The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Harold William
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
'B' Company, No. 8 Platoon
Place of Birth:
East Perth, Western Australia
Father's Name:
William George Holland
Mothers's Name:
Williamina 'Minnie' Norris Holland (nee Foster)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 18, Age 30.
Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Thompson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp), Selarang Barracks Changi.
'E' Force Borneo
4/6228 & 1742
Cause of Death:
Place of Death:
Sandakan-Ranau track, 2nd Ranau march.
Date of Death:

General Description

Harold (Snowy) was born to Henry ‘Harry’ William Summerell & Williamina Norris Summerell (nee Foster) on the 22/09/1914 in East Perth.  His parents had married about 1913 in Perth.  Harry Summerell enlisted WW1 and returned to WA 1919.


Snowy’s grandmother Nurse Summerell ran a Private Maternity Home in East Perth.  Elizabeth Mary Summerell was included in the First Register of Midwives in Western Australia which was printed in the Government Gazette 7 February 1913.
Mary Summerell died of influenza in 1919 aged 60 years.  She was grandmother to Harold and his two siblings.
Mary Summerell was widely recognised for her midwifery skills and services.
Perhaps Mary was too lenient on her son Harry – from newspaper reports Harry was often in trouble with the law, mostly for petty theft.  After returning from war, Harry again returned to petty crime – theft, SP Booking.  He served time in prison on several occasions.  Williamina ‘Minna’ would have found life with him impossible.




‘Snowy’ was the second of three sons and changed his name when his mother later re-married to William George Holland.  There were further children from this marriage.
Minnie who was born in Scotland, died in December 1961, Perth.





Holland enlisted AIF 12 Nov 1941 was transferred from Northam to ‘Aquitania’ 15 Jan 1942 and as a reinforcement joined  ‘B’ Company 8 Platoon under command of Lt MacKinnon.
Private Holland, ‘Dutchy or Snowy’ was drafted to “E” Force which departed Singapore 28 March 1943 on SS ‘DeKlerk’ arriving 15 April 1943 at Berhala Island, adjacent to Sandakan Harbour.  The 500 Australians and 500 British POWs who made up “E” Force remained there until 5th June and then were taken to Sandakan by barge.  The following day they were transferred to 8 Mile Camp which was located about half a mile from “B” Force Camp.
Please read further about ‘E’ Force Borneo
‘Snowy’ was a man of strength who obviously strived to survive the most unimaginable day to day conditions and cruelty exacted by their Japanese. Taiwanese and Korean guards.  He died 15 June 1945 – his Japanese captors recorded his death being due to malaria.
Please see map of Sandakan and photographs of all WA men.
Below is a close-up.



Holland 1

Holland 2

Camp Locations:

  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Thomson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp) - Singapore
  • Ranau - Borneo
  • Sandakan - Borneo ***
  • Lintang Officers Camp, Kuching - Sarawak