The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Ritchie
First Name:
William Robert
Nick Name:
Bob
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX15743
Awards:
British Empire Medal, Mentioned in Despatches
Classification:
Stretcher Bearer
Company:
BattalionHeadquarters
Enlisted:
13.08.1941
Discharged:
15.01.1946
DOB:
7.12.1903
Place of Birth:
Lisbon, County Antrim, Ireland
Father's Name:
Robert John Ritchie
Mothers's Name:
Molly Ritchie
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Sheep Farmer
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi
Force:
‘ A’ Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Tamarkan,
Camps Burma:
Victoria Point, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw 14km, Meiloe 75km, Augganaung 105km
POW#:
2751
Return Details 1945:
Thailand-Singapore by aircraft; Singapore-Fremantle, H.M. Hospital Ship Karoa

General Description

Bob enlisted AIF August 1941,  Taken on Strength to Woodside Camp, SA where he joined 2/4th’s HQ Company as a stretcher bearer.
He was selected in Singapore with ‘A’ Force Burma – Green Force No. 3 Battalion to sail to Burma. Read about his role as an orderly.
Green Force No. 3 Battalion landed at Victoria Point, Burma where the POWs were to spend several months either working at the wharves or repairing the aerodrome.  Read further about Green Force Burma No. 3 Battalion.

Read about Bob Ritchie who was awarded a BEM.

 

 

 

 

 

Major Green became C.O of 2/4th upon the death during fighting in Singapore of Lt-Col Anketell.
Major Green was CO of Green Force No. 3 Battalion, Burma, which Ritchie was part of.

 

We are not able to confirm 100% the Camps recorded are correct for Bob.  We can only estimate as there are no records.

 

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Bob married Christina Maud Bock about 1926.  Christina was one of six children born to the ‘John’ Bock, farmer of  Kulikup.   John Bock’s birth name is Johannes  Ernst Edward Alfred Theodore Buck who was born 1865 Queensland.  He married Dec 1891 at Broken Hill, NSW to Caroline Adlamm Harvey.
Bob and Christina were farming at Kulikup when he enlisted 13 August 1941.  They had three children, sons Robert John born 1932 and James Pimlott born 1935 and a daughter Mollie Caroline.
Chrstina’s mother Caroline Bock died 1920 Katauring, Muradup.  She was buried at Kojonup Cemetery.  John Bock died in 1943 and was also buried Kojonup.

 

 

 

Below:  Bob advertising his shearing team – many farmers subsidised their farms by additional means.

Below:  Bob Ritchie caught up in Shearer’s strike.

 

Bob Ritchie had sailed from Belfast, Ireland to New York  in 1919 aged 15 years on ‘Otira’.  He then sailed to Fremantle in the 1923, aged about 19 years.

 

 

 

 

Bob Ritchie died in 1967 aged 63 years and was cremated at Fremantle Cemetery.  We believe Christina, known as Chrissie died about 1980.

 

 

Below:  news 1943 received about Ritchie.

 

Below:  1943 Christina Ritchie – home ‘holding the Fort’ while her husband was POW.

 

 

 

Above:  The Ritchie’s sell up their property at Kulikup.

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
  • Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
  • Meilo, 75 Kilo, 340k - Burma
  • Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
  • Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma
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