The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Eric William
Nick Name:
Ricky to his family
Regimental #:
Headquarters Company
Place of Birth:
Port Augusta, South Australia
Father's Name:
William Joseph Ryan
Mothers's Name:
Violet Jane Ryan (nee Addison)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Truck Driver
Selarang Camp Changi
‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Tamarkan Hospital (25.12.1943), Bangkok (medical orderley) Nacompaton
Camps Burma:
Victoria Point, Kendau, Thetkaw, Meiloe, Aungganaung, Khonkan 55km (left leg amputated above the knee 21.10.1943, due to a tropical ulcer)
Return Details 1945:
Thailand‐Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Highland Brigade.

General Description

Ryan enlisted  with AIF at Claremont 29 Sept 1941.  He was ‘swept’ up with Reinforcements for 2/4th MGB, joining HQ No. 3 Platoon and boarded ‘Aquitania’ at Fremantle on 15 January sailing the following day for Singapore.
Following capitulation, Ryan became POW at Selarang, Changi.  He was sent with the first work party to leave Singapore – ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion.  Please read further.
This Force headed for the Burma end of the Railway sailing from Singapore to south west coast of Burma where they would firstly repair and enlarge 3 airfields before heading to start work on the rail link on 1st Oct 1942.
Eric Ryan was moved to Nacompaton until the end of the war. Other Amputees from the 2/4th also at Nacompaton included Syd Gorringe, Allan Bamford and Tom Barbour.
Nacompaton was located about 30 miles west of Bangkok. Besides many amputees, POWs were sent to this camp to build up their strength following the completion of the Railway.  As their health improved slightly POWs were called out of Nacompaton in work parties.
When Japan surrendered in August 1945, Nacompaton became an Allied Forces collection centre for ex-POWs who were either moved out via Bangkok to Singapore direct or via Rangoon to Singapore.
Read further about Nacompaton Hospital Camp.
Ryan was selected as a POW Singapore to work on Burma-Thai Railway with ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion which sailed from Singapore May 1942 heading for south west coast of Burma.  There were 3,000 POWs – who would be split into 3 work parties to repair the airfields at Victoria Point, Tavoy and Ye.  Green Force disembarked at Victoria Point 21 May 1942 under leadership of Major Charles Green of 2/4th.
By 1 Oct 1942 Green Force arrived and was working on Burma end of railway at Kendau 4.8km.  They would remain working on the railway until end of Dec 1943.
Please read further about ‘A’ Force Green Force 
Eric Ryan worked through Kendau, Thetkaw, Meiloe and arrived Aungganaung 105 km Camp 11 May 1943.  It was here he developed a leg ulcer – unable to recover he was transferred to Konkhan Hospital Camp where his leg was amputated on 21 October 1943 by Albert Coates.
Ryan was one of the very fortunate to survive the amputation and return home to his home state of South Australia.
Please read about Khonkan Hospital Camp



Ryan married and had at least 4 children.  He died at Seaton, SA 28 May 1986 aged 65 years.

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
  • Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
  • Khonkan, 55Kilo Hospital 360k - Burma
  • Meilo, 75 Kilo, 340k - Burma
  • Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
  • Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma