The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Miller
First Name:
Edwin Ernest
Nick Name:
Ted
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX8013
Company:
‘B’ Company Headquarters, No. 7 Platoon
Enlisted:
14.08.1940
Discharged:
6.02.1946
DOB:
14.10.1911
Place of Birth:
Perth, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Otto Charles Miller
Mothers's Name:
Charlotte Miller
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Farmhand
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi, Thomson Road (Caldecot Hille Estate Camp), River Valley Road Camp, Selarang Barracks Changi. Following return from Thailand - X10 Party, Changi Goal Camp.
Force:
‘F’ Force Thailand
Camps Thailand:
Shimo Sonkurai, Kami Sonkurai
POW#:
3/8702
Return Details 1945:
Singapore‐Darwin‐Sydney, HMT Arawa, Sydney-Melbourne by troop train, Melbourne-Fremantle, HMT Strathmore

General Description

Ted enlisted AIF Aug 1940 and later joined 2/4th’s ‘B’ Company 9 Platoon under Commanding Officer Lt C D Lee.
He was officially recorded as Edwin Ernest MULLER – his father’s birth name.  His father Charles officially changed the family name to Miller in the 40s, however Ted is recorded as Muller in the newspaper enlistments.
He was admitted to 2/9th Field AMB 15 Feb and transferred to 13th AGM with boils right arm, left leg.  Discharged to unit 21 Feb 1942.
As a POW Singapore he was selected to work on Burma Thai Railway with ‘F’ Force which departed Singapore Railway Station for Thailand 16 April 1943.
Please read further about ‘F’ Force
‘F’ Force suffered terrible losses of lives.  Ted returned with the survivors to Singapore about Dec 1943.
He was recovered from Changi at the end of the war.

Below:  From Bangkok,

 

 

Miller’s parents Charles Theodore Otto Muller b. 1857 Sommerfeld, Krossen, Brandenburg, Prussia.  (Apparently Otto was not able to confirm where he was born in Germany. He arrived in Adelaide SA, Australia before he was three years old on the ‘Sophie & Friedericke’ with his Mother Helena and brother Heinrich Müller. His mother died and he was brought up by friends) married Charlotte Bunyan Mather b. 1866 NSW married Aug 1895 in Gawler, SA.
Initially they settled at Cavanagh, South Australia to farm and amongst other things, grew fruits.
Ted was the youngest born of nine sons.  The older boys were born SA and younger in WA.
The Muller family arrive in WA 1905 from SA and Charles Otto uller worked at Tenterden, WA labouring for a year or so before farming his own land.  He was a successful orchardist too.
Albany Advertiser (WA : 1897 – 1954), Wednesday 29 March 1905, page 3

 

Below:  the Muller family have moved to live Armadale,
where we know they had a vineyard and orchard for several years before moving to Toodyay and then Korbel.
Charles Muller would have had to register as an Alien in 1916.  And again in 1940-41.

‘As the apparent threat of invasion grew, Australians were gripped by an irrational panic about the potential for the tens of thousands of foreign nationals resident in Australia to become saboteurs or spies. As early as 1939 this fear had led to the introduction of National Security (Aliens Control) Regulations.
Aliens had to register and their travel was restricted. Germans or Australians born in Germany were considered enemy aliens and had to obtain permission to travel or change abode from the authorities in their local police district. Some were interned in Australian camps.
From June 1940, German internees were joined by Italians and, in December 1941, by Japanese Australians. In September 1942 internment of enemy aliens reached its peak, with almost 7,000 people behind barbed wire in 18 camps around southern Australia, from Marrinup in the west to Brighton in Tasmania. From 1943, many of the camps intended for internees were used to house enemy prisoners of war. The prisoners spent their time in camps such as Cowra and Hay in New South Wales, Tatura in Victoria, and Loveday in South Australia. Many volunteered to work on Australian farms to help with the manpower shortage.’
Charles Muller was only required to register with the local Police and his travel restricted . By 1941 he had gained Naturalization.  He arrived in South Australia as a 3 year old, was also married to an Australian and had 9 Australian-born sons.
Ottto successfully established another orchid at Korbel and was able to sell his superb fruits.

 

 

In the years 1916 and 1918 the Muller family are residing  Beejording, near Toodyay with Otto working as a labourer.  Charles registered as an Alien German (during WW1).
During the 1930’s and 1940s the Muller family have moved to Korbel, near Merredin.  It is believed Otto changed the family surname to Miller in the 1900’s prior to moving to Korbel.

Below:  Charles Muller applies for Naturalisation in 1930.

 

FIRE AT KORBEL –  January 1935

The homestead of Mr O. C Miller was totally destroyed by fire yesterday afternoon at 3 o’clock. A “willy willy” crossing the paddock blew the kitchen door open and scattered the fire round the room. Some sparks evidently caught the hessian above the fireplace. Mr. C. H. Miller, junior, who was in the adjoining room, heard the fire blazing, and on rushing out found the kitchen roof a mass of flames. He rushed into the adjoining room and carried his mother, who is an invalid, to a place of safety, and then returned, but was unable to save anything beyond a few personal belongings. Mr and Mrs Miller lost everything, including all their personal belongings, clothing, etc. The other members of the family were away at Cottesloe. Owing to the Water Department having cut off the water supply in order to effect repairs, there was no water available, and the building was completely destroyed within 30 minutes. The building was insured, but the furniture was not covered.

 

December 1935 Social and Personal.

Mr O C. Miller, of Korbel, whose hobby is growing all kinds of novelty plants, was in Merredin on Saturday last looking hale and hearty despite his 79 years. Since the death of hie wife, which took place at the Home of Peace Perth, in September last, after an illness extending over six years, Mr Miller has been unable to give the required attention to his plants but we were pleased to learn that he is now in a position to devote more time to his hobby.

 

In 8 September1935 Charlotte Muller/Miller died at Korbel.

MILLER. — On September 8, 1935, at Subiaco, Charlotte Miller,  dearly beloved wife of Mr. O. C. Miller, of Korbel, loving mother of Clarry, Cecil, Oscar, Alf, Fred and Edwin, and sister of Arnold Mather. Mt. Lawley; aged 69 years.

 

Charles Muller died in 1946 Fremantle.

MILLER-On May 21 1946 at Fremantle. Charles Theodore Otto Miller, the dearly loved husband of the late Charlotte, devoted father of Clarence (Kalgoorlie) Cecil (Mt. Lawley) Oscar (Dangin). Fred (Claremont). All (Korbel) Edwin (Cottesloe). father-In-law of Madge Clara Merle and Elsie, and grandfather of 14 grandchildren, aged -88 years Peacefully at rest
MILLER- In Loving memory of our dear Dad and Grandfather who passed away May 21 Inserted by his son Oscar, daughter-In-law Clara and grandchildren, Thelma, Stanley, Raymond, Dorothy, Kathleen. Trevor, Teddie (Dangin). Sleep on. dear Dad.
MILLER—In loving memory of our dear father and grandfather, passed peacefully away, -May 21, 1946. Inserted by his loving son Fred, daughter-in-law Merle. grandchildren. Valda and Faye. God grant him now eternal rest.
MILLER (Charles) loved father of Cecil. father-in-law of Margaret. grandfather of Jim (deceased), Ron, Len. Loved by all who knew him. Peace at last.
. MILLER (Charles).-At Fremantle, May 21. dearly beloved father of Alf Elsie (daiughter-in-law). grandfather of Thelma, Ray and Dennis. Our Pop. Life’s long Journey is o’er, dear Dad.
MILLER.-In loving memory of dear father, passed away at Fremantle, May 21. 1946. Inserted by his loving son Edwin and Gladys. God saw the road was weary. So He gently closed your eyes, dear Dad and whispered, peace be thine.
MILLER – ln memory of Pop Miller who passed from this life May 21 friend of May Johnson and family. Asleep in peace.

FUNERAL

MILLER-.The Friends of the late Mr. Charles Theodore Otto Miller of Korbel are respecfuily informed that his remains will be interred in the Methodist portion of the Karrakatta Cemetery at 2 o’clock THIS (Thursday) AFTERNOON. The Cortege is appointed to leave the residence of his son. Mr. C. H. Miller. 22 Packenham street. Mt. Lawley. at 1.30 o’clock. Friends may proceed by the train leaving Perth at 1.25 o’clock. ARTHUR J. PUSLOWE AND CO. Tel.
O. C. MlLLER, KORBEL
An old resident of Korbel in the person of Mr. O. C. Miller passed away at Fremantle on Tuesday, 21st May at the grand old age of 88 years . The late Mr Miller was a pioneer of the district, having settled here almost 27 years ago and came from South Australia in 1904 with his wife who predeceased him 11 years ago. He resided for different periods at Tenderdin , Collie and Armadale, eventually going to Bejoording in the Toodyay district to manage a farm for the well known family of McIntosh and from there he came to Korbel, where he resided up to the time of his death.. Although he was noticeably failing fast it was not expected the end was so near. The deceased left to go to Perth only a fortnight ago and was admitted to hospital on Saturday the 18th , On the Sunday his condition became so low that his name was placed on the conditional danger list, and his relatives were called to his bedside, shortly after which he passed peacefully away. Six sons are left to mourn their loss. He also leaves four daughters-in-law and 14 grandchildren. The funeral took place on Thursday afternoon, 23rd May, the remains being interred in the Karrakatta cemetery in the presence of a number of relatives and friends.  The pall bearers were Messrs. Curlews and Manning of the Victoria Insurance Co.; Mr. E. C. Clark, late of Ulva and Mr. Wegner late of Korbel. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr L. A. Miller, of Merredin, in conjunction with Messrs A. J Purslowe, of Perth.
In 1946 Ted married Gladys Thompson.
Please read of others from Merredin area.

Camp Locations:

  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Thomson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp) - Singapore
  • Kami Songkurai, 299k - Thailand
  • Shimo Sonkurai, 288k - Thailand
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