The Soldier's Details

First Name:
James Joseph
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
‘B’ Company, No 7 Platoon.
Place of Birth:
Collie, Western Australia
Father's Name:
John Joseph Flanagan
Mothers's Name:
Ethal May Flanagan (nee Holzberger)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Wire Mattress Weaver
Selarang Camp Changi (17.2.1942‐25.3.1942); River Valley Road Camp (25.3.1942-20.12,1942) Soldier was on a Bhukit Timah work party in August 1942 when he fractured upper bone (humerus) in his right arm. Admitted to A.G.H. Roberts Barracks Changi on 9.8.1942; Selarang Barracks Changi
‘ D ’ Force, Captain Fred Harris Party
Camps Thailand:
Kanchanaburi, Kinsaiyok, Hindato, Konkoita, Tarsau, Non Pladuk
Camps Japan:
Fukuoka sub-Camp No. 17, Omuta; Fukuoka sub -Camp No. 21, Nakama
4782 and 602
Aramis Party
Return Details 1945:
Nagasaki-Manila; Manila-Morotai; Darwin to Perth B24 Liberator aircraft A72-379

General Description


Collie boys – Tom Green, James Flanagan & Tom Finlay


Bulla Robinson, Trevor James, James Flanagan & Laurie McGrath
Bulla Robinson, Trevor James, James  Flanagan & Laurie McGrath


James Flanagan was originally a Collie boy. Please read further.


Following are the camps and dates as provided to Murray Ewen:

Changi – Selarang  17/2/1942 to 25/3/1942
River Valley Road  25/3/1942 to 20/12/1942 . It was here at RVR Camp, Flanagan injured himself on a working party to Bukit Timah Road in August 1942.
Changi – Selected to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with Capt Harris Party leaving March 1943 by  train from Singapore to Bampong, Thailand.

Read about  Capt. Fred Harris Party

‘The following day on 23rd March the group were transported in open flat railway trucks to Kanchanaburi. S, T and V Battalions had already arrived at Kanchanaburi before U Battalion. It was here that Capt. Fred Harris reluctantly agreed to command a 225 strong POW work party which had been ordered by the Japanese be separated and remain behind to load ballast onto trains. When the group moved out of Kanchanaburi several men, Joe Starcevich and James Flanagan were too ill to continue, having consumed pork which was too rich,  and remained behind.
Being the tail end of ‘Force, U Battalion tendered to gather in stragglers from other groups and they passed through from the lower camps of Thailand as they moved north of Kanchanaburi.  Tom Cato from S Battalion joined U Battalion at Tarsau June 1943.
On 4th April the Japanese arrived to pick up U Battalion in a convoy of trucks to take then to their next destination, Tarsau.  Many had thought they would be marching – so this was a pleasant surprise.
Tarsau  Camp 4 April 1943 to 24 May 1943
Tarsau North Camp 24 May 1943 to 2 June 1943
Tonchan Camp 2 June 1943 to 28 June 1943
Kanu II Camp 30 June 1943 to 10 July 1943
Hintok River Camp 11 July 1943 to 16 July 1943
Around mid July Japanese issued orders for U Battalion to move back down river by barge to the British Camp at Tonchan Central.
Tonchan Central Camp 17 July 1943 to 21 September 1943′
He was at Kanchanaburi, Kinsaiyok, Hindato, Konkoita (furtherest north he went) Tarsauk then back to Non Pladuk.
From Non Pladuk he was selected to work in Japan with ‘Aramis[‘ Party.  Please read further about ‘Aramis’ Story.
It was thought Flanagan was listed to work at Fukuoka sub-Camp No. 17 Omuta however was then sent to Fukuoka sub-Camp No. 21 Nakama coal-mine.  He was a fortunate man.
When the war ended he was evacuated to Nagasaki and taken to Manila where he was emplaned 7 October 1945 to Darwin then Perth arrived 11 October 1945 where he was admitted to hospital.
James Flanagan’s parents married in 1905.  He had one sister Minnie.  His father John Joseph Flanagan was tragically killed 4th April 1916 at the Leighton Crossing, near Fremantle. At the time he was an enlisted soldier with the 44th Battalion.  Ethel Flanagan then widowed was left with two young children, Minnie and Jimmy to raise.


Above notice in West Australian April 1916.


James Flanagan married in 1957 to Dorothy Alma Patrick.
According to Electoral Roles James works as an orderly.   The couple resided 1958 at Bennett Street, Perth and in 1963 at Shenton Park.
James Flanagan died 7 October 1985 at a Nursing Home in Fremantle.  He was 70 years old.

Camp Locations:

  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Roberts Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Hindato, 198k - Thailand
  • Kanchanaburi, 50k - Thailand
  • Kinsaiyok Main, 170.2k - Thailand
  • Non Pladuk, 0k - Thailand
  • Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand
  • Nakama, Fukuoka #21-B - Japan
  • Omuta Miike, Fukuoka #17-B - Japan