The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Robert Ramsay
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
'C' Company
Place of Birth:
North Coburg, Victoria
Father's Name:
Donald McAskil
Mothers's Name:
Jessie McAskil
Pre-war Occupation:
Djakarta War Cemetery, Plot 2, Row B, Grave 17, Age 44.
Java Party No. 20
Camps Java:
Bandoeng No. 4 Camp, Bicycle Camp Batavia, Makasura. Sent to Sumatra to Pakan Baroe-Moearo Railway.
Cause of Death:
Cardiac Beri-Beri
Place of Death:
Kampoeng 106km Camp, near Kota Baroe, Sumatra
Date of Death:

General Description

McAskil was one of nearly 100 men from 2/4th who missed returning to ‘Aquitania’ before she sailed for Singapore 16 Jan 1942.

Please read about the men who were AWOL in Fremantle.


Also read about Java

In Singapore McAskil missed his draft to work in Japan due to illness.

Bob later joined Java Party No. 22 and worked on the Pakan Baroe-Moearo Railway in Sumatra with other 2/4th men including WX13468 Annear, Booth WX8766 who died 15 April 1945 of beri beri, Squance WX16885 and Quinn WX9285, Magill and Banks.




MacAskil Robert R 10 October 1945


McASKIL, Private, ROBERT RAMSAY, WX8261, A.I.F. 2/4 M.G. Bn., Australian Infantry. 28 March 1945. Age 44. Son of Donald and Jessie McAskil, of North Coburg, Victoria, Australia. Grave Ref. 2. B. 17.


Bob was the second youngest of 8 sons born to parents Donald and Jessie McAskil who married in Victoria in 1880. The couple also had four daughters.

We believe Bob was in fact born in 1899 and not 1901 as recorded on his enlistment.  He would have found it necessary to conform to the age limit maximum of 40 years.

Tragically for the McAskill family two brothers died in France WW1. Allan Douglas died 5 Feb 1917 aged 22 years and Angus Archibald died 17 Jul 1928 aged 33 years.



Bob’s mother Jessie died in Coburg, Victoria in 1913 aged 52 years.  Bob would have been about 14 years of age, with a younger brother Alistair Gordon born in 1901 and younger sister  Lesley Grace born in 1906.


Bob had been living and working in Menzies prior to his enlistment, we believe Bob and his younger brother Alistair moved to West Australia to work. Alistair was recorded living and working in Yilgarn.  He had married in Perth about 1935 to Winnifred Hale.

Bob’s father Donald died Victoria in 1938.

The family burial plot in Coburg, Victoria.


Bob died of cardiac beri beri at 106 km Camp on 28 March 1945 aged 46 years.  He was one of 3 men from 2/4th to die in Sumatra.

Please read about the railway in Sumnatra

Camp Locations:

  • Bandoeng - Java ***
  • Bicycle Camp, Batavia, Jakarta - Java ***
  • Makasura - Java
  • Pakan Baroe-Moearo - Sumatra **