The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Ronald James
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
'C' Company
Place of Birth:
Isle of Wight, England
Father's Name:
Harold Edgar Kingswell
Mothers's Name:
Rose Ellen Kingswell
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Djakarta War Cemetery, Plot 3, Row H, Grave 11, Age 25.
Cause of Death:
Acute Bacillary Dysentery and Appendicitis
Place of Death:
No. 1 Allied General Hospital, Bandoeng
Date of Death:
Grave No. 58, Bandoeng.

General Description

Kingswell enlisted AIF 23 July 1940 and later joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘C’ Company 12 Platoon became a Sergeant under under C.O. Lt Wedge.
At Fremantle Kingswell was one of 100s of 2/4th men who defied orders not to leave ‘Aquitania’ having anchored at Gage Roads on 15th January 1942.  He was one of about 88 men unable to reboard before Aquitania sailed the following day for Singapore.
Please read about the men who were AWL at Fremantle and sailed to Java.
He was taken POW about 8 March 1942 and incarcerated at Bandeong.  It was at Bandeong where he was admitted to Hospital ill with appendicitis for a few days unable to be operated on because he was also  seriously ill with acute bacillary dysentery.  He died 25 March 1942 – in Java, a country of which he probably knew very little about and possibly not heard of.  He was 25 years old.



Funeral service conducted by Padre F. J. Camroux on 26.3.1942. Surgeons were unable to operate on this NCO due to his having contracted dysentery. Ron Kingswell was a patient at Bandoeng Hospital about 6 days with appendicitis before he died.
Ronald was the half-brother of Lt. Cmdr Albert Edgar Kingswell who served in both Royal and Royal Canadian Navy. The brothers never actually met as Ronald was sent to Australia as a young child to Kingsley Fairbridge Farm. Ron’s mother Rose Ellen Salter and Harold Edgar Kingswell did not marry although they had originally planned to.  Decades later the Kingswell family in Canada became aware of the birth of their half-brother Ron Kingswell.   His father Harold married and went to Canada.  Harold Edgar Kingswell did in fact die in 1929 at the Isle of Wight, England.
Rose Ellen Salter died in 1965 at the Isle of Wight.
It is probable Ron Kingswell did not know of his extended family.
Ronald James Kingswell arrived in Australia 14/2/1928 on ‘Bendigo’  aged 12 years. He was housed at Wolfe Cottage.
In a 1935 edition of magazine “The Fairbridgian” records Ronald’s work and address as C/o Mrs I. McConnell, Roadside Mail, Bruce Rock and the 1936 edition records his address as Fairbridge Farm, Pinarra.  It is believed Ron was working on a farm at Gabbin prior to enlisting on 23rd July 1940, although he was recorded as formerly from Midland Junction.
Kingswell R J Death
Kingswell R J Death

Kingswell death

Listed above is also Clarrie Sawyer from 2/4th who died 1 April 1942 aged 34 years at Bandoeng.
Ron enlisted AIF July 1940 later joining 2/4th’s C Coy.  He was Sergeant with Sgt Gibbons for No. 12 Platoon.
Please read about the men of No. 12 Platoon.
Ron Kingswell was AWOL from the ‘Aquitania’ at Fremantle to see his fiancee Hazel.   With the other 90 odd 2/4th men who were unable to re-board the ship before departure, Ron was sent to Java.  
And about those of 2/4th who died Java
Kingswell Ronald James
Kingswell Ronald James
KINGSWELL, Sergeant, RONALD JAMES, WX4949, A.I.F. 2/4 M.G. Bn., Australian Infantry. 25 March 1942. Age 25. Son of Rose Ellen Rose. Grave Ref. 3. H. 11.

Camp Locations:

  • Bandoeng - Java ***