The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Regimental #:
- ‘E’ Company, Special Reserve Battalion, No 3 Platoon.
- Place of Birth:
- Moora, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Not Known
- Mothers's Name:
- His NOK was sister Margaret Flarty
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
- ‘D’ Force Thailand, T Battalion
- Camps Thailand:
- Tarsau, Wampo, Konyu II, Kinsaiyok, Ubon
- Return Details 1945:
- Thailand-Singapore by aircraft; Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Highland Brigade
Neave Flarty was one of eight Indigenous Western Australians to join 2/4th.
He was wounded in action at Bald Hill, Bukit Timah on 11 February 1942 and admitted to Alexandra Hospital on 12 February with a shrapnel wound to his right knee. He was discharged to his unit on 23rd February 1942.
P. 35 ‘To Hell-Fire and Purgatory and Back’ based on Saggers Secret War Diaries
Following the ambush Bukiit Timah Sagers Major Saggers wrote he was waiting (to see who had survived) for the stragglers to arrive.
“An E Coy lad, Flarty had been shot through the knee an hour earlier and Saggers felt he would not survive but amazingly he arrived supported by two cobbers. Saggers pleased to see him called out
“Good for you lad, I am glad to see you made it.”
Although in pain, Flarty smiled and replied that he was too.
Private Tom Gough was detailed to get Flarty to an ambulance 100m away. Flarty was delivered piggy-back style by Gough who then returned to the line.
The above men were all reinforcements and joined ‘E’ Company, probably each had no more than 2-3 months training, completely inadequate for battle.
Surprisingly they all survived the Fall of Singapore! On 12 February 1942 nearly half of ‘E’ Company lost their lives during a Japanese Ambush at Bukiut Timah – including most of the trained and experienced officers.
Even better, the five young men survived their incarceration and returned home to WA!
Flarty joined reinforcements for 2/4th just prior to boarding ‘Aquitania’ on its journey to Singapore 16 January 1942. As with the majority of reinforcements he was young and had very little training. Having enlisted 22 October 1941, he had been in the Australian Infantry 3 1/2 months when ‘E’ Company went into battle at Singapore. This Battalion suffered very heavy loss of life. Please read further.
‘E’ Company lost half their men, including most of the well-trained officers at a Japanese ambush at Bukit Timah 12 February 1945.
As a POW in Singapore Neave was selected with ‘D’ Force T Battalion to work on the Burma-Thai Railway. T Battalion departed Singapore Railway Station on 16 March 1943 and headed for Bampong, Thailand. Read further about T Battalion
Flarty worked on the cutting at Kinsaiyok and was at Ubon from where he was recovered at the end of the war.
Neave’s sister Margaret Flaherty (different spelling) WF95129 is recorded on the AWM site for indigenous Australians.
Our research has returned minimal information about Neave Flarty.
He was born Moore River Native Settlement WA to Flossie Flarty.
There are 374 graves at Moore River – a large number being babies and children who were unable to overcome respiratory diseases, encouraged by poor diet and shocking and inadequate living conditions. More than half the people buried at Moore River were children — 203 in total. Of these, 149 were five years old or less and more than 100 were under the age of one when they died.
As recorded above, his NOK was sister Margaret Flarty at Parkerville Childrens’ Home, Parkerville (we do not know whether Margaret was working there or if in fact she was there as a child in care, which is quite possible – Neave may well have been also.) Records show Margaret Flarty married about 1937/38 at Mount Magnet to Arthur Joseph Palmer. According to electoral rolls he was residing without Margaret during years 1949, 1954 and 1958 and living at Marillana Station, Roy Hill.
Records show Palmer enlisted WW2 – his Service No. WX21628.
According to his army personnel records Neave Flarty had several addresses after the war – all in relation to receiving war medals, having had his originals stolen from his dwellings.
1945-46 18 Waverley Street, South Perth.
1949 19 Coode Street, Maylands. Trainee plasterer.
1957 C/- Mrs. B. Goodrick, Mullewa, WA
1964 Employed Temporarily WAGR Narambeen, WA
1965 Employed WAGR Temporarily East Northam.
1976 C/- F. Williams, Randwick Farm, Merinda via Bowen, Queensland 4805.
The 1972 Electoral Roll has Neave Flarty residing Bundaberg, Queensland working as plasterer.
1977 Roll, again Flarty is working as a plasterer at Merinda, 4805, Queensland.
Flarty died in Queensland in 30 January 1980. He was 57years old and buried Collinsville Cemetery, Collinsville, Whitsunday Region, Queensland, Australia. (Momental Section Grave 822).
If any Flarty family should read this, we ask you to please contact us at our email email@example.com
We would really like to learn more about Neave’s life before the war and after.
Neave seemed unable to settle to one place – hardly surprising learning about his early childhood and his wartime experience! He obviously found it hard to settle after the war which was the case for so many men.
This was not uncommon amongst returned POWs, especially as he had no family to return to. He very likely suffered ill-health and possibly mental health issues – and many returned POWs have been found to be reliant on alcohol at some time.
His POW years combined with his aboriginal childhood (very likely lived in Government ‘care’) would have been most challenging especially as it appears he had no family as such to return home to when he most needed a family circle.
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Kinsaiyok Main, 170.2k - Thailand
- Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand
- Ubon - Thailand ***
- Wampo, Wang Pho 114k - Thailand ***
- Kanu 111, Kannyu, 152.50km - Thailand