The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Ronald Arthur
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- ‘C’ Company, 12 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Athelstone, South Australia
- Father's Name:
- Albert Lloyd Page
- Mothers's Name:
- Bessie Page
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 18, Age 26.
- Selarang Camp Changl
- ‘B’ Force Borneo
- Cause of Death:
- Acute Enteritis
- Place of Death:
- Ranau No1 Camp
- Date of Death:
Ron Page enlisted AIF 23 Jul 1940 later joining ‘C’ Company No. 12 Platoon. Please read further about this Company and Platoon.
Following Allied surrender, Ron was accommodated at Selarang Camp before volunteering to leave Singapore with ‘B’ Force Borneo. Please learn more about ‘B’ Force Borneo.
Ron left Sandakan with the First March to Ranau. It was at Ranau where Ron died on 17 Feb 1945.
Page contracted disease on 3.2.1945 and died at 1230 hours on 17.2.1945 Death Certificate completed by Japanese Probationary Ofiicer Ferai.
PAGE, Private, RONALD ARTHUR, WX4934, A.I.F. 2/4 M.G. Bn., Australian Infantry. 17 February 1945. Age 26. Son of Albert and Bessie Lloyd Page, of Welshpool, Western Australia. Panel 19.
Labuan Memorial, Malaysia.
WA. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of WX4934 Private Ronald Arthur Page, 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion, Australian Infantry. He was one of over 2000 Allied prisoners of war (POW) held in the Sandakan POW camp in north Borneo, having been transferred there from Singapore as a part of B Force. The 1494 POW’s that made up B Force, were transported from Changi on 7 July 1942 on board the tramp ship Ubi Maru, arriving in Sandakan Harbour on 18 July 1942. Private Page, aged 26, died as a prisoner of the Japanese on 17 February 1945. He was the son of Albert and Bessie Lloyd Page, of Welshpool, WA. He is commemorated on the Labuan Memorial Panel 19. (Photograph copied from AWM232, items 4 and 5. Personal information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database.)
Ron was the second of nine children born to Albert and Bessie Page (nee Kenack) who married 1912 Adelaide, SA and resided Welshpool.
Bessie’s brother died in 1921.
Ron’s younger brother Keith Aubrey Page born 1920, also enlisted. Tragically Keith did not return home. He was KIA and buried Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, New Guinea. His Service No. WX7492. Keith with 2/16th Btn. died 8 Sep 1942 aged 22 years having served in Syria then sent to New Guinea.
Below: Many would have agreed with Ron’s mother then and today – One wonders why the editor of this column “Opinion” responded in such a way. Was it necessary?
Below: It appears Mr. H. Gilmour who took part in the proceedings – is father to John and Jim Gilmour from 2/4th who were also residents of Welshpool.
Above: We discover Manson Butcher is first cousin to Ron Page. Manson Butcher was far too young to be KIA Singapore aged 19 years! Francis Elizabeth and Bessie are sisters. (Francis Elizabeth first married Fitzell) .
Her daughter Valmai Gorringe (nee Fitzell) married 1942 to Stanley C Gorringe. It is not known if he was related to the Gorringe Brothers in 2/4th.
In 1948 parents of Ron divorced. Fortunately divorces are not featured in today’s newspapers – but were big news then.
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Ranau - Borneo