The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Winter
First Name:
Alfred Daly
Nick Name:
Alf
Rank:
Lance Corporal
Regimental #:
WX8110
Classification:
Rangetaker
Company:
‘D’ Company, No. 14 Platoon.
Enlisted:
16.08.1940
Discharged:
30.05.1945
DOB:
7.12.1914
Place of Birth:
Gaulle, Ceylon
Father's Name:
William Sextus Daly Winter
Mothers's Name:
Annie Gertrude Elizabeth Winter (nee Gray)
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Miner
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi
Force:
‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
POW#:
2775
Japan:
Rakuyo Maru Party, Kumi No. 36 (rescued by USS Pampanito)
Return Details 1945:
Saipan‐Guadalcanal-Brisbane-Perth, 1.11.1944

General Description

Winter enlisted AIF 16 Aug 1940 and later joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘D’ Company 14 Platoon and trained as a Range Taker becoming Lance Corporal to Commanding Officer Lt Tompkins.   He had been working at Big Bell Mine prior to enlistment.  Please read about Big Bell

Please read about ‘D’ Company

Alf was wounded in action 11/2/1942. Received shrapnel wound to lower back and leg but remained on duty.
As a POW in Singapore Winter left by ship mid May 1942 with the first work party to leave and headed to south west Burma where the men worked on repairing and enlarging aerodromes for the Japanese for several months before making their way to the Burma end of the Burma-Thai Railway, commencing work 1 Oct 1942.
Please read further about ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Batttalion

 

The above news of Alf  was one of several news stories of POWs included in this edition of ‘Daily News’.
Towards the end of 1943 with the railway nearing completion the Japanese began moving all the POWs in Burma southwards to one of several large camps where food was more plentiful and the hospitals offered better care for the sick to ‘fatten up to travel to Japan’ or work in further Thai Work parties.
Those POWs the Japanese deemed fit were then drafted into Work Parties to work in Japan.  Alf was selected with what would become known as ‘Rakuyo’ Maru Party.  Please read further.
Read the story Members of 2/4th nominated for Medal but not awarded.

And the story Surviving the Sinking of the Rakuyo Maru written by Roy Cornford NX44955 of the 2/19th Battalion, courtesy of Peter Winstanley.

 

Wally and Alf Winter19012017

Alf and Wally Winter (centre and right)

 

Alf Winter was one of few very lucky men to live long enough after the sinking of ‘Rakuyo Maru’ to be rescued by USS ‘Pampanito’ in the South China Sea.  During his last surviving days when Alf felt he could no longer “go on” and his spirits at their lowest, he suddenly remembered it was his girlfriend’s birthday!  And he had to keep surviving! It was the 15th September 1944.  His girlfriend, Justine (Helen) Smith was sister of his mate ‘Whispering’ Smith WX6641.
Both Winter and Smith were in ‘D’ Company, No. 14 Platoon under CO Lt. Tomkins.

Please read further about D Company

Winter survived to be rescued by the Americans.  The ‘Pampanito’ rescued five 2/4th men.  Alf and Wally Winter, Jack Cocking, Tom Pascoe and Harry Pickett.
Altogether there were 11 men from 2/4th who were rescued by the four American submarines.
Alf returned to Australia with the other rescued ‘Rakuyo Maru’ POWs where they spent time being medically assessed and more importantly were able to provide AIF details of their Battalion deaths, locations of POW Camps, Japanese defence installations and vital Japanese manufacturing locations passed onto British and American bombers.

 

_______________________

 

Alf Winter was born 1914 Gaulle, Ceylon (today called Sri Lanka) to parents William Sexton Daly Winter and Annie Gertrude Elizabeth Gray.  She was born 1890 Sri Lanka. William Winter Winter was born on 25 February 1878 in Baddegama, North Western Sri Lanka and died 17 August 1950 in Perth, Western Australia aged 72 years.
Winter and Gray Married 28 November 1911 Kandy, Central Sri Lanka.  The Gray and Winter families had resided several generations in Sri Lanka.  They had 12 children in 14 years.  Annie Winter died in December 1979 Perth aged 89 years. William Sexton Daly Winter died in 1950.

 

Annie and 11 of their children arrived in Fremantle in 1923 from Colombo on the ‘Majola’.  Alf was recorded as being 13 years old.

We assume Alf’s father William arrived earlier on a different ship.

 

 

Alfred Winter
Alfred Winter

 

Alf with the Pampanito survivors returned to Perth by end of 1944.   He married Justine Helene Smith at Fremantle 1945 after which Alf and Justine lived in South Perth.  Justine was sister of ‘Whispering’ Smith.  Both men were in Platoon 14.

In 1950, Alf’s father died.

Winter took up teaching and was appointed to Scotch College, Claremont.
He died 2nd November 1982 aged 68 years.  Justine died in 2002 aged 89 years.
Below:  Tragically Alf’s two brothers did not return home from war.
Richard ‘Rick’ born 1920 died 3 May 1945, Tarakan, East Kalamantan.

Below:  Patrick Daly Winter born 1921 died15 March 1945 Wewak, New Guinea

 

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
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