The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Stanley Keith
- Nick Name:
- Stan or known as Mick
- Regimental #:
- ‘C’ Company, No. 10 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Bunbury, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Ebenezer 'Henry' Wenn
- Mothers's Name:
- Mable Wenn (nee Cole)
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Selarang Camp, Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, A. G. H. Roberts Barracks Changi (Potts fracture to right tibia 13.11.1942), Selarang Barracks Changi.
- ‘J’ Force Japan, Wales Maru Party.
- Camps Japan:
- Kobe (9/6-20/6/43), Notogawa-Osaka sub-Camp No. 9 (20/6-10/9/45) dyke construction
- Return Details 1945:
- Okinawa‐Manila, USS Goodhue, Manila-Sydney, HMS Formidable, Sydney-Perth by troop train.
Mick enlisted at Bunbury August 1940 and later joined ‘C’ Company 10 Platoon. He trained Northam Army Camp, Woodside, SA and Darwin, N.T. before sailing to Singapore.
A Bunbury boy, his mate Frank McGlinn WX8478 enlisted a little later on 18 Oct and joined ‘C’ Company. Both men in No. 10 Platoon under Commanding Officers Lt. Wilson and Lt Ambrose.
You can read further about Frank McGlinn who worked on Burma-Thai Railway around Hellfire Pass Cutting and was then sent to work in Japan with ‘Rashin’ Maru Party.
As a POW Singapore he was part of work parties around Singapore for the Japanese. Mick suffered a Potts fracture to his right tibia 13 November 1942. Many Australians selected in ‘J’ Force were either in rehabilitation or had been recently hospitalised.
Stan was a member of ‘J’ Force transported from Singapore to Japan to a POW Camp at Kobe mid 1943 sailing in ‘Wales’ Maru. Some of the details of Kobe House are found at the story Kobe House, Japan.
He was then transferred from Kobe to Notogawa-Osaka sub-Camp No. 9 until end of the war. At this last camp, Stan was one of 3 men from 2/4th sent here on 20 May 1945. With the reduced and limited rations the men lost between 4-8 kilograms in weight.
Notogawa was hard Camp – the 300 men worked all day for three months standing in water. Beatings were frequent usually with bamboo or split bamboo. In his Affidavit (below) Mick said mass beatings took place regularly and he himself was beaten at least three times. The Japanese Lieutenant was in charge, a man about 5’9″ tall, ‘pretty heavily built and well nourished’ – known as ‘Four Eyes’ (2nd Lt Yoshio Nakanishi) was usually involved in the beatings which were instigated by a sadistic Sergeant believed to be known as ‘the Rat’ who enforced physical exercises on the men every night after they had returned from working.
He was recovered from Notogawa when the war ended.
Jack Riches a mate of Mick, recovered from Java (enlisted into 2/3rd Btn.)
Mick was one of two sons born to parents Ebenezer (Henry) Wenn and Mabel Cole who married 1906 Bunbury. Henry and Mabel also had five daughters.
Phyllis May b. 1906
Alice Irene b.1910
Stanley Keith b. 1912
Edna Pearl b. 1915
Mick’s younger brother Leslie James also enlisted with AIF with Service No. WX42267 however we believe Les did not serve overseas.
Below: Henry Wenn died in 1938.
Ebenezer (Henry) was the youngest of four sons and five daughters born to parents James Frederick Wenn b. England and Helen (Ellen) Jarvis b. Fremantle who married 1861 Fremantle. Ellen Wenn died in 1913 having been a resident of Bunbury for 51 years. Ellen and James left a large number of descendants throughout Bunbury and surrounding regions!
James Frederick Wenn was an early pioneer of Bunbury – arriving as a seven year old in June 1843 with his parents. He worked as a carpenter/builder and even whaler. Mick’s grandfather, J F Wenn died in 1925.
Below: Believed to be James Wenn.
Below: In 1911 James and Ellen Wenn celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary.
Mick’s name is included amongst the former POWs returning from Japan. At Manila the men boarded HMS ‘Formidable’ to sail to Sydney.
Below: Stan is included in POWs rescued at Notogawa, September 1945
Below, former POWs arrive in Western Australia 22 October 1945.
Stan’s mother Mabel Wenn died in October 1952.
In 1953 Mick married Edith Beatrice (Biddy) Yates at Bunbury. The couple lived in Bunbury where Mick continued his occupation as a waterside worker (stevedore) throughout his life.
Biddy and Mick had two children – a daughter and son Michael. At nine years of age Michael tragically died in an accident with his bicycle. Later Biddy and Michael adopted an aboriginal girl, Meryl. There were no grandchildren.
Below: Mick with Michael and happy days.
Right: Michael and Helen at Bunbury War Memorial
Below: Helen on her wedding day
Below: Meryl Jean Wenn – their aboriginal adopted daughter.
In the Jan 1973 edition of Borehole Bulletin, Editor Ted Wallin wrote ‘Mick up again from Bunbury. Mick suffers badly from arthritis and his hands are crippled up. Hope that you can get fixed up once again Mick!’
‘Mick’ passed away aged 69, November 10 1981, Bunbury WA.
We wish to acknowledge and thank Mick’s niece, Mrs Jessica Jones who has given to us a collection of Mick’s photos to copy and personally provided family information. Jessica’s mother is one of Mick’s sisters.
Jessica described Mick as a very, very gentle man.
He was a crack shot with his rifle.
- Adam Park Camp - Singapore
- Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
- Roberts Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Kobe, Osaka #2-B - Japan ***
- Notogawa, Osaka #9-B - Japan