The Soldier's Details

First Name:
William James
Nick Name:
Bill or Pop
Regimental #:
‘B’ Company, No 9 Platoon.
Place of Birth:
Moora, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Patrick Joseph Davey
Mothers's Name:
Elizabeth Mary (nee Mahon)
Roman Catholic
Pre-war Occupation:
Selarang Camp Changi; Thomson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp); River Valley Road Camp; Selarang Barracks Changi
‘ J ’ Force Japan, Wales Maru Party
Camps Japan:
Fukuoka sub-Camp No. 9 Hakensho, Kyushu Island, Fukuoka District.
1 /11676
Return Details 1945:
Nagasaki-Okinawa, US.Navy destroyer; Okinawa-Manila by aircraft; Manila-Sydney, HMS Formidable; Sydney-Perth by ANA Airliner

General Description

Bill Davey was born 1908 Moora to parents Patrick ‘Joseph’ Davey and Elizabeth Mary Mahon who married Perth 1906.
He had a younger sister Eileen and brother Charles Joseph Davey born 1914 Moora.
His mother Elizabeth Davey arrived WA with her parents from Ireland.  Her father Peter Mahon died June 1923 Subiaco.
Elizabeth Davey died Northam June 1936 aged 50 years.
Bill’s father Patrick ‘Joseph’ Davey was born NSW died 10 July 1944 Perth aged 77 years.  At that time Bill was a POW.
‘Joseph’ Davey was a bootmaker and sold new shoes from his shop in Moora.



Bill Davey enlisted AIF 18 October 1940 we believe enlisting from Kalgoorlie,  later joining 2/4th MGB’s ‘B’ Company 9 Platoon as a section Driver under C.O. Lt. Lee.  He was discharged from AIF 17 May 1946 aged 39 years and nine months.  Bill was 5′ 6″ tall.
As POW Singapore he was admitted AGH with amblyopia 23 March 1943 and it is believed on his return to WA spent time in hospital with his problems of eyesight.
‘Pop’ was a member of ‘J’ Force transported from Singapore to Japan to a POW Camp at Kobe mid 1943. Some of the details of Kobe House are found at the story Kobe House, Japan.
Nicknamed ‘Pop’ as the men considered him an ‘elder’!
Read about Pop’s experience in Japan


Read full Affidavit prepared by Roy Deveson


Please read further about ‘J’ Force and ‘Wales’ Maru



Bill met Beatrice ‘Beaty’ Thorn (nee Clements) at Kalgoorlie and married May 1935.   Beaty had moved to Kalgoorlie to work, she and her first husband Charles Thorn divorced 1933.  Born in South Australia, Beaty came with her parents to Boulder, WA.  She was firstly married to Charles Thorn 1918 and they had two children. The children remained with their father. Thorn died about 1942 of pneumonia and was buried Meekathara.
Charle (Snr) remarried to Ethel Maud Grinsell which also ended in divorce. Ethel’s former husband was a WW1 vet who did not cope as a return soldier. Ethel looked after Charles Jnr and Phyllis – children of Beatrice & Charles, in the Goldfields and later in the metro area Cannington somewhere. Charles Snr had a problem with paying maintenance and this led to disharmony as Ethel had two children of her own and no other income. Which sadly led to Charles (jnr) spending 3 ½ years in the Salvation Army Boy’s home in Nedlands/Hollywood area until he was 13-14 years.
Beaty’s mother Emma Clements died 1919 at Boulder.  Her father William James Clements died 1926 at Boulder.
Family information confirmed/supplied by Robert Thorn, son of Beaty’s son Charles Thorn (Jnr) who was named after his father Charles Thorn (Snr).


Correct spelling and names are L-R: Mick Wedge, Tom Hampton, Jack Leahy, John Gilmour, Bill Davey WX8587.  Leahy, Gilmour and Davey were ‘J’ Force Japan.


During the years 1949-1951 Pop Davey was Secretary and committee member of 2/4th ex-Members Association,
when 2/4th introduced the Anketell Cup in 1951 at Perth Dinghy Club in honour of CO Lt. Col Michael Anketell who had died at Singapore 9 years earlier.


Pop Davey seated with dog, behind him Beatrice with her brother, near Pop are grandchildren with their parents standing behind.  The boy in front is possibly Robert Thorn.
Below:  Centre Pop, with Frank Clements (brother of Beatrice) and Ivan Percich.



In 1949 Electoral Roll Bill  was residing  Kent Street, Victoria Park with working as an orderly (probably Hollywood Repatriation Hospital) in 1954, they were living Terrace Drive, East Perth with Bill working as an orderly.  In 1963 they were both residing 164 Hensman Road, Subiaco with Bill working as a barman.
Bill or Pop Davey died 16 OCT 1983, Subiaco aged 74 years.  Beatrice ( Beaty ) Clements died on 19 November 1968 in Perth, Western Australia, when she was 72 years old.


Below is the information recently gathered on Bill’s parents, unfortunately incorrect information had been originally recorded on Bill’s enlistment.  We had ‘Joseph’ Davey as Bill’s father – whereas his name was  Patrick Joseph Davey.  Beatrice was Bill’s wife not his mother.  (C. Mellor Jul 2023)

Above:  birth of brother Charles Davey 1914.


Below:  Bill Davey and Beaty married May 1935.



Below:  Stephen Reed is working as a horse-driver.  The family reside  Victoria Park.


Above:  Page from Bill’s enlistment with info, mentioning his brother Charles.

Camp Locations:

  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Thomson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp) - Singapore
  • Hakensho, Fukuoka sub-camp No9 - Japan