The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- James Lewis
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- ‘D’ Company
- Place of Birth:
- Donnybrook, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- John Murdoch
- Mothers's Name:
- Agnes Murdoch (nee Gardener)
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- ‘ A’ Force Burma, Java Party No. 4, Williams Force
- Camps Thailand:
- Tamarkan, Ubon, Bangkok
- Camps Burma:
- Tanyin, Anakwin, Taungzun, Reptu 30km, Beke Taung 40km Camps, Aungganang 105km,
- Return Details 1945:
- Bangkok-Singapore by aircraft; Singpore-Fremantle, HMT Moreton Bay
Jim Murdoch was the youngest of 9 children born to John (Jack) Murdoch and Agnes Gardiner of Preston River, who married about 1900.
10 January 1900.
John Murdoch initially moved to WA Goldfields from South Australia. He had a trucking business in the town of Donybrook before purchasing a farm.
Jim had a keen interest in playing cricket.
Below: Jim’s father died 1944 whilst he was a POW in
Thailand. His mother Agnes died 1959.
Jim enlisted 27 July 1940, joining 2/4th and ‘D’ Company, No. 15 Platoon. He was sent to Woodside SA and Darwin for training.
Jim went AWOL when ‘Aquitania’ anchored off Fremantle for one night on 15 January 1942 on her way from Sydney to Singapore.
About 90 well-trained 2/4 machine gunners were unable to reboard their ship before she sailed on 16th. They were initially taken to Claremont and after a week or two set off for Singapore intending to rejoin 2/4th. In the meantime Singapore was about to fall so the men were landed at Java where they were to join Allied and Dutch East Indies Forces to defend Java against a Japanese invasion.
Murdoch was captured 18 March 1942 and imprisoned most likely, Bicycle Camp although there are no records to confirm this.
He was selected in Java as a POW to work on Burma-Thai Railway with Java Group No. 4 Williams Force which arrived in Singapore on 12 October 1942, departing two days later for the Burma end of the Railway.
Please read about Java Party No. 4 Williams Force – to understand where this force worked in Burma and Thailand.
We know Jim Murdoch was sick and at 40km hospital camp – leaving 2 Jul 1943 and hospitalised again at 30 km Camp 22 Jul 1943.
This means he worked at first few camps – Tanyin 35km, Anakwin 45km and probably evacuated to 30km Camp. Returned to Taungzan 57km Camp and again evacuated sick this time to 30km Camp.
We can only estimate where this Williams Force worked –
Mezali 72 km camp 13 Jul-1 Sept 1943,
Kyondaw 85km camp 11 Sep to 17 Sept,
then to Payathonzu 108 km,
Kami Sonkurai 116 km 21st 1943, 122 km camp 25 Sep to 26 Dec 1943,
Nekhe 131 km 26 Dec 1943 to 11 Jan 1944,
Nekhe 133 km camp 11 Jan 1944 to 25 Jan 1944
Changaraya 113km 26 J an 1944,
Aungganaung 105km 5/2/1944 to 27 Feb 1944 to Tamarkan with 400 Party.
Murdoch was later sent on a party to Ubon from where he was recovered at end of war. Please read about Ubon Camp.
Below: Jim is recorded being at Tamarkan Camp (as well included other 2/4th boys Norm Holdman who died in an Allied Air raid at Bangkok and Gordon Lynan.
After returning from war and in about 1946 Jim married Beryl Outram. This marriage ended about 1952 and in 1955 Jim Murdoch remarried to Dorothy Mavis Peters, who was sister to Beryl his first wife.
James Lewis Murdoch passed away in 1994 at Baldivis.
Unfortunately we know little else of Jim Murdoch’s life.
- Nikhe Wood Camp, Ni Thea, 131 Kilo, 284k - Thailand
- Kami Songkurai, 299k - Thailand
- Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
- Ubon - Thailand ***
- Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
- Apalon, Apalaine, 80 Kilo, 337k - Burma
- Reptu, Retphaw, 30Kilo 385k - Burma
- Taungzun, 60 Kilo, 358k - Burma
- Tanyin 35 Kilo Camp - Burma
- Anakwin 45 Kilo Camp - Burma
- Mezali 70km Camp - Burma
- Nikhe, Ni Thea, 133Kilo Camp, 281.80km - Thailand
- Kyondaw 95 Kilo Camp – Burma
- 122 Km Camp, Thailand (Sonkurai Region)
- Payathonzu or Paya-thonzu Taung 108 Kilo Camp, Burma