The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Corporal (Promoted on 24.1.1942)
Regimental #:
'C' Company, No. 10 Platoon (Section Corporal)
Place of Birth:
Beverley, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Gilbert Henry McLennan
Mothers's Name:
Grace Lavina McLennan (nee Sewell)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Motor Mechanic
Selarang Camp Changi, Mt Pleasant Camp, Thompson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp), Selarang Barracks Changi
'D' Force Thailand, S Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Tarsau, Kanu II, Kanu III, Hintok Road Camp, Tarsau Hospital Camp, Non Pladuk, Tamuang, Konkoita, Kinsaiyok, Tamarkan, Chungkai, Petchaburi, Nacompation, Bangkok
3/6456, 8734
Return Details 1945:
Bangkok-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Sydney, HMT Highland Chieftan.

General Description

Back L – R C. Anderson, P.Byrne, C.McLennan, E.Ricketts,V.Warhurst
Front L-R F.Halbert, G.Burdon, K.McDonald, W.McKay, R.Hadfiled













Wounded in his face at Hill 200, Ulu Pandan on 11/2/1942 but remained on duty.
At Konkoita the work involved raising the height of a bridge and at Kinsaiyok a railway loop line was built.
As a POW Singapore, McLennan was selected with D’ Force Thailand S Battalion to work on the Burma-Thai Railway.
S Btn included a large number of 2/4th ‘Boys’.  They departed Singapore Railway Station May 1943 on a 4-5 day train journey to Bampong Thailand.  S Btn was transferred by trucks to Kanchanaburi and then to Tarsau which would become Japanese HQ for ‘D’ Force and their hospital.  They worked here several weeks clearing land for the rail link.  In fact the relatively easy work did not prepare them for their move to Konyu II on 25 April 1943 at the Hellfire Pass Cutting.
At Konyu II the men slaved long hours in terrible conditions using hammer and tap to shave away the mammoth rock-face.  The POWs had little protection from the flying pieces of rock, their clothes and shoes had fallen apart in the humid tropical climate.
They were subjected to Japanese brutality and bashings, little food and long hours working.  Then came the tropical illnesses and cholera.  Chris was sent with a work party from Konyu II to Konyu III to Clayton’s site then onto Tampie in a 100 man work party (including Dick Ridgwell).  From here he was sent to Hintock.
13 December 1943 he was evacuated to Tarsau Hospital with an ulcer on his foot.  Tarsau Hospital of course was not equipped with medical supplies.  It was a hellish place, in particular the ulcer wards which could be smelled long before nearing them.  There were quite a few 2/4th sick here.
Chris was then sent to Non-Pladuk onto Nacompaton Hospital arriving 7 May 1944 and remained 6 weeks.  He was sent to Tamuang Camp via Non Pladuk.
From here he was selected with a work party to Konkoita Camp to rebuild a bridge which had been washed away.  Then onto to Kinsaiyok Camp working on a loop line for Japanese engineers.
Then to Tamakan, Chungkai, Phetburi on 30 August 1945.
Allied POWs gathered at Nacompaton (like a holding Camp) to travel to Bangkok (University Camp) before flying to Singapore.
Chris McLennan standing in front of gun.
Lancelin 1941.
Some of C Coy (mostly No 9 Pln) in transit Rear L-R Kev Moir, Clarrie Henderson, Fred Webb Front Taffy Jones, Cyril Anderson, Jock Leith, Chris Mc Lennan, Les Marriot, Ern Ricketts, Paddy Byrne. Kneeling Harry Norris
Some of C Coy (mostly No 9 Pln) in transit
Rear L-R Kev Moir, Clarrie Henderson, Fred Webb                              Standing Taffy Jones, Cyril Anderson, Jock Leith, Chris Mc Lennan, Les Marriot, Ern Ricketts, Paddy Byrne.
Kneeling Harry Norris
Chris McLennan
Chris McLennan, Bill McKay WX7138 (died Brankassi Camp 1943) and Alec McLennan


Paddy Byrne, Unknown, Ern Ricketts, Chris McLennan, Bill McKay
Paddy Byrne, Unknown, Ern Ricketts, Chris McLennan, Bill McKay



Chris was a good mate to Bill Reeves



Above: Chris McLennan married Doris Douglas 1946.




Chris’ parents Gilbert Henry McLennan and Grace Lavinia Sewell were married 1914 Beverley. They had four children Bill, Alex, Chris and one daughter Mary.
Grace died in 1945 and Gilbert Henry died 1960.
Gilbert’s father Alexander McLennan d. 1908 Beverley and his mother Grace Elizabeth McLennan (nee Shrigley)  m. 1889 died 1946 Mt Lawley.



Below:  1935 death of Henry Edmund Sewell 1935 – father of Grace Lavinia McLennan.


Below:  Death of Chris’s mother Grace Lavinia McLennan 1945.


Below:  Grace Elizabeth McLennan – mother of Gilbert and Grandmother of Chris died July 1946.





The above was included in ‘Listening Post’ Summer 1995, Vol 18, No. 4
Chris passed away aged 81yrs, February 8 2002, at Hilton, WA.  His funeral took place at Karrakatta Cemetery and he was buried at Quairading Cemetery.
Please read about the boys from Dangin  and Quairding
Below:  2015 the then President Rod McLennan, eldest son of Chris, accompanies the last three ‘old boys’ to remember their mates at POW Memorial, Kings Park L-R Dick Ridgwell, John Gilmore and Ron Badock.



Chris’s son Rod joined the 2/4th Committee some years after his father’s death.   When then Secretary Lawrie Morris on behlaf of the 2009 Committee advised they could no longer continue working and the 2/4th would ‘close’ down, the two youngest and newest committee members Cheryl Mellor and Rod quietly discussed the possibility of offering their services.  They asked  Peter Dimopulous if he would agree to take on the role of Treasurer. It was agreed to in a few short minutes and we announced to the retiring ‘old boys’ – we would continue. 
Jim Elliott and Rob Badock had tears in their eyes.  They were so excited!  
Rod became President 2010 remaining so until his untimely death in 2018.  Cheryl Mellor was Secretary and they bumbled through the years events – and with limited knowledge! 
The old ‘boys’  enjoyed Rod’s company – he sort of spoke the same language.  They would always enjoy lunch over a few beers at the old Anzac House following monthly meetings( we women would sit the other end of the table – it wasn’t because we didn’t wish to mix, the ‘boys’ enjoyed sitting together over their beers mostly quietly talking.     
Rodney Chris McLennan born 23 July 1947 died 25 Sept 2018 was a former conscripted Vietnam Veteran who served with 21 Platoon 9RAR Service No. 5715700 served 13 Nov 1968 to 5 Dec 1969.
During the last years of his life Rod sadly suffered terrible health issues from his conscript time in  Vietnam.    Months of hospitalisation, home a short time then back to another hospital.  He had a series of sores which were the affects of agent orange and untreatable,  ulcers which would not heal on his legs and feet.  He lost several toes due to amputation.   Understandably Ron had his dark times but would appear upbeat and happy to see everybody.

Rod was father to three sons .

‘I well remember seeing sores over his limbs and body for the first time.  Sores which would not heal and the itch which drove him mad at times – he reminded me he always had them! 
But they were more visible when wearing only a blue hospital gown!
They were the long-term results and reminder of Vietnam’s chemical sprays – Agent Orange. I realised there was little the doctors could do – there were no cures! ‘
by Cheryl Mellor
Chris McLennan and Mrs McLennan would have been mighty pleased and very proud of their eldest son.  We, the Committee of 2/4th  we will fondly remember Rod’s commitment to 2/4th and in particular his admiration and endless patience with the ‘old boys’ who loved him dearly.  He moved at their pace and his patience was endless and to be admired.

Please read further about Rod McLennan




Below:  Below Gilbert McLennan enlisted with 18/16th Battalion.


Gilbert Henry McLennan Service No. 2690 enlisted Blackboy Hill 24 Jan 1916 aged 25 years initially recording his mother as NOK, residing Hazeldine, Quairading – however he married soon after and record was changed to read Mrs Grace R McLennan, Dalbelling, near York.
McLennan was transferred to 6th Reinf. 51st Battalion departing Fremantle Oct 1916.
In Jul 1917 in France, McLennan was charged with Desertion, sentenced to 5 Years Penal Servitude.  On 26 Jul 1917 his sentence was suspended by FGCM.
McLennan returned to service in France.  On 19 Nov 1917 he was awarded Military Medal for Braver by 4th Australian Division for Routine Order No. 416. (no further details)
His Suspended Sentence was now remitted – authorised by 4th Division GOC.


Camp Locations:

  • Mount Pleasant Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Thomson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp) - Singapore
  • Chungkai, 60k - Thailand
  • Hintok, 154k - Thailand
  • Kanu 1 151.00k - Thailand
  • Kinsaiyok Main, 170.2k - Thailand
  • Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand
  • Non Pladuk, 0k - Thailand
  • Petchaburi - Thailand
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Tamuang, Tha Muang 39k - Thailand
  • Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand