The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Martin
First Name:
Samuel Thomas
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX16341
Company:
Headquarters Company, 3 Platoon
Enlisted:
3.09.1941
Discharged:
4.04.1946
DOB:
15.12.1919
Place of Birth:
Northam, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Henry James Martin
Mothers's Name:
Ethel May Martin (nee Blake)
Religion:
Roman Catholic
Pre-war Occupation:
Labourer
Java:
'Blackforce'
Force:
'A' Force Burma, Java Party No. 4, Williams Force
Camps Thailand:
Tamarkan, Bangkok
Camps Burma:
Khonkan 55km Camp
POW#:
4489
Return Details 1945:
Thailand-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Highland Brigade.

General Description

Samuel Martin was with 3rd Field Militia prior to enlisting AIF.

Working mostly on the Burma end of the railway with ‘A’ Force Java Party No. 4 Williams Force,  Martin was evacuated sick from Khonkan to Tamarkan in 1943 and was still at Tamarkan on 6/9/1944.
Sam martin enlisted 3 September 1941 and was Taken on Strength to Woodside, then joined 2/4th on 5 October 1941- a reinforcement with Headquarters Company No. 3 Platoon under Quartermasters Capt. Phelps and Lt. B. O’Sullivan.
With 2/4th Battalion he sailed on ‘Aquitania’ from Sydney to Fremantle and of course was hoping to see family/friends before heading for the Front.  (They were unaware of their destination at this time).  Sam Martin was one of several hundred 2/4th soldiers more than disappointed when told there would no shore leave! He was also one of about 100 men who jumped ship but were unable to re-board when ‘Aquitania’ sailed the next day, 16 January 1942 for Singapore.
Please read about AWOL at Fremantle.
With ‘Blackforce’ Sam was to become a POW of Japan March 1942, when the Dutch Commanders capitulated.  Being a POW on Java had not prepared the men to what was ahead of them – working on the Burma end of the Burma-Thai Railway.  He was selected with ‘A’ Force Burma, Java Party No. 4, Williams Force.
They sailed to Singapore and arrived 12 October 1942, and departed 2 days later.
Please read about this Force.
During his time he was hospitalised at Khonkan 55 km  Hospital Camp.  When the Japanese announced the rail completed about end of 1943, all POWs working in Burma were sent by rail south to one of 4 large camps, many sick.  Those too ill to travel remained behind with Medical staff to die.
Please read further about Konkhan Hospital – another hospital without medical equipment and medicines
It is believed Sam remained at Khonkan and was sent to Tamarkan.  He is recorded being at Tamarkan 6 September 1944.  He was recovered from Bangkok.

 

__________

Sam’s parents Henry (Harry) James Martin and Ethel May Blake who married in 1916 at Northam.
Harry Martin was son of Samuel and Ellen Martin of Meenar, just east of Northam. Harry’s older brother was KIA WW1 at Bullecourt, France in 1917 fighting with the 51st Battalion, other brothers included Rueben and Alvin and a sister.

 

 

Samuel (Snr) remarried following the death of his first wife, and had a family of severals sons and daughters.
Although Harry remained living in the Northam area we believe he and Ethel moved to Perth.  However, Sam recorded his NOK as his father (with mother) Meenar, via Northam.

 

 

Below: 1926 death of Sam Martin’s Grandfather, Mr Samuel Martin (Snr) – who also named his eldest son Samuel Sidney Martin who was KIA WW1.

Below:  death of Samuel Martin’s (Snr)  brother in 1913.

Below:  Sam’s grandmother Ellen Martin died in 1941.

 

After the war Sam married Roma Jean Bracey in Perth about 1949.  Roma was daughter to Jock Bracey and Gladys Mauger.
Roma and Sam were recorded in Electoral Rolls 1958, 1963 and 1968 living at  3 Roberts Street, Kalgoorlie where Sam was working as a miner.

We know they had at least two children.

 

Sam died in 8 July 1972 at Kalgoorlie aged 53 years.  He was buried at Kalgoorlie Cemetery,
His mother Ethel died 12 months earlier in July 1971 aged 80 years.  His father Henry James, known as Harry died died in 1975 aged 89 years.  They were both buried at Northam Cemetery.
We know little else of Sam’s life.  Should any family wish to,  can you please contact us email:  2nd4thmgb@gmail.com

 

 

Camp Locations:

  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Khonkan, 55Kilo Hospital 360k - Burma
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