The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Copeland James
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
B' Company
Place of Birth:
Moora, Western Australia
Father's Name:
William Burns
Mothers's Name:
Ada Francis Burns
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Shop Assistant
Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selerang Barracks Changi.
D' Force Thailand, S Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Tarsau, Kanu II , Kanu 1 River Camp (evacuated sick to Tarsau by barge), Kinsaiyok, Konkoita, Tarsau, Chungkai, Nacompaton, Nihke-Nihke Wood Camp, Sonlcurai, Kanchanaburi, Bangkok (Sports Stadium)
Return Details 1945:
Thailand-Singapore by aircraft

General Description

Fairbridge 2004 No 2

Trevor James, Jim Burns, Alf Worth, John Lane, Des Colevas, Bob Whitield, Joe Pearce (rear), Tom Pilmoor (front), Owen Morris, Jim Elliott, Ron Badock, Gordon Lynam

Fairbridge 2001
Fairbridge 2001 (Morris Collection)

Back Row L-R: Jim Burns, John Lane, Jim Elliott, Cowboy Matthews, Frank Evans, Alf Worth, Trevor James, Wally Lynn, Les Cody, Owen Morris
Front Row L-R: Greg Burdon, Ron Badock, Des Coleves, Jim Gilmour, Joe Pearce.

Hellfire 2002, Morris & Burns
Hellfire Pass 2002, Owen Morris & Jim Burns (Morris Collection)


Listen to an oral history interview of Jim, Owen Morris and Jim Gilmour recorded in Singapore February 2001.
Jim was selected to work on Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force S Battalion – departed by train for 4 day crowded journey to Thailand departed Singapore mid May 1943 headed for Thailand.
Read further about ‘D’ Force S Battalion
Their first work camp was Tarsau – which was not too difficult at the time, and in no way prepared the POWs for what was ahead of them working at Hellfire Pass Cutting, firstly at Konyu II, then Konyu 1 River Camp from where Jim was evacuated sick to the ‘D’ Force’s  Tarsau Hospital Camp.
Jim soon after returned to Hellfire Pass Cutting working at Kinsaiyok, Konkoita back to (possibly to Hospital camps at) Tarsau, Chungkai and Nacompaton, before being sent on work party to Nikhe-Nikhe Wood Camp, Sonkurai.  He was at Kanchanburi when the war ended and sent to Bangkok (sports stadium) to await flight to Singapore.
Jim was born at Moora to William Burns and Ada Frances Purser who married 1905 at Dandaragin.  He had two older sisters and was one of about three sons.
William Joseph Burns was born Roebourne about 1873 and died in 1930 when Jim was about 13 years old.



Jim’s brother Aneas Hartley Burns also enlisted WX16510 and like Jim returned home after the war.
Below:  Jimmy’s maternal grandmother, Margaret Purser died before the end of war.



Returning from war Jimmy married about 1949 to Marjorie Isobel Raine (nee Clune).  Marjorie had married in 1940 to WX7684 Sapper Holmes (Jack) Raine.   POW Jack Raine tragically perished following the sinking of ‘Rakuyo’ Maru in September . 1944.
In 1954 Marjorie and Jim lived at Derby St, North Perth.  Jim working as a labourer. In 1963 they resided 213 Ewen Street,  Doubleview with Jimmy a shop assistant and in 1977 and 1980 they remain at Ewen Street, however suburb is changed to Woodlands.
Marjorie Burns died January 1990.  Jimmy Burns died 21 Feb 2010.


The following photographs sent by Allan Tilley – husband of Jim’s daughter Vicki Burns. (November 2022)

Below:  Anzac Days 2004, 2005 and 2008

Jim standing in front of Lawrie Morris to his Left, and Jim Elliott further Left.  Behind Jim is his daughter Vicki Tilley.
Below:  ‘Romeo’ Morris and Johnny Gilmour.  John would have marched holding the 2/4th Flag.


Above and Below:  Transport truck having reached the Esplanade is a great attraction for kids and wives.

Above:  Jim as we all fondly remember him with Jack Kyrias.

Camp Locations:

  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Chungkai, 60k - Thailand
  • Kanchanaburi, 50k - Thailand
  • Kanu 1 151.00k - Thailand
  • Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
  • Kinsaiyok Main, 170.2k - Thailand
  • Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand
  • Nikhe Wood Camp, Ni Thea, 131 Kilo, 284k - Thailand
  • Songkurai 294k - Thailand
  • Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand