The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Arthur Edward
- Nick Name:
- Snow White
- Regimental #:
- ‘D’ Company, 13 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- North Perth, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Sam Morrison
- Mothers's Name:
- Nellie Morrison (nee Orchard)
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Farmhand and Rabbit Trapper
- ‘Blackforce’, attached to 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion. (captured at Garoet 9.3.1942)
- ‘A’ Force Burma, Java Party No. 4, Williams Party
- Camps Thailand:
- 116km, 122km, 131km, l33km, Tamarkan, Kanchanaburi (March‐April 1944), Chungkai, Non Pladuk, Nacompaton, Sonkurai-Nikhe Defence Line, Tamuang, Bangkok.
- Camps Burma:
- Tanyin, Anakwin, Taungzin 57km, Mezali 72km, Apalon 77km, Kyondaw 85km, Payathanzu 108km
- Camps Java:
- Garoet, Bicycle Camp Batavia
- 2 /13612 & 4639
- Return Details 1945:
- Thailand-Singapore by aircraft; Singapore-Fremantle, HMT 'Moreton Bay'.
Arthur Morrison was one of eight Indigenous Western Australians to join the 2/4th.
He enlisted AIF 13 Aug 1941 from Woodanilling and later joined 2/4th’s ‘D’ Company 13 Platoon under Commanding Officer Lt Wankey. He was Taken on Strength to Woodside Camp S.A. 5 Oct 1941 where he joined the rest of the Battalion.
Arthur went from SA to Darwin with the 2/4th and just after Christmas the Battalion embarked to sail to Sydney where they boarded ‘Aquitania’ a few days later. ‘Aquitania’ sailed to Singapore via Fremantle (their destination was secret, the soldiers were not told). The ship anchored for one night at Gauge Roads. The men were forbidden to take leave. Desperate to see their families (for what maybe the last time) 100’s 2/4th men got off the ship and got to Fremantle, then headed for their homes. Morrison was one of about 100 2/4th machine gunners who were unable to reboard the next day – some had been locked up in Fremantle unable to persuade the authorities of their ‘plight.’
Arthur was taken POW by Japanese about 8 March 1942 in Java and initially accommodated at Garoet Camp prior to moving to Bicycle Camp from where he was to sail to the Burma end of railway via Singapore.
Arthur joined ‘A’ Force Burma Java Party No. 4 Williams Force and worked on the Burma end of Thai-Burma Railway. Williams Force, due to the fact there were POWs with ‘engineering/construction’ experience, was to endure harsh conditions moving frequently up and down the railway in Burma, repairing/maintaining the railway line, often working all day and then ordered to march at night to next day where the men would immediately start work.
Morrison suffered from tropical ulcers to his feet at 105km Camp Burma and was treated at Kanchanaburi.
Bert Wall saw Morrison at Kanchanaburi. In his interview with Winstanley, Bert spoke highly of Morriso, ‘He was always a gentleman’.
He was recovered from Thailand at the end of the war.
In 1946 Arthur with several 2/4th boys decided to have a drink at the Alhambra Bar in Perth. Read the story.
Another story of Arthur’s return can be read at A man who fought but had no vote.
After the war, Morrison attended many reunions.
Arthur, or ‘Snow White’ as he was known by his 2/4th mates, passed away at Hollywood Hospital 13 March 2000 aged 83 years.
About 500 people attended his funeral in Katanning including four men from 2/4th. On parade were Don Lee, who paid tribute to Arthur, Gordon Lynan, Ted Roots and Joe Pearce.
Returning from war Arthur worked on farms, Katanning Shire Council and Main Roads Dept. In later years, as with so many former 2/4th, ‘Snow White’ attended many reunions, especially those held in the south-west.
Arthur was the tallest boy sanding near his mother.
Arthur was the son of Sam and Martha Nellie Morrison (nee Orchard). His mother died at a young age from rheumatic fever.
Arthur was survived by eight children, 22 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.
The above was included in ‘Borehole’ October 1993 – in recognition of his life, his values and his extensive contribution to the community as an elder.
Below: The West Australian Friday 22 May 2022
- Chungkai, 60k - Thailand
- Kanchanaburi, 50k - Thailand
- Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand
- Nikhe Wood Camp, Ni Thea, 131 Kilo, 284k - Thailand
- Non Pladuk, 0k - Thailand
- Kami Songkurai, 299k - Thailand
- Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
- Tamuang, Tha Muang 39k - Thailand
- Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
- Apalon, Apalaine, 80 Kilo, 337k - Burma
- Taungzun, 60 Kilo, 358k - Burma
- Bicycle Camp, Batavia, Jakarta - Java ***
- Garoet - Java
- 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