The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Robert Douglas
Nick Name:
Acting Sergeant (Promoted on 4.3.1942)
Regimental #:
'A' Company, No. 4 Platoon
Place of Birth:
Maylands, Western Australia
Father's Name:
John Hampson
Mothers's Name:
Eileen Mary 'Molly' Hampson (nee Weir)
Roman Catholic
Pre-war Occupation:
Bicycle Builder
‘A’ Force Burma, Java Party No. 4, Williams Force
Camps Thailand:
Camps Burma:
Tanyin 35km, Anakwin 45km, Taungzan 57km, Mezali 72km, Apalon 80km Camp
Camps Java:
Bicycle Camp Batavia
Rakuyo Maru Party, Kumi No. 37 (rescued by USS Barb)
Return Details 1945:
Saipan‐Guadalcanal-Brisbane‐Perth arriving 1.11.1944.

General Description

Doug enlisted AIF 1 Aug 1940 later joining 2/4th MGB’s ‘A’ Company, No. 4 Platoon under Command Lt McCaffery and Lt. Manning.   He became Acting Sergeant 4 March 1942.
Hampson had been living in Menzies when he enlisted although he changed this to his father’s address in South Perth.  Hampson’s name is included on the WW2 Honour Roll in Menzies.
Doug Hampson was AWOL when ‘Aquitania’ sailed out of Fremantle headed for Singapore.  He was amongst the 98 2/4th men who sailed to Java several weeks later and remained there joining up with the Allied forces.
Read story of AWOL at Fremantle and Java.
Also read about Java and POW Camps.
This NCO was in charge of the guard at an ammunition dump near Meester Cornelis.  He was located at the Cornelis Barracks for about seven days before moving to civil aerodrome at Kemajoran located near Tanjong Priok. Here again he was placed in charge of the guard. Following surrender  Hampson, Jack Cocking and Lt. Colin Blakeway were at a tea plantation outside Arinem from where they decided to head for the coast in the hope of flagging down a passing ship or boat.

They were captured some days later.

Hampson and Cocking were present when Private Edgar Chetham Jones WX7453 died of bacillary dysentery at Bicycle Camp Hospital, Batavia on 6th July 1942.
Hampson was with Java Group 4 arriving Singapore as a POW from Java.  He departed Singapore 14 October 1942.
He arrived 80km Camp July 1943 until August 1943.  He was at 105K Camp about November 1943 – he departed and arrived Tamakan No. 1 Camp 17th March 1944.
At Tamakan he was selected for Japan and headed for Bangkok to Phom Penh to Saigon, then a few months later back to Phom Pen to Singapore because of the blockage at Saigon. He was selected at River Valley Road Camp, Singapore for Kumi 37 and boarded ‘Rakuyo Maru’.
Please read about the men of A Coy No. 4 Platoon
The POW Camps in Burma are those we know Doug’s work party worked at, however we cannot be absolutely certain these are where Doug worked, for there are no records.



Read the story Members of 2/4th nominated for Medal but not awarded.
Doug Hampson was one of the very few fortunate men who survived the sinking of the ‘Rakuyo Maru’.
Read the story Surviving the Sinking of the Rakuyo Maru written by Roy Cornford NX44955 of the 2/19th Battalion, courtesy of Peter Winstanley.
Also please read about others of 2/4th who were rescued.
Doug Hampson survived the sinking of Rakuyo Maru on 12th September to be picked up by USS Barb at 5.30pm on 17th September, 1944.  Following his miraculous rescue, Hampson finally reached Australian shores (Brisbane) via USS ‘Monanock’ 31 October 1944.  He arrived Perth on 1st November 1944.
Below:  Doug Hampson and Leo Cornelius cling to their ‘life raft’ the last two to survive of 14 men over 4 days without food and water.

Taken from USS Barb.



1987 Anniversary

Dinner – Jack Ewen, Ettie & Doug Hampson

40th Anniversary Dinner – Heritage on Charles

1985 – Mac McPherson, Doug & Ettie Hampson, Mrs McPherson


Doug was born 1914 to John Hampson and Eileen Mary Weir who married at Williams about 1914. Doug had one sister Joy. John Hampson was 23 1/2 years old, married with one child, former grocer, when he enlisted WW1 12 Nov 1915 initially with 14th reinforcements 10th Light Horse.  He transferred to 12th Field Artillery Brigade with whom he fought with in France until he was discharged Sep 1919.


Doug’s mother Eileen Mary (known as Molly) Hampson died in August 1927, at the age of 30 years.  The family were residing Serpentine/Baldivis.



Below:  Doug was attending school at Palm Beach, Rockingham from May to June 1927.  His father John Hampson was now employed as a train driver.


Below:  John Hampson witnesses two children drown



His father remarried in 1929 to Esther Pendlebury when Doug was about 15 years old.

We believe Doug married about 1941 to Esther (Ettie) Simpson.

Doug was residing 1937 George St, South Perth, working as a Labourer.  In 1954, 1963 and 1968 Electoral Rolls Doug and Esther were residing Gwenyfred Street, South Perth with Doug working as a labourer.
We know from Electoral Poll records, Doug’s parents also resided in South Perth.
Doug died 20 Dec 1997 aged 83 years. ‘Ettie’ died in 2018 aged 93 years.


Doug was residing Menzies prior to enlisting.  His name is recorded on their WW2 Memorial.

Below:  Hampson in Menzies – playing cricket 1937


Below:  Hampson participating in Menzies bicycle Race June 1939


Camp Locations:

  • P Party, Johore Bahru - Singapore
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Apalon, Apalaine, 80 Kilo, 337k - Burma
  • Taungzun, 60 Kilo, 358k - Burma
  • Bicycle Camp, Batavia, Jakarta - Java ***
  • Saigon - French Indo China
  • Bangkok - Thailand
  • Tanyin 35 Kilo Camp - Burma
  • Anakwin 45 Kilo Camp - Burma
  • Mezali 70km Camp - Burma