The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Magor
First Name:
Reginald Gordon
Nick Name:
'Gus'
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX8656
Classification:
Driver
Company:
Headquarters Company
Enlisted:
23.10.1940
Discharged:
2.07.1946
DOB:
3.06.1920
Place of Birth:
Subiaco, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Gordon Alfred Magor
Mothers's Name:
Doris Irene Magor
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Driver
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selarang Barracks Changi
Force:
'D' Force Thailand, V Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Brankassi, Non Pladuk
Camps Japan:
Fukuoka sub-Camp No. 17, Omuta
POW#:
3/8596, 582
Japan:
Aramis Party
Return Details 1945:
Nagasaki-Manila, USS Lunga Point, Manila-Morotai-Darwin, PBY Catalina aircraft A24-354, Darwin-Melbourne, B24 Liberator aircraft, Darwin-Perth by aircraft.

General Description

The war ended on 15.8.1945. The following notes were written by Gus Magor in a small notebook (three inches by two inches) with a stub of pencil on 15.9.1945. I rediscovered the notebook recently and have tried to rewrite the very faded messages accurately. They only cover eleven days, but I thought they may be of interest to other 2/4th men who were there at the time. Ruth James (Magor)

Driver RG Magor – WX8656

15.9.1945. – Left Camp 17 Fukuoka at about 10 o’clock. Boarded the train at about 11.50, traveled all night – had a good journey. Entered area where the atom bomb landed at about 8 o’clock 16.9.1945.

Finally sighted Nagasaki at about 8.30, where we were greeted by the Naval Band and looked after by the American Red Cross. We were given iced toddy, hot coffee, doughnuts. Records taken of our health. Foot conditions, treatment by the Japanese. We threw away all our old clothes, water bottles. Had a good bath. Given new clothes, boots. Red Cross parcel, more iced toddy, ham sandwiches, ice cream and also the Daily News paper and prayer books.

We were then put on landing barges and taken to the aircraft carrier Cape Gloucester, where we were treated handsomely by the crew. They also had a hot dinner waiting for us, served cafeteria style. Our first European meal for three and a half years! After dinner we were given stretchers and blankets. We saw a movie that night called ‘Hollywood Canteen.’ A very good show.

17.9.1945 – We were expected to leave today sometime. Owing to bad weather, our leaving has been put off until later. Given ice cream and cigarettes. There are church services during the day. The ship’s band to play whatever number we like. Movie again tonight. ‘My Girl Likes Music.’ The storm is right in now, the ship is starting to roll a bit. All of our beds are roped to the floor.

18.9.1945 – The storm has cleared out. We expect to move some time today, there is also a British carrier here. Nagasaki is just a mass of ruins. You would have to see it for yourself to believe the damage that the bomb caused.

The carrier pulled out of Nagasaki at about 13.05. Just about all of the crew were on the flight deck to see the last of Japan. The country is very pretty with its terraces, hills and gardens. The buildings in general are just like a lot of long huts.

We are now sailing along at 16 knots. Rumour has it that we are headed for Okinawa. We have had two ice creams today. I also weighed myself and went 140 pounds – 21 pounds lighter than when I joined the army. Pictures again tonight. Pulled into Okinawa at 16.05. Tanker came alongside about 10 o’clock and refueled.

20.9.1945. Pulled out again this morning. Going around to the other side of the island near the aerodrome. Disembarked between 11.30 and 1 o’clock. We are now picking up our beds and blankets. I broke the glass in my watch. Going on board transport, headed for Manila.1996 passengers aboard. It takes a very long time for the men to get their meals. Might do better tomorrow. Met up with a lot of the 2/4th boys today.

21.9.1945. Got under way this morning about 7 o’clock. Had a good breakfast – three eggs, five slices of bread, butter, mince. Coffee and one orange. Pulled into Manila 26.9.1945. Taken to camp about 25 miles from the town. Met a lot of the boys of the 2/4th. Medical exam today – dentist said it best we sit and talk in the camp. We get our clothes and paybook this afternoon.

Note: Gus eventually traveled to Darwin and then on to Perth by plane, arriving in Australia on 15th October 1945.

 

Reginald Gordon ‘Gus’ Magor and Hector John ‘Blue’ Bishop were best mates.  The two friends travelled from Kalgoorlie to Perth where they enlisted on 23 October 1940.  Both were drivers and joined Headquarters Company.

In 1941 Blue Bishop married Joyce Davenport.

Returning to Western Australia at War’s end, Gus Magor married Ruth Davenport, sister to Joyce Bishop (nee Davenport).

Tragically ‘Blue’ Bishop was killed during the battle of Singapore. He died 12 February 1942 and his son Dennis was born 2 weeks later.

Read about mates Blue’ Bishop and Gus Magor

Please read about ‘D’ Force Thailand V Battalion

Please read about Omuta Camp, Japan.

 

 

In ‘Borehole Bulletin’ of January 1972, there is a story of Ruth and Gus Magor touring the South, firstly to stay with the Holdings at Narrogin, where they met Blue Wilson’s brother who informed them ‘Blue’ had flown in from Hong Kong for a brief visit to the family.

Then onto George Quinn who lived about 20 miles out of Jerramungup; his farmhouse built high on a hill which got a nice cool breeze in the hot weather.    George’s property had been hit by a bad storm two months earlier.  They had lost a lot of sheep.  George, his wife and daughter were bright and cheerful!

Then to Albany, Manjimup to Collie where they stayed with Doug and Stella Tanner for a night.  Doug celebrating his 50th birthday.

 

40th Anniversary Dinner – Heritage on Charles

Camp Locations:

  • Adam Park Camp - Singapore
  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Brankassi, Prang Kasi, 208k - Thailand
  • Non Pladuk, 0k - Thailand
  • Omuta Miike, Fukuoka #17-B - Japan
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