The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Nick Name:
Lance Corporal
Regimental #:
‘ B ’ Company Headquarters, No. 7 Platoon
Place of Birth:
Father's Name:
Joseph Flakemore
Mothers's Name:
Agnes Flakemore (nee Clark)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
‘ D ’ Force Thailand, S Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Tarsau, Konyu II, Hintok, Chungkai, Nacompaton
Return Details 1945:
Thailand-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Highland Brigade

General Description

Laurie McGrath,Ted Miller& Charlie Flakemore
Laurie McGrath,Ted Miller& Charlie Flakemore, Adelaide


Flakemore had been living and woking in Norseman prior to enlisting in October 1940.  There were a number of chaps who enlisted and joined 2/4th from Norseman.

Following the Allied capitulation at Singapore 15 February 1942, Charles became POW at Selarang Barracks for the next 12 months.  He would more than likely volunteered for work parties outside Selarang – food supplies were very short and most 2/4th and Aussies generally, volunteered for Japanese work parties.First and foremost it was an opportunity to find and pilfer or steal desperately needed food and secondly relieve the boredom of life at Selarang.

His records show he was admitted to hospital at Changi several times – AGH beri beri and painful feet 7 August 1942 and at least once with dysentery 20 Sept 1942 returning to Unit 1 Oct 1942.

In March 1942 Charles was selected with ‘D’ Force  Thailand S Battalion, No. 17 Company to work on the Burma-Thai Railway.  S Battalion was made up of a very large number of 2/4th, he was in known company!   ‘D’ Force was the fourth Work Force the Japanese had formed and sent from Singapore.  ‘A’ Force was sent to Burma to start working on the northern most point of the rail link.  ‘B’ Force was sent to Sandakan, some had gone to Japan.

They left Singapore on 14 March 1943 crowded into small enclosed rail trucks for a 4-5  terrible journey to Thailand arriving Bampong 18 March and were most fortunate to have been trucked most of their journey to Tarsau – their first work camp and would also become Japanese HQ for ‘D’ Force and their hospital camp was Tarsau where they cleared land in preparation for the rail.  The POWs considered work at Tarsau ‘not too bad at all’ in fact it did not prepare them for working at Hellfire Pass Cutting at Konyu II where they arrived 25 April 1943.  This was truly the beginning of their hell.

Please read further about S Battalion

During speedo and after most of the heavy work around Konyu and Hellfire Pass cutting was completed, the Japanese allowed evacuation of sick south to Chungkai and other hospital camps.

Charles was sent to Chungkai ((hospital) and later to Nacompaton from where he was recovered at the end of the war.  He returned firstly to WA.





Charles parents  married 1904 Geeveston, Tasmania.  Charles was fourth son of 8 boys and 4 girls born to Joseph and Agnes (and survived).  They were an orchardist family from Franklin in the Huon Valley,

Both Joseph and Agnes Clark’s families are Tasmanian residing and probably from  pioneering families.  Joseph Clark died in 1958 and Agnes in 1959.



Below:  the years fly by, the couple celebrate their silver wedding anniversary.  Their youngest son had been born in 1923.

Below:  Grandfather of Charles died in 1933.

It is not known when Charles left Tasmania for WA.  He enlisted October 1940 aged 30 years.  He was promoted to Lance Corporal.

Below:  News Charles Flakemore is missing.


Relief:  probably first time the Flakemore family have receieved any news of their son since 1942.  The Flakemore family lose one son and gain another in 1945.


Charles returned to Tasmania after the war, and resumed life as an orchardist, near to his parents and brothers.  He sadly learns his brother Cyril aged 40, died of illness earlier in 1945.



Charles leaves Tasmania and moves to Victoria.   We believed Charles marries the widow of his brother, Desiree Syliva Levey.


Charles has a fire which destroys much of his livelihood.


Desiree or Sylvia as she is also known was born 1908 Warranmbool and moved to Tasmania with her parents.

Her father died in 1931 and her mother in 1940.







Charles and Desiree are recorded in Electoral Rolls throughout 1960’s until their deaths, residing Corio-Geelong area.  In 1963 Charles was ‘powder monkey’ and he and Desiree were living 16 Stinton Ave, Chilton.

It not known if they had children, however Charles died 31 May 1983 at Highton.  He was 73 years old, cremated and has a memorial at Barabool Hill Cemetery.  Desiree Sylvia died Geelong in 1995.

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Chungkai, 60k - Thailand
  • Hintok River Camp, 158k - Thailand
  • Hintok Valley Camp, 154k - Thailand
  • Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
  • Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand
  • Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand