The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Francis John
Nick Name:
Known as 'John' or 'Jack' to his family, Slew
Regimental #:
'C' Company
Place of Birth:
Boulder, Western Australia
Father's Name:
David Madden Baxter
Mothers's Name:
Hannah Annie Baxter (nee O'Neil)
Roman Catholic
Pre-war Occupation:
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi. Following return from Thailand - Sime Road Camp, Changi Gaol Camp.
'F' Force Thailand
Return Details 1945:
Singapore-Darwin-Sydney, 1st Netherlands Military Hospital Ship Oranje, Sydney-Perth by troop train.

General Description

‘Slew’ Baxter left Singapore to work on Burma-Thai Railway with ‘F’ Force which departed by train for Thailand 18 April 1943.
Please read further about ‘F’ Force.

Below:  compiled by Harold Cowie. 48 men from 2/4th of F Force

Cowie, Harold’snlist of F Force

Read further about Slew Baxter in Wally Holding Story Part 1.

Slew was quite a character, a larrikin not unused to breaking rules.  He was charged several times with AWL.  He probably took risks during his POW life and mates appreciated and loved his humour.
Slew was good mates with George Chatfield, Mick Hummerston and Artie Floyed who died Sandakan 12 March 1945 aged 26 years.  They were all in ‘C’ Coy.
Baxter’s parents Hannah Annie O’Neill and David Madden ‘Digger’ Baxter married Boulder 26 April 1906. Digger was a bookmaker and the family resided at Boulder.
Hannah was daughter of Luke and Sarah O’Neill, Boulder, her father and brothers miners.



David Baxter died 1913 leaving Hannah and young widow with four young children.   Francis John known as ‘Jack’ to his family, was the youngest aged 3 years.  He would never have known his father.
Hannah’s  husband, father of Slew, dies a young man.  This is the beginning of a horror times with family deaths for Hannah.



In October 1914, Hannah Baxter’s sister Alice died.


Hannah’s father Luke O’Neil (Snr) died September, 1915.



In 1918, the family receives news their son/brother Luke O’Neill has been KIA May 1918 in France.


In June 1922, Hannah”s mother died.


Hannah’s only surviving brother died aged 38 years in 1934.



Wally Holding described his visit to Mullewa with Slew.  Hannah, who ran a boarding house, Hostel Mullewa with her sister Mary, was confined to a wheelchair.



Baxter was charged with several small misdemeanours during the years after his return – always a larrikin!







Slew died 1962 aged 48 years.

Camp Locations:

  • Changi Gaol Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Sime Road Camp - Singapore