The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Smith-Ryan
First Name:
Avon Reah
Nick Name:
Smash
Rank:
Captain
Regimental #:
WX3453
Company:
‘B’ Company Headquarters
Enlisted:
30.05.1940
Discharged:
18.01.1946
DOB:
3.05.1908
Place of Birth:
Northam, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Thomas Smith-Ryan
Mothers's Name:
Hilda Mary Smith-Ryan
Religion:
Methodist
Pre-war Occupation:
Bank Officer
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi, Adam Park, Selarang Barracks Changi, Levelling Party Changi Aerodrome, Changi Gaol Camp.
POW#:
4/4128
Return Details 1945:
Singapore‐Darwin‐Sydney, HMT Arawa, Sydney-Melbourne by troop train, Melbourne‐Fremantle, HMT Strathmore.

General Description

A bank officer with the Commercial Bank of Australia from Northam, WA, enlisted on 21 Nov 1940, after service as a Lieutenant in the 11th Battalion of the Militia. As the original Second-in-Command of ‘B’ Company, 2/4th MG Bn.

Landing in Singapore in January 1942 with his company as support to the Manchester Fusiliers originally tasked with defending the naval base. From 8–15 of February, 137 men of 2/4th MG Bn were killed or missing, 106 wounded, and 24 suffered ‘shell shock’ from Japanese air, artillery and infantry attacks.

Upon the units surrender, he was marched to Changi with remnants of 2/4th MG Bn and spent the duration of the war in Adam Park and Changi. He was responsible for writing the unit’s War Diary and secretly kept a personal diary whilst a POW, hidden from the Japanese. Much of what we know about the 2/4th MG Bn during the Battle for Singapore was extracted from these diaries. He was recovered in 1945, and returned to WA, living in East Perth. He died in Floreat Park, WA, on 13 Nov 1970.

Appointment Terminated 18/1/1946.

Read of Smiith-Ryan’s escape from Japanese firing squad, Singapore, 1942.

 

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Below:  death of Hilda Ryan-Smith.

 

 

Camp Locations:

  • Adam Park Camp - Singapore
  • Changi Aerodrome - Singapore
  • Changi Gaol Camp - Singapore
  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand
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