The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- John William Haynes
- Lance Corporal
- Regimental #:
- ‘C’ Company, HQ
- Place of Birth:
- Broome, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Richard William Needham (Rev)
- Mothers's Name:
- Isabella Needham (nee Strang)
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Motor Mechanic
- Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Plot A9, Row D, Grave 10, Age 30.
- Selarang Camp Changi
- ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
- Camps Burma:
- Victoria Point, Tavoy, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw 14km, Meiloe 75km, Aungganaung 105km, Khonkan Hospital Camp (tropical ulcers on right foot)
- Cause of Death:
- Place of Death:
- Khonkan 55km Camp
- Date of Death:
- Grave No. 259, Khonkan
Needham enlisted at Big Bell where he working at the time, AIF Aug 1940 later joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘C’ Coy Headquarters as a driver/mechanic. He was promoted to Lance Corporal.
As a POW in Singapore John left with ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion.
This Work Force was formed with 3,000 Australian POWs, first working on airfields on Burma’s south west coast at Victoria Point and Tavoy before moving to commence work in the Burma end of the Railway on 1st October 1942 at Kendau 4.9km. Needham would work at various camps throughout Burma before being evacuated to probably from 105km Camp to Khonkan Hospital Camp where the sick POWs were taken.
Initially John had ulcers on his right foot, however now in a weakened state of health, he succumbed to pneumonia on 5 Dec 1943 aged 30 years.
John Needham is remembered at the Collie War Memorial. Please take a look.
He was employed at Big Bell Mine, Mt. Magnet as a motor mechanic prior to enlisting in 1940. John recorded his mother Isabella as his NOK.
John’s mother Isabella Strang was born 1881 Everton, England and migrated to WA. Isabella married Richard William Needham about 1903 Fremantle. Richard was born 1870 Norwood, SA and his parents moved to WA when he was young.
Richard and Isabella had four daughters and one son, John. Three sisters were born between 1905 and 1910, and then Betty was born after John in 1918, Northam. The Needham family moved regularly with Richard’s work with the Church. In the early 1930’s he was Reverend at All Saints Church, Collie. He had previously been at Wagin and St Barnabas’ Church, Leederville.
Richard Needham died in1935 at Williams where he was employed by his church. John’s mother died in 1950.
John Needham’s mate Norm Grant as mentioned above, was fortunate to return to Australia. WX8228 Grant was also a driver with ‘C’ Coy HQ. Grant went with ‘A’ Force Green Force, when the Railway was completed he was selected as being ‘fit’ by the Japanese and shipped to Japan on ‘Awa Maru’ to Omuta Mine where he was an underground supervisor.
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
- Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
- Khonkan, 55Kilo Hospital 360k - Burma
- Meilo, 75 Kilo, 340k - Burma
- Tavoy (Dawei) - river port - Burma
- Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
- Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma