The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Armstrong
First Name:
Francis
Nick Name:
Frank
Rank:
Lance Corporal
Regimental #:
WX7717
Company:
‘D’ Company, 16 Platoon
Enlisted:
10.08.1940
DOB:
21.08.1912
Place of Birth:
Boulder, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Thomas Francis Armstrong
Mothers's Name:
Catherine Armstrong
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Millhand
Memorial:
Labuan War Cemetery, Plot Q, Row AA, Grave 14, Age 31.
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi
Java:
‘B’ Force Borneo
POW#:
1467
Cause of Death:
Duodenal Ulcer
Place of Death:
Sandakan No.1 Camp
Date of Death:
30.07.1942

General Description

Frank was the youngest of four sons and 7 daughters born to parents Thomas Francis Armstrong and Catherine Matilda Maxted who were married in Boulder in 1903.
Frank’s father served in WW1, enlisting in October 1915 aged 37 years.  At the time of his enlistment, Thomas Francis Armstrong was married with 6 children and residing in Boulder.  Frank would have been just a few years old.
Frank and his brothers attended Boulder School, and as can be imagined, they got into and out of many scrapes and escapades!
Thomas Armstrong returned to WA from France in June 1919 having served with the 4th Australian Divisional Ammunition
Column in Europe. He took up land south of Margaret River and moving his family from Boulder.   With his four grown -up and strong sons, Thomas cleared the virgin land.
First class bushmen and horse-riders, the four sons moved around WA seeking work.
Prior to enlisting, Frank was working as a mill hand at Witchcliffe.

Armstrong Frank (Left) at family event.

 

Armstrong, Frank enlistment photograph
Armstrong, Frank enlistment photograph

 

L-R Armstrong F, Solly J Oct 1941
L-R Armstrong F, Solly J Oct 1941

Happy Days

 

Armstrong Francis
Frank Armstrong

 

Armstrong enlisted AIF 10 Aug 1940 later joining 2/4th MGB’s ‘D’ Company No. 15 Platoon  under Commanding Officer Lt. Meiklejohn.
Wounded in action North Lim Chu Kang Road on the west coast of Singapore on 9.2.1942. Admitted to the 2/ 10th Australian General Hospital with a gunshot wound to the right arm. Discharged to unit on 22.2.1942.
Please read further about No. 15 Platoon.
Following surrender by the Allies to Japan, the 8th Division became Prisoners of War of Japan.  He was accommodated at Selarang and would have worked in various parts of Singapore with different work Parties.
He was selected with ‘B’ Force to sail to Borneo. Read about ‘B’ Force.
Read the story, Frank Armstrong first tragedy at Sandakan and Korean and Formosan guards.

Kings Park

Dedicated by Family on 14 February 2009

Biography presented during plaque dedication:

‘Lance Corporal Francis Armstrong of 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion was born in August 1912 at Boulder City. He was the fourth and youngest son of the eleven children born to Thomas and Catherine Armstrong.
Frank attended Boulder school and family folklore has it that he and his brothers were involved in many escapades.
Their father, Thomas served overseas in World War 1 and on his return took up land south of Margaret River and the four boys, who were big strong lads, were put to work clearing the land. They were all superb bushmen and horsemen and they moved about the state following work.
Frank enlisted at Claremont in August 1940 while living at East Witchcliffe. He was posted to 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion and went to Singapore with 8 Division. During the battle for Singapore, the battalion was engaged in heavy fighting for 20 hours before being overrun by the enemy. Frank was captured, became a prisoner of war and was sent to Sandakan as part of B Force.
Lance Corporal Francis Armstrong, service number WX7717, died as a prisoner of war at Sandakan on 30 July 1942. He was 29.’

 

 

 

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Sandakan - Borneo ***
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