee Ryan). They had a family of 6 children including twins. Lucy died 1929 at Northam.
Magnus C. G. Hansen was born Copenhagen, Denmark about 1878. In 1916 Magnus Hansen was a labourer residing West Guildford.
Our knowledge of Bob’s childhood is minimal. In March 2019 Bob’s nephew Morton Hansen relayed information about Bob. When he returned from war, he went rabbit trapping east of Quairading. A younger Bob attended school and was regarded as being an excellent student. Magnus Hansen had talked of sending him to Guildford Grammar and/or Denmark. But these verbal plans never eventuated.
Magnus Hansen died 6 Mar 1934 in York.
Robert Hansen married 1934 at York to Tryphena ‘Topsy’ Hilda Cross, born Oak River, WA. (Probably known as Oakover River, Pilbara). He enlisted August 1941 aged 28. He and Topsy with 3 children were residing 26 Fitzgerald Street, North Perth. Their only daughter Joan lives in Albany (2019) and the others are now deceased. Son Malcolm Leslie died in 2007 at Narrogin.
In his later years Bob lived at Bentley, next door to his brother Bill. He died at Canning 19 of Aug 1972 aged 60 years. He and Topsy were cremated Karrakatta Cemetery.
- Kanchanaburi, 50k - Thailand
- Nikhe Wood Camp, Ni Thea, 131 Kilo, 284k - Thailand
- Kami Songkurai, 299k - Thailand
- Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
- Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
- Taungzun, 60 Kilo, 358k - Burma
- Bicycle Camp, Batavia, Jakarta - Java ***
- Changaraya No. 5 - Thailand
- Tanyin 35 Kilo Camp - Burma
- Anakwin 45 Kilo Camp - Burma
- Mezali 70km Camp - Burma
- Nikhe, Ni Thea, 133Kilo Camp, 281.80km - Thailand
- Kyondaw 95 Kilo Camp – Burma
- 122 Km Camp, Thailand (Sonkurai Region)
- Payathonzu or Paya-thonzu Taung 108 Kilo Camp, Burma