The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Whitaker
First Name:
Fred
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX16274
Company:
Headquarters Company, No. 3 Platoon.
Enlisted:
29.08.1941
DOB:
28.02.1907
Place of Birth:
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Father's Name:
James Whitaker
Mothers's Name:
Sarah Jane Whitaker (nee Lacey)
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Truck Driver
Memorial:
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Plot 1, Row G, Grave 76, Age 36.
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selarang Barracks
Force:
‘D’ Force Thailand, V Battalion
POW#:
1/9704 & 2298
Cause of Death:
Dysentery
Place of Death:
Hindaine
Date of Death:
6.08.1943
Buried:
Linson Camp Cemetery, Grave No. 15

General Description

Above:  Fred Whitaker

Fred enlisted with AIF 29 August 1941.  He was one of  reinforcements selected to join 2/4th then training at Woodside, SA on 5 October 1941.
He joined HQ Company, No. 3 Platoon with 16 other reinforcements.  Fred survived the battle to save Singapore which resulted in a large number of 2/4th deaths and injuries.  He was taken POW of Japan and interned at Selarang.
He joined Japanese work parties a Johore Bahru and Adam Park, before returning to Selarang.
Fred was selected to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force V Battalion which departed Singapore Railway station for Thailand on 17 March 1943.   
Please read further about V Battalion

 

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Family life.

Fred arrived in Fremantle from London on ‘Armadale’ on 11 Dec 1913 with his mother, brother James and sister Mary.  Once settled in WA, a further two children were added to the Whitaker family, John in 1920 and Pearl in 1924.

 

 

Fred’s mother was principal at Koobeeyla School 1931 to mid 1933.

In 1934 Fred married Annie Elizabeth Dunne at Katanning.
In the same year his father James Whitaker died.

 

 

Fred and Annie had four children, Gwen, Hugh,  Rex and Fred.
Below:   No. 11 Fred Whitaker.

 

Below:  Christmas cards Fred sent home to Annie and his son Hugh.

 

 

 

 

 

Whitaker Fred
West Australian Newspaper September 1945
Whitaker, Fred

 

Photograph taken January 2018 Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

 

 

 

 

Fred collected signatures of those around him – the first all 2/4th.

To read a translation of these signatures please go to

 

 

While Fred was away, Annie Whitaker was often mentioned for her efforts with Red Cross.

In 1946, Annie’s brother Fred died.

Below:  Annie’s sister died 1947

 

Below:  Annie’s mother Mary died 1949.

 

 

Poetic word of love from Fred for his wife
Annie.

 

 

Copies of the above personal documents have been generously shared by Steve Whitaker, grandson of Fred.  They provide a personal insight into marriage of Fred and Annie. Fred obviously adores Annie and he believed he would return home.

It is our hope future generations of Fred’s children and grandchildren will have the privilege to read this history.

(Any mistakes in the interpretation of Annie’s poem have been made by C. Mellor, 2/4th Historian.  Please notify us so we may rectify.)

Below:  Annie Whitaker.

Camp Locations:

  • Adam Park Camp - Singapore
  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Hindaine, Kui Mang 200k - Thailand
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