The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Vernon Spence
- Regimental #:
- ‘A’ Company No. 5 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Pingelly, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Maude Hemingway Reid
- Mothers's Name:
- Rose Helen 'Nellie' Reid (nee Smithson)
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Selarang Camp Changi;
- ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3
- Camps Thailand:
- Tamarkan, Bangkok (go‐downs)
- Camps Burma:
- Victoria Point, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw 14 km, Meiloe 75km, Aungganaung 75 km
- Return Details 1945:
- Thailand-Singapore by aircraft; Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Circassia
Vern Reid enlisted 3 Dec 1941 and was included in the reinforcements for 2/4th. They boarded ‘Aquitania’ in Gage Road, Fremantle on 15 January and sailed the following day for Singapore. It was on board ‘Aquitania’ where the bulk of 2/4th were having sailed from Darwin via Sydney.
He was fortunate not to be included with the largest number of reinforcements who formed ‘E’ Company. Nearly half ‘E’ Company died in a Japanese ambush at Bukit Timah about 11 or 12 February 1942. Instead Vern was sent to reinforce ‘A’ Company 5 Platoon under Commanding Officer Lt Walton.
Reid was wounded in action at Buona Vista on 15/2/192. He was evacuated to 2/9th Field Ambulance at St Andrews Cathedral a few hours before surrender with shrapnel wounds to his left hip, right leg and right rapiteal space. Transferred to 2/13th Australian General Hospital until discharged to unit on 22/2/1942.
As a POW in Singapore Reid was in the first work party to leave Singapore ‘A’ Force Burma Green Force No. 3 Battalion sailing to south west Burma to work on repairing and enlarging airfields before moving to the northern most point of the railway in Burma.
He was recovered from Bangkok when the war ended.
Below is the Wandering WW2. Memorial which includes the names of Vern and probably his brother Charlie.
Vern was one of four sons born to parents Maude Hemmingway Reid and Rose Helen ‘Nellie’ Smithson who married 1911. Maude and Nellie farmed in the West Pingelly and Wandering region. Nellie’s family of Smithson had farmed at Wandering for decades.
In about 1947 Vern married Frances ‘Mary’ McCrane at Williams. Vern and Mary farmed at Crossman from late 1950’s through to his death on 14 April, 2002 aged 89 years. He was cremated at Karrakatta Cemetery.
Below: Vern’s Grandmother (Smithson) died 1913.
Nellie Reid’s brother died France 1917.
Vern Reid died 4 April 2008 aged 89 years.