The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Leslie George
- Nick Name:
- Les (a.k.a. Leslie George Willacott Williams)
- Regimental #:
- 'A' Company
- Place of Birth:
- Cardiff, Wales
- Father's Name:
- George Lewis Williams
- Mothers's Name:
- Olive Williams (nee Mansfield)
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Plot 1, Row B, Grave 60, Age 36.
- Selarang Camp Changi
- 'A' Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
- Camps Thailand:
- Camps Burma:
- Ye (appendix operation 20.9.1942), Victoria Point, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw 14km, Meiloe 75km, Aungganaung 105km
- Cause of Death:
- Malaria and Dysentery
- Place of Death:
- Tamarkan Hospital
- Date of Death:
- Grave No. 628, Tamarkan
Williams was wounded in action at Hill 200, Ulu Pandan on 12.2.1942. Admitted to 2/13th Australian General Hospital with a gun shot wound to his right leg. Discharged to unit on 21.2.1942.
Les was selected in Singapore to work on the Thai-Burma Railway with ‘A’ Force Green Force – the Burma end. ‘A’ Force was made up of 3,000 Australian POWs who sailed from Singapore arriving at Victoria Point on 21 May 1942 where they worked for months repairing and extending the airfield. Green force then departed 6 August for Tavoy and then Ye. It is not known whether Les took sick before arriving at Ye, or whether he was evacuated there from another Camp.
Without records, we assume Les caught up with Green Force at the start of the Railway at Kendau 4.8km Camp where they remained until end of December 1945. Green Force moved to Thetkaw 14km Camp on 1 December 1942 and stayed until 28 March 1943. From Thetkaw they moved to Meiloe 75km Camp from 28 March 1943 to 11 May 1943, then Aungganaung 105km from 11 May to December 1943. With the railway was completed, Green Force and all the POWs working on the Burma end of the Railway were evacuated south to one of the 4 large camps. Les was sent to Tamarkan. He may well have been sick before leaving 105km Camp.
Les died of malaria and dysentery on 7 February 1944, he was aged 36 years.
Funeral service conducted by Padre J. W. K. Matheson on 7.2.1944.
The above Plaque was dedicated by the family of Les Willacott (Williams).
Dedicated by His Family on 17 May 2014
Biography presented during plaque dedication:
‘Private Leslie George Willacott (Williams) was born in Cardiff, Wales in June 1907. He was one of three sons and three daughters of George and Olive Willacott.
He came to Western Australia in 1924 and worked as a fettler with the Western Australian Government Railways.
He enlisted at Claremont as L.G.W. Williams and was posted to a training unit before being posted to 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion in November 1940.
This battalion was formed with men from across the state and they all came together at Northam Military Camp where they carried out their initial training.
In July 1941, they moved to Adelaide and then to Darwin and left there in late October bound for Singapore via Port Moresby.
Due to enemy action, the convoy turned around and sailed to Sydney then Fremantle and finally reached Singapore at the end of January 1942.
They were soon in action, Malaya had fallen and Singapore was being attacked.
Following the surrender in February, Leslie became a prisoner of war and was sent to Thailand as part of A Force to build the Burma-Thai railway.
Private Leslie George Willacott (Williams), service number WX6071 of 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion died as a prisoner of war at Tamarkan, Thailand on 7 February 1944. He was 36 years of age.’
Above: Kanchanaburi Cemetery, Thailand
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
- Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
- Meilo, 75 Kilo, 340k - Burma
- Tavoy (Dawei) - river port - Burma
- Ye - Burma
- Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
- Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma