The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Edward John
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
‘E’ Company, Special Reserve Battalion 2 Platoon.
Place of Birth:
Mingenew, Western Australia
Father's Name:
George Ronan
Mothers's Name:
Alice Ethel Ronan (nee Robinson)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
‘D’ Force Thailand, V Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Brankassi, Kuii, Hindaine, Tamakan, Non Pladuk, Ubon
Return Details 1945:
Thailand-Singapore by aircraft; Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Highland Brigade

General Description

Edward Ronan was one of eight Indigenous Western Australians to join the 2/4th.


Ronan, Edward and his mate Edgar Pell
Ronan, Edward and his mate Edgar Pell
Edgar Henry Pell was born Busselton Dec 1917.  His Service No. WX515.  He enlisted 1939 and joined 2/11th Battalion.   He was then 21 years old and single.  Edgar was sent to Greece in April 1941where he fought and was tken POW.  The Red Cross confirmed in Oct 1941 he was Stalag 8B.  Stalag VIII-B was a German Army prisoner-of-war camp during World War II, later renumbered Stalag-344, located near the village of Lamsdorf (now Łambinowice) in Silesia. The camp initially occupied barracks built to house British and French prisoners in World War I.He was recovered soon after January 1945 and sent to Britain.
Ted Ronan enlisted 27 August 1941.  He became a reinforcement for 2/4th MGB and boarded ‘Aquitania’ Fremantle 15 Feb 1942  and sailed next day for Singapore joining the Machine Gunners for first time.
In Singapore ‘E’ Coy became Special Reserve Battalion under the leadership of Major Saggers. Ted was with No. 2 Platoon  under CO Lt Jimmy Till who was KIA.   A number of well trained officers transferred to SRB but unfortunately on 11 Feb 1942 this Battalion ran into a Japanese ambush at South West Bukit Timah.  Most of the experienced Officers were KIA, and many reinforcements with little training also lost their lives.  For those who survived, it must have seemed a miracle.

Please read about ‘E’ Coy SRB

At Singapore Ronan was selected to work on BurmaThai Railway at Singapore with ‘D’ Force V Battalion which endured a vey high loss of life.

Please read further.

At the end of war,Ted was recovered from Ubon POW Camp, Thailand.  He had been ‘hospitalised’ (remember this was a POW hospital) from 6 April to 13 April with an ulcer on his foot.


Below:  Ted’s wife receives notice he is safe – she was very fortunate to receive 6 cards and one radio message!  Many families did not receive any mail.

The above was copied from the upcoming arrival of ‘Oranje’ Hospital Ship in Darwin Sep 1945.
Ted was the fourth born of six children.  He had 2 sisters and three brothers.  His mother Alice Ethel MacPherson born 1895 to parents  Arthur Harris and Mary MacPherson at Yalgoo, died aged 30 years of heart and lung problems 8 May 1925 at Moore River.  Alice was buried at Moore River.  Ted’s father George was born 1890 Mt. Erin – Chapman Valley, later known as town of Nanson.
The first white man to settle in this area was Michael Morrissey.  Irishman Michael Ronan, great grandfather to George was employed by Morrisey.  Michael Ronan had charge of a consignment of blood horses imported from India by Morrissey.
Michael Ronan and his Irish born wife had a family of 16 children one of whom was JOHN MICHAEL (JACK) RONAN.
John (Jack) Ronan and Rosie Goldman (aboriginal name Eelyeemarra) had two children.  Rosie was full blooded aboriginal working in houses and getting work wherever she could. Rosie later had another son names Ned Papertalk with a tribal man from Mullewa.
George Ronan (aboriginal name Wenarra) and
Kate (aboriginal name Kataloon).
John (Jack) Ronan later married in 1893 to Mary Frances Agnes Kempton and had a family of 6 children.
George Ronan died at Geraldton in 1967.
George Ronan enlisted WW1 May 1917.  He was 28 years old,  5/11″ married stockman,  He was first a Private at Depot for Australian Light Horse, Service No. 14265 .  Recorded on his enlistment papers was the fact John was unable to read.
3 July 1917 he was transferred  as Trooper to 30th reinforcements for 10th L/Horse.
Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately – George was found to be ill and sent to AGH at Fremantle where he was diagnosed to have ‘debility and cough’ and was ‘unsuitable for service.’  He had suffered with this cough for several years.
He was discharged 7 August 1917.
George Ronan had two uncles who served WW1 – Ernest Francis Ronan and Timothy Edward Ronan.
(Above information provided November 2019 by Ronan family history researcher))
Ted married Phyllis Hill 1939. They had two daughters Gloria and Dorothy.
In the 1980 Electoral Roll Ted and Phyllis were residing 260 Marine Tce, Busselton.  In 1977 they were at 21B Carter Street, Busselton.
In 1963 Electoral Roll Ted was residing Flinders St, Mt Hawthorn and working as a mill hand.
Ted died April 1991 Busselton aged 73 years where he resided with Phyllis.

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Brankassi, Prang Kasi, 208k - Thailand
  • Hindaine, Kui Mang 200k - Thailand
  • Kuii, Kui Yae, 185.6k - Thailand
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Ubon - Thailand ***