The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- John Sharp
- Nick Name:
- Scotty or Jim
- Regimental #:
- ‘B ’ Company, No. 9 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Dunfermline, Scotland
- Father's Name:
- Robert Paterson Duncan
- Mothers's Name:
- Margaret Moodie Duncan
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi; River Valley Road Camp; Alexandra Hospital (clean up party); Johore Bahru (cement party for hospital repair); Shell Refinery, Palau Bukom ; X10 Party; Changi Gaol Party
- Return Details 1945:
- Singapore-Darwin‐Sydney, HMT Arawa; Sydney-Melbourne by troop train; Melbourne to Fremantle, HMT Strathmore
While at River Valley Road Camp Scotty Duncan was involved with the clean-up of Alexandra Hospital. This involved acquiring cement from Johore Bahru to be used for Hospital repairs.
He was with a working part at Shell Refinery at Palau Bukang where they were required to clean fuel drums.
He reported that on his return to Changi late 1944 from working at the Shell Refinery, Pulau Bukom he was seconded to X10 Party which was “digging tunnels in the hills”. He said the entrance and front areas of the tunnels were shored up but further back inside they were not.
In September 1945 the men learnt the tunnels were to be filled with POWs and blown up at the entrance (in the instance of an Allied invasion).
His parents, Robert Paterson Duncan (1883-1938) and Margaret Moodie Sharp (1881-1957), had five children before the Great War and John, the sixth child, was born in March 1920, after RPD was demobbed in February 1919. Robert’s army record state that he was “Transferred to UK for release as a coalminer” on 3rd January 1919. His father was in the 13th Hussars at the relief of Ladysmith in 1900, returned home in 1902 and became a coalminer, then joined up again in 1914. He was at Gallipoli and later was in a Field Ambulance Unit on the Western Front, where he was awarded the MM in May 1918.
On 25th February 1922, the family emigrated from London to Perth on SS Omar, arriving in Fremantle on 2nd April (John is on the departure passenger list as a one year old, this would have been a month or so before his 2nd birthday). His mother’s oldest sister, Mary (married name Harley, but widowed in 1917), and her four children, at different times in the 1920’s, also emigrated from Scotland to Perth.
Robert P. Duncan died 1938 at Victoria Park aged 55 years.
John is one of six children.
Scotty married in Perth 1941 to Florence Gertrude Sinclair. After the war Scotty continued employment as a butcher. He and Florence resided at 40 Kennedy Street, Melville according to Electoral Records, from the 1950s to at least late 1970s.
Below: Scotty Duncan at 2/4th reunion Anzac Day 1985
July 1991 Borehole Bulletin –
Scotty and Flo Duncan recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a luncheon at the Savoy Hotel. A group of about 50 made up of friends, 2/4th and ex-POWs helped them celebrate. On the actual date of their anniversary they had a mystery flight which took them to Melbourne and back. On the way back the plane crew found out that it was their wedding anniversary and turned on the champagne for them.
Congratulations Flo and Scotty, may you have many more wedding anniversaries to celebrate!
In West Australian Newspaper 16 March 1992 -50th Anniversary of end of war was featured with an interview with Jim Duncan, then President of Ex POWs Assoc.
Further from above story, we are not sure why Scotty is also called Jim. What happened to John! Should any family members read this, we would appreciate you contacting us to clarify. Our Email as a November 2019 is firstname.lastname@example.org
Scotty died 11 June1999 at Alfred Cove and was buried in the family grave at Karrakatta.
October 1990 ‘Borehole Bulletin’
The Association Officers had been supported by up to 100 or more members who have served on the Committee over the years, some of whom have clocked up many terms as committee men. One outstanding record of service is
Jim Duncan who served on the 2/4th Committee for an unbroken 37 years.
There had been four main editors:
Alf Cough who first set up in 1944 (?)
Les Cody 1947 to 1957
George Williams 1963 o 1971
Ted Wallin the then current editor who took over 1972.
- Adam Park Camp - Singapore
- Alexandra Hospital (clean up party) - Singapore
- Changi Gaol Camp - Singapore
- Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
- Pulau Blakang Mat - Singapore ***
- River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore