The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Roderick Heslop Campbell
Nick Name:
Lance Corporal
Regimental #:
Attached to 2/4th, 88 Light Aid Detachment
Headquarters Company
Place of Birth:
Boulder, Western Australia
Father's Name:
James Spence
Mothers's Name:
Catherine Elizabeth Carmichael Spence (nee Campbell)
Pre-war Occupation:
Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 29, Age 40.
Selarang Camp Changi
‘B’ Force Borneo
Cause of Death:
Place of Death:
Sandakan‐Ranau track
Date of Death:

General Description

Rod Spence was selected in Singapore to work in Borneo with ‘B’ Force.  Read further about Borneo.






Rod enlisted from Applecross where he and his wife Winnifred had been residing from 1936 through to 1943.  He married about c1933 to Winnifred Beryl Wilson. They did not have children.
His parents James Spence and  Elizabeth ‘Catherine’ Carmichael Campbell had married Clunes, Victoria and came to WA Goldfields with their first-born child, daughter Priscilla.  Rod was born in Boulder in 1904.
James was involved in mining until the family moved to Pinjar and then East Fremantle where James worked for Abattoirs Baker Bros.
Catherine Spence was reported to be unwell and hospitalised in 1917.  She died in 1920 aged 43 years following a long illness.    Rod was then about 16 years old.

Below:  In 1934, Rod’s uncle, Roderick Campbell brother to his mother, died at James Spence’s house in East Fremantle.

It is apparent this is who Rod is named after.


Above:  Don’s father died in 1935.


In 1954 Winnifred Spence’s father died.


Below Information prepared by family.

Lance Corporal Roderick Heslop Campbell Spence was born at Boulder in 1904. He was the son of James and Katherine Spence of Boulder, then Pinjar and later East Fremantle.
Their mother died when they were young, and he and his sister Priscilla formed a close bond.
Rod attended school at Wanneroo primary and then at Christian Brothers at Fremantle.
He was married to Winifred prior to his enlistment. They lived at Applecross; there were no children and so Priscilla’s family were his main relatives.
Rod enlisted at Claremont in October 1940 and was posted to 88 Light Aid Detachment.
His service record is not available, and no record can be found of this unit’s formation or movements and it only can be presumed they went to Singapore with the main 8 Division forces.
After the fall of Singapore, Rod became a prisoner of war and was sent to Sandakan as part of B Force to construct an airfield.
They were subjected to severe and brutal treatment from the enemy and many died of malnutrition, maltreatment and disease.
Lance Corporal Roderick Heslop Campbell Spence, service number WX8467 of 88 Light Aid Detachment, died as a prisoner of war at Sandakan on 31 May 1945. He was 43 years old

Camp Locations:

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