The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Needham
First Name:
John William Haynes
Rank:
Lance Corporal
Regimental #:
WX8137
Classification:
Driver/Mechanic
Company:
‘C’ Company, HQ
Enlisted:
16.08.1940
DOB:
26.08.1913
Place of Birth:
Broome, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Richard William Needham (Rev)
Mothers's Name:
Isabella Needham (nee Strang)
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Motor Mechanic
Memorial:
Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Plot A9, Row D, Grave 10, Age 30.
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi
Force:
‘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)
POW#:
1451
Cause of Death:
Pneumonia
Place of Death:
Khonkan 55km Camp
Date of Death:
5.12.1943
Buried:
Grave No. 259, Khonkan

General Description

Needham enlisted AIF Aug 1940 later joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘C’ Coy Headquarters as a driver/mechanic.  He 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.
Please read further about this very busy Khonkan Hospital.
Initially because 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 in 1935 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.  Grant was also a driver with ‘C’ Coy HQ.  Grant went with ‘A’ Force Green Force, when the Railway was completed Grant was selected as being ‘fit’ by the Japanese and shipped to Japan on ‘Awa Maru’  to Omuta Mine where he was an underground supervisor.

 

 

 

Camp Locations:

  • 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
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