The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- ‘A’ Company, 6 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Perth, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Walter George Stevens
- Mothers's Name:
- Annie May Stevens (nee McCulloch)
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Engine Driver (Union Flour Mills)
- Selarang Camp Changi, Adam Park. Returned from Borneo to H.M. Prison Outram Road, Changi Gaol Camp.
- ‘B’ Force Borneo
- Return Details 1945:
- Singapore-Darwin‐Sydney, HMT Arawa, Sydney-Melbourne by troop train, Melbourne‐Fremantle,HMT Strathmore.
Alf had served with the 25th Light Horse Militia prior to enlisting with AIF 11 Dec 1940 and later joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘A’ Company, Platoon No. 6, becoming Platoon Sergeant to Commanding Officers Lt Johnny Morrison and Lt Branson.
Alf initially worked as a POW from Adam Park, Singapore before leaving with ‘B’ Force for Sandakan. Johnny Morrison also went to Borneo with ‘B’ Force.
Alf Stevens, from ‘B’ Force Borneo was arrested 26 July 1943 at Sandakan for his part in the operation of an ‘underground radio’ network at Sandakan. He was initially sent to Kuching, the Kempeitai Headquarters in Borneo where he was subjected to interrogation and terrible beatings with the others of the network. (Matthews was sentenced to death by firing squad). On 19 October 1943 he was found guilty and sentenced to 6 years penal servitude to be served at Outram Road Gaol, Singapore.
Sailed to Singapore 2 March 1944 and arrived at Outram Road Prison on 11 March 1944. (1942 and 1943 were the toughest years to be in Outram Road Gaol – prisoners were forbidden to communicate with others spent their entire time alone in their small cells, with minimal daily food and where the guards were keen to deal out beatings for the slightest misdeamor or for no reason).
Prior to his enlistment Stevens had been an engine driver/ boiler attendant at Union Flour Mills at Kellerberrin.
Stevens was able to provide extra manpower to locals who ran the powerhouse at Sandakan. Sevens became part of the underground network which operated a radio amongst other things, in particular Sevens would act as a middleman passing messages from within the prison to locals outside and back again!
Alf Stevens was one of the very lucky few to have survived being sent to Sandakan. Had he not been sentenced to serve penal servitude he would have most certainly have perished like all the other PoWs (not including Officers) on ‘B’ Force.
At Outram Road where conditions were so terribly inhumane, Alf was evacuated to Changi Gaol Hospital on 5 January 1945 suffering from beri beri and tropical ulcers – the Japanese did not want prisoners to die at their gaol, so when the POWs were so very ill, they would drive them back to Changi and leave them lying on the open square. Treated at Changi Hospital by numerous doctors and staff. Once suffiicently recovered Alf was again returned to Outram Road 21 Feb 1945 to complete his sentence. He was recovered from 4 Sep 1945.
We can’t begin to imagine how Alf had the physical and mental strength to exist at Outram Road. Unfortunately we have no knowledge or records of his time there.
(The other 2/4th men sentenced for crimes against Japan were Penrod Dean and John McGregor. Both sent to Outram Road Gaol for escaping Singapore. They survived).
Alf’s parents Walter George Stevens and Annie May McCulloch married at Northam in 1910. Alf was one of several children born.
The family resided at Kellerberrin which is where Alf worked as an engine driver at the Union Flour Mills.
Alf was a keen player for the local footy team.
Alf and Murial McClelland announce their engagement in Jan 1936, we believe they married in 1937 or 1939.
Muriel’s widowed father died in 1941. She was from a large Kellerberrin family. Her mother Mary Anne died in 1931.
Alf’s father died in 1943 while he was in Borneo.
Alf and Muriel continued living at Kellerberrin where Alf worked as an engine driver, regularly holidaying at Mandurah a popular location for country people. They eventually retired to Mandurah.
Below: Kellerberrin’s Flour Mill (1950) was established about 1910.
The mill, which was remodelled with solid brick in 1949, closed in 1966 and was used as a storage shed. In 1978 the building was purchased by a farming syndicate and converted into a grain treatment plant.
Alf’s mother, Mrs Annie Stevens died in 1970. Alf’s parents are buried at Kellerberrin.
Alf passed away 9 April 1979 on the 9th putting green at Mandurah Golf Course in Western Australia. He was buried at Kellerberrin. His wife Muriel died 3 October 1995 and was also buried at Kellerberrin.
- Adam Park Camp - Singapore
- Changi Gaol Camp - Singapore
- Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
- Outram Road Prison - Singapore ***
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Sandakan - Borneo ***