The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- Not Known, Reinforcement
- Place of Birth:
- Harvey, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Karle Holme
- Mothers's Name:
- Alma Holme
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 18, Age 22.
- Selarang Camp Changi, Thomson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp), Selarang Barracks Camp
- 'E' Force Borneo
- 3/8155 & 1744
- Cause of Death:
- Believed to have been beheaded on the 2nd Ranau march.
- Place of Death:
- Sandakan‐Ranau track
- Date of Death:
Good mates Charles Holme and Jim Goldie were believed to have lived at Worsely when they enlisted. Jim Goldie was also a close mate of Bill Beard. Bill’s youngest sister June Edwards, remembers Jim Goldie and others being regular visitors at the Beard family home.
Holme enlisted AIF 10 Sep 1941. It is not known which Company he joined, however as a reinforcement he left Northam to board ‘Aquitania’ 15 Jan 1942 for Singapore.
Charles ‘known as Bubbles’ Holme had the misfortune to be selected for ‘E’ Force Borneo. Mates Jim Goldie and Bill Beard had earlier departed Singapore for Borneo with ‘B’ Force.
He died 7 June 1945 during the Second Sandakan to Ranau Death March. The march commenced 29 May. His Japanese records report his death as malaria! His body was recovered near the track between closer to Sandakan. His was one of 4 bodies of 2/4th MGB Western Australians who together, were recovered after the war and placed to rest at Labuan War Cemetery. The others Sevier, George Smith and George Lane Taylor – we cannot believe Japanese records – showing the three also died of malaria. Later it was found Bubbles was one of about 35 Australian POWs who together were killed after being being tortured.
Bubbles was a brave young man of 22 years when he died. Just a young boy really, he had been a POW for more than three years.
Goldie was selected with ‘B’ Force which left Singapore for Borneo before ‘E’ “Force. Goldie also died on the Second Sandakan to Ranau Death March on 4 June 1945 just 3 days before Holme. Goldie was 26 years. His death was recorded by the Japanese as being Acute Enteritis.
The Holme family tragedy did not end with the death of Bubbles, it is believed his distraught father Karl Holme committed suicide in 1948.
See map and death locations
Below is small area.
When ‘Bubbles’ was born, his father (Karl) was working for the Gardiners, at Worsley. Karl’s wife died during childbirth.
Karl returned to the Gardiners with his newborn son and it was Mrs Gardiner who cared for him. They had not been able to have their own children and it was arranged they would permanently look after Bubbles.
Karle Holme was born Fredriekstad, Norway about 1883. He served in the Australian Forces in WW1 – enlisted 1 July 1916 – possibly not long after he arrived aged 33 years. He recorded his mother as NOK, Jacobina Holme, Norway.
He served 11th Battalion in France. He received GSW arm, hand, thigh and eye (serious).
He was transported to hospital in England and then returned to Australia 24 August 1917 for Home Service (truamatic cataract).
Karle Holme was discharged from Army 16 January 1918.
1915 – Charles Holm
He married Alma Annie Lawrence 1920 (Wellington). Alma was born NSW about 1893. Karle worked as a mill hand. Their first son Charles was born March 1922.
Tragically Alma died after giving birth to her son.
Karle (known as Charles) died in 1948.
Issues arose about Karle Holme’s birth name and identity.
The letter below is an enquiry as to whether Karle (Charlie) Holme’s name was in fact BARTOL JOAKIMSON BERTELSEN.
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Thomson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp) - Singapore
- Sandakan - Borneo ***
- Lintang Officers Camp, Kuching - Sarawak