The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Bernard George
- Private (Promoted Sgt. on 27.8.1943)
- Regimental #:
- ‘D’ Company No. 16 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Subiaco, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- George William Harrison
- Mothers's Name:
- Lillian Francis Harrison
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Engine Cleaner
- When being led out from the west coast on the night of 9.2.1942 by Sergeant Ron Arbery 'D' Coy 16 Platoon, contact was lost with soldier who, it was later heard, had escaped to Australia. Soldier disembarked at Fremantle ex-Edindale, on 5.3.1942. Soldier was Taken on Strength, General Details Camp Claremont ex-Batavia, the same day.
Harrison enlisted AIF 10 Aug 1940 later joining 2/4th’s ‘D’ Company No. 15 Platoon.
At Singapore with the west coast sparsely defended by the Australians. An older vickers gun was found and it was decided to create another Platoon for 2/4th – No. 16 was formed under Commanding Officer Arbery and men moved from within ‘D’ Company Platoons 13-15. Harrison was one of those moved to No. 16 Platoon.
When being led out from west coast on night of 9th February 1942 by Sgt Ron Arbery, ‘D’ Coy 16 Platoon, contact was lost with Harrison. It was later heard he had escaped to Australia. (Military personnel were absolutely forbidden to board shipping leaving Singapore, but several managed to do so).
Soldier disembarked at Fremantle ex-‘Edindale’ on 5th March 1942. He was Taken on Strength, General Details Camp, ex-Batavia the same day.
Following return to Australia:
- 13th Training Battalion 1.4.1942. Claremont ex-Batavia
- 25th Divisional Cavalry Training Squadron 23.8.1942.
- 3rd Australian Motor Brigade 2.11.1942.
- 4th Motor Regiment, 1st Armoured Division 3.11.1942.
- NCO’s Course 5.4.1943.
Above: George & Lillian Harrison with their sons Lance (youngest) and Bernard (eldest).
It seems Bernard George Harrison enlisted providing an incorrect age. He was actually born in 1921 and not 1919. We do not know if this was known to others, but perhaps goes some way to explain ‘leaving his post without permission’ i.e. doing a runner from Singapore on a civilian ship during the fighting.
Bernard Harrison died at Dunsborough 12 July 2003.