The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Ronald Matthew
Nick Name:
Staff Sergeant (Promoted on 24.1.1942)
Regimental #:
'A' Company, 4 Platoon
Place of Birth:
Melbourne, Victoria
Father's Name:
Matthew Wilson
Mothers's Name:
Marian Reva Wilson
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Estate Agent
Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 18, Age 35.
Selarang Camp Changi
'B' Force Borneo
Cause of Death:
Menningitis and Malaria
Place of Death:
Sandakan No. 1 Camp
Date of Death:

General Description

Ron Wilson enlisted AIF Oct 1940 and later joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘A’ Coy 4 Platoon under COs Lt McCaffrey and Lt. Manning.  He was promoted to Staff Sergeant 24 Jan 1942.
Wilson was one of a large number of shell shocked soldiers,  At Buona Vista on 15.2.1942 he was admitted to 2/13th Australian General Hospital suffering from exhaustion and anxiety neurosis as a result of being 10 days in the front line. Discharged to unit on 26.2.1942.
Ron Wilson was a POW accommodated at Selarang.  Until he was selected with ‘B’ Force to go to Borneo, Ron had participated in work parties around Singapore.
Wilson contracted illness on 7.11.1944 and died 25 Dec 1944 at Sandakan, Borneo of meningitis and malaria aged 35 years.  Death certified by 1st Lt. Yamamoto Katsuji, Medical Officer.

Read further about ‘B’ Force Borneo


Hale School Memorial
Plaque 116:
Matthew Ronald Wilson
Hale School 1917-1926
Ron was the son of Hale School Headmaster, Mathew Wilson. He attended Hale School from 1917 to 1926 and in his final year was a prefect, a fine footballer and cricketer and represented the School as a long jumper, hurdler and high jumper in the Inters athletics programme.
He eventually joined the 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion after the outbreak of the war and, after training, was sent to Singapore. He was taken captive when that city fell – and, after a time in Changi Prison, he was sent as part of a work party, “E” Force, to Borneo in 1943.
He died at Sandakan, North Borneo of malaria and meningitis on Christmas Day 1944. He was 35 years of age.
Placed by his nephew, Mr Jim McManus.


Ron was eldest son born to parents Matthew Wilson and Marian Reva Brooks who married Victoria 1902.
Below:  Wilson family move to Western Australia in 1914 and we believe Ron spent his formative years in Perth.



Father Matthew Wilson takes up a post at Katanning, however it is thought Ron’s mother remained in Perth.



In 1931 Electoral Roll ‘Ron’ Wilson is recorded worked as wool classer and residing Claremont.  I937 he is traveller and residing Cottesloe and when he enlisted he was residing with his parents, 6 Rosser Street, Cottesloe and his occupation is recorded as agent.


  1. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of WX8438 Sergeant Ronald Matthew Wilson, 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion, Australian Infantry. He was one of over 2000 Allied prisoners of war (POW) held in the Sandakan POW camp in north Borneo, having been transferred there from Singapore as a part of B Force. The 1494 POW’s that made up B Force, were transported from Changi on 7 July 1942 on board the tramp ship Ubi Maru, arriving in Sandakan Harbour on 18 July 1942. Sergeant Wilson, aged 35, died as a prisoner of the Japanese on 25 December 1944. He was the son of Matthew and Marian Reva Wilson, of Cottesloe, WA. He is commemorated on the Labuan Memorial Panel 18. (Photograph copied from AWM232, items 4 and 5. Personal information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database.)


His father Matthew died in 1947 and his mother Marian died in 1960.


Below:  from Great Southern Herald

Below:  Hale School pays tribute to former Headmaster Matthew Wilson by naming one of the senior school houses after him.

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Sandakan - Borneo ***