The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Francis Andrew
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- ‘D’ Company, 14th Platoon.
- Place of Birth:
- Albany, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Henry Weir (Jum) Toovey
- Mothers's Name:
- Harriett Rosa Toovey (nee Doust)
- Roman Catholic
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Karrakatta War Cemetery, Plot M, Row C, Grave 7, Age 27.
- A. G. H. Roberts Barracks Changi, Changi Gaol Camp Hospital
- Cause of Death:
- Died of Wounds
- Place of Death:
- 110 (P)MH
- Date of Death:
Andy was wounded in action at Hill 200, Ulu Pandan on 12.2.1942 hit by shrapnel. He was evacuated to 2/10th Australian General Hospital at Oldham Hall on 12.2.1942 where part of his right thumb was amputated. He was then transferred to a Field Ambulance on 15.2.1942 before being transferred again to 2/13th Australian General Hospital on 17.2.1942. Apart from the damage he incurred to his thumb he had also received wounds to his left and right arms and abdomen. 0n 6.3.1942 he was transferred to the Australian General Hospital at Robert Barracks Changi. The Japanese had given him an ‘A’ Medical Classification due to the severity of his wounds. Given little chance of survival by the doctors, Andy‘s battle for life was just beginning. Twelve months after his initial wounds, the hole in his shoulder had not healed and he had lost partial use of his left arm. The Australian surgeons were in the process of reconstructing a thumb on his right hand by strapping his hand to his stomach, where they hoped to graft the flesh. Once this had succeeded they then intended to graft some bone from his shin in an attempt to reconstruct the thumb. Andy, it is said, remained cheerful during the whole affair and kept himself busy by making chess pieces. He survived his Singapore ordeal and returned to his loved ones in Perth but sadly passed away one month after his return to Western Australia.
It was not until Andy’s brother Pat, an ex-member of 2/28th Battalion and himself an ex-Prisoner of War, met with Murray Ewen, author of “Colour Patch” and stated that Andy’s name did not appear on the Cenotaph at King’s Park War Memorial overlooking the City of Perth.
This obvious omission needed to be corrected because at the time of Andy’s passing he was still a full serving member of 2nd ALF. Over a period of fourteen months Andy’s details were forwarded to and verified by the Commonwealth War Graves. Once these were accepted as being correct, the State Executive of Returned Services League put their weight behind Pat’s cause and, at an unveiling ceremony on 1st May 2000, the panel on which Andy’s name had been added, was unveiled by Mr Ross O’Connor, the Vice President of the Returned Services League.
Height 5′ 8″
Andy was eldest of three children born to parents Henry
Weir Toovey and Harriett Rosa Toovey. His brother Patrick John was born in 1921 and his sister Mary Rosa (known as Molly) was born in 1926.
Andy’s mother died in December 1938 at Tenterden and his father died 6th August 1941 also at Tenterden. Two weeks after his Dad died, Andy enlisted on 20th August 1941, was Taken on Strength, Woodside Camp, South Australia on 5th October 1941. He joined ‘D’ Coy 14 Platoon under CO Lt Tompkins.
- Changi Gaol Camp - Singapore
- Roberts Barracks Changi - Singapore