The Soldier's Details

First Name:
John Robertson
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
'E' Company, Special Reserve Battalion
Place of Birth:
Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland
Father's Name:
James Walker Buchan
Mothers's Name:
Flora Buchan (nee Watt)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Selarang Camp Changi
'A' Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Chungkai, Pecthaburi, Nakon Nayok, Lopburi, Bangkok
Camps Burma:
Victoria Point, Thanbyuzat, Williams No.1 Mobile Force, worked down into Thailand to the Nikhe area.
Return Details 1945:
Thailand to Rangoon by aircraft, Rangoon-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Brisbane by aircraft, Brisbane-Perth by troop train 17.10.1945.

General Description

Buchan enlisted AIF 1 Nov 1941 and soon after joined 2/4th’s Reinforcements to sail on ‘Aquitania’ anchored at Fremantle 15th Jan 1942 and sailed to Singapore on 16th Jan.  John joined ‘E’ Company SRB.  Please read about this Company
During the battle for Singapore, the SRB ran into a Japanese ambush on 12 Feb at SW Bukit Timah.  The loss of lives was enornous.  John was one of the few fortunate.

He was taken POW and sent to Changi after the Allies capitulated.

He was taken on the first work party out of Singapore.  ‘A’ Force Burma Green Force No. 3 Battalion – to work on the Burma end of the Burma-Thai Railway.
Please read about this work Force.
We are unsure when Buchan switched to Williams No. 1 Mobile Force as there are no records.Be sure to read only the Camp locations.Please read about Williams Force.  
Buchan worked down the railway to NIkkhe area before being moved by the Japanese around end of 1943 further south to one of the large camps or hospitals.
He arrived at Tamarkan and was sent to Chungkai Hospital Camp.  On his recovery he was sent to Petchaburi, then Nakom Nayok and Lopburi where he was when the war ended.




Above John and his wife Margery.

John arrived Fremantle 1928 on ‘Berrima’ from London.  He recorded his occupation as cabinet maker.
Buchan married 1934 Northam to Margery Jean Gilbert.
We believe they had a family of four sons and one daughter.
Jock Buchan died 19 February 1961 aged 54 years.  He was buried at Karrakatta Cemetery.  His last known address was Inglewood.  Margery died 11 Dec 1985 at Inglewood aged 69 years.


Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Chungkai, 60k - Thailand
  • Lopburi - Thailand
  • Nakom Nayok, Nakhon Nayok - Thailand
  • Nikhe Wood Camp, Ni Thea, 131 Kilo, 284k - Thailand
  • Petchaburi - Thailand
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Thanbyuzayat, 415k - Burma
  • Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn