The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Wiliam Laurence
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
'E' Company, Special Reserve Battalion, No 3 Platoon
Place of Birth:
Geraldton, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Arthur James Jeffery
Mothers's Name:
Maude 'May' Matilda Jeffery (nee Farrell)
Roman Catholic
Pre-war Occupation:
Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selarang Barracks Changi.
'D' Force, V Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Brankassi, Kui, Hindaine
Camps Burma:
Camps Japan:
Fukuoka sub-Camp No. 17, Omuta
Aramis Party
Return Details 1945:
Nagasaki-0kinawa, USS Cape Gloucester, Okinawa-Manila, USSS Bingham, Manila-Morotai‐Darwin, PBY Catalina aircraft A24‐354 Darwin-Melbourne‐Perth by aircraft.

General Description

Jeffery enlisted AIF 5 Nov 1941 and soon after was drafted into 2/4th reinforcements.  The reinforcements entrained from Northam and boarded ‘Aquitania’ anchored at Gage Roads off Fremantle on 15th Jan 1942,  before sailing for Singapore the next day. Bill was drafted into ‘E’ Company Special Reserve Battalion which was entirely formed from the new reinforcements from Northam, with newly trained and young officers.
He was with No. 3 Platoon under Commanding Officer Lt. Harry Mazza who died at the ambush Bukit Timah on 11 Feb 1942.

Below:  Bill is first reported to be seriously ill in Singapore ’42.

Please read about ‘E’ Company and the ambush at Bukit Timah where about 50% of the troops were KIA or injured.
As a POW in Singapore Bill left withD’ Force Thailand V Battalion to work on the Burma-Thai Railway in 1943.  This work force would endure a very high death rate with appalling living and work conditions.
He was selected by the Japanese as being fit to work in Japan and in 1944 sailed on ‘Aramis’ and sent to work at Omuta Mine which was possibly one of the worst camps for Australians in Japan.
Bill Jeffery was POW at Brankassi, he provided the following affidavit about events leading up to Bill Dwyer’s death horror POW work Camp, Thailand to the War Crimes in 1946 (also POW Dave Runge of 2/20th Btn in Japan).


Jeffery Laurance affadavit P1


Jeffery Laurance affadavit P2



Jeffery was one of 9 children born to Arthur James Jeffery and Maude ‘May’ Matilda Farrell who married Northampton 1912 the family lived Yuna.
Bill’s younger brother Arthur Roy Jeffery also enlisted and died in New Guinea 1943.  Arthur was with 2/28th.  He returned from Middle East and was then sent to New Guinea.




Below:  Bill’s grandmother Helena Farrell d. 1941.

As a POW in Singapore he joined ‘D’ Force V Battalion under Commanding Officer Alf Gough.  They endured horrific conditions at their Thai Camps with very high numbers of deaths.
Having survived this terrible ordeal, he was deemed fit by the Japanese and selected to work in Japan with ‘Aramis’ Maru Party where he was sent with others to the notorious Omuta Camp run by Mitsui.

Bill was recovered from Omuta at the end of the war 1945.

Bill married about 1948 in Geraldton to Olive Nancy Barham.  The couple had 3 daughters.  Bill tragically drowned at Geraldton 14 Oct 1967 aged 44 years.  He was cremated at Utkarra Cemetery, Geraldton.

Olive Jeffery died 1990 at Geraldton.



Bill’s father died Geraldton 1951 and his mother ‘May’ died 1969. His brother Arthur Roy Jeffery was KIA New Guinea 1943.

Below:  notice of Bill’s father’s funeral Mar 1951.





Below:  Olive Nancy’s father d. 1951 in a workplace accident.



Camp Locations:

  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Brankassi, Prang Kasi, 208k - Thailand
  • Hindaine, Kui Mang 200k - Thailand
  • Kuii, Kui Yae, 185.6k - Thailand
  • Omuta Miike, Fukuoka #17-B - Japan