The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Sterrett
First Name:
Douglas Francis
Nick Name:
Doug
Rank:
Corporal
Regimental #:
WX8596
Classification:
Rangetaker
Company:
‘A’ Company, No 5 Platoon
Enlisted:
18.10.1940
Discharged:
13.02.1946
DOB:
23.10.1913
Place of Birth:
Maylands, Western Australia
Father's Name:
William Edward Sterrett
Mothers's Name:
Dorothy Sterrett (nee Lurssen)
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Clerk and Salesman
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi, Adam Park, River Valley Road Camp, Selarang Barracks Changi. Following return from Thailand - Levelling Party Changi Changi Aerodrome, P Party Changi Gaol Camp.
Force:
‘F’ Force Thailand
POW#:
1/9396
Return Details 1945:
Singapore-Darwin‐Sydney HMT Arawa, Sydney-Melbourne by troop train, Melbourne-Perth, HMT Strathmore.

General Description

Sterrett enlisted AIF Oct 1940, later joined 2/4th MGB ‘A’ Company No. 5 Platoon where he was one of five Corporals under Commanding Officers Lt, Walton and Lt. Learmonth.

He was selected to work on Burma-Thai Railway with ‘F’ Force, which left Singapore railway station about 16 Apr 1943 which indicates he may have been sick sometime earlier and missed the earlier work Forces.  ‘F’ Force were made to march to their first work camp – taking between 17-25 days.  The men were in terrible health when they arrived Lower Sonkurai about 16 May 1943.

Please read further about ‘F’ Force

There are no records to confirm where Doug worked – we can only follow the general direction of ‘F’ Force – their main camps were

Lower (Shimo) Sunkurai
Sonkurai
Upper (Kami) Sonkurai
Changaraya
‘F’ Force Japanese HQ was at Neikhe

By end November ‘F’ Force was beginning to make their way back to Singapore – first reaching Kanchanaburi and other Hospital Camps where they left their very sick behind.  Most were back in Singapore around Christmas 1943.

 

Cpl Douglas Francis Sterrett WX7324
Cpl Douglas Francis Sterrett WX7324

 

Frank Hinds & Doug Sterrett
Frank Hinds & Doug Sterrett

 

 

Standing: Left-right C. Vidler, B.Fitzgerald, H.E. Saw, N.H.E Thompson, L.M. Murray, L. Armstrong.
Front Row:  Left-right D.F. Sterrett, John Gilmour.
At Window: C.J. McDonald.  1941 Woodside SA.
Photograph taken by John Lane, donated AWM.

 

 

 

Doug was one of nine children born to William Edward Sterrett b. NSW and Dorothea (Dorothy) Lurssen b. Northam who married about 1912 Perth.  The couple appear to have resided much of their latter lives (at least) at 46 Kathleen Ave, Maylands.  William was employed by WAGR in 1907 through to at least 1942 – he spent time away from the family with his work – living in numerous country towns.

William died 1977 aged 89 years and Dorothy d. 1972 aged 82 years.

 

Doug’s interests included Rowing.

 

 

 

Doug married in Perth 1941 to Ruth Moyle – the couple resided at 3 Nelson Street, Inglewood, Doug working as a clerk during which time they had at least two children Gregory Francis and Necia Helen.

 

Ruth d. 28 Dec 1964 aged 59 years.

Doug Sterrett died 6 Aug 1974 aged 60 years.

 

Camp Locations:

  • Adam Park Camp - Singapore
  • Changi Aerodrome - Singapore
  • Changi Gaol Camp - Singapore
  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • P Party, Johore Bahru - Singapore
  • Kami Songkurai, 299k - Thailand
  • Songkurai 294k - Thailand
  • Shimo Sonkurai, 288k - Thailand
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