The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Nick Name:
Bullets or Bill
Regimental #:
Headquarters Company, No. 3 Platoon
Place of Birth:
Leslie, Scotland
Father's Name:
William Struthers
Mothers's Name:
Annie Struthers
Pre-war Occupation:
Farmhand and Miner
Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selarang Barracks Changi.
‘ D ’ Force Thailand, V Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Non Pladuk, Ubon
Return Details 1945:
Thailand‐Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Highland Brigade.

General Description

‘Bullets’ was one of 46 men born in Scotland who joined 2/4th.  In fact almost one in four were born outside Australia.
Struthers enlisted AIF  Oct 1940 and  joined 2/4th MGB’s Headquarters Company, No. 3  Platoon as a Driver.
From Singapore as a POW he worked on the Burma Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand V Battalion.  V Battalion suffered terribly and resulted in a high death rate.  Many of those who survived were selected by the Japanese as being fit to work in Japan.  Bill was fortunate to miss the draft whether from illness and not being at the right camp and the right time.
He was recovered from Ubon, Thailand when the war ended.
Bill and his sister Elizabeth departed from London 5 June 1924 on ‘Sophicles” to Australia.  They were very young, Elizabeth was 18 gave her occupation as a domestic, and William 17 was ‘farming’.
Bill’s uncles Robert and Neil migrated to Australia decades in 1909, both enlisted WW1.  Neil from Gallipoli managed to meet up with up with his brother William at the family home Cardross, Scotland during leave or training.    Tragically both lost their lives.
Bill’s father had a sister who also migrated to WA with her husband and son.   The Johnstone/Johnson family initially settled at Dwellingup.


The Struthers family Scotland:  Bill standing centre back and Betty is sitting in front of Bill.



They were just what Australia required at that time – young healthy people for our workforce, particularly in the agricultural regions.


Above:  Bill’s sister Elizabeth ‘Betty’

Elizabeth married about 1926 to Horace A. Peet at St Andrews Church, Mullewa and the couple resided at Mullewa.  Elizabetth died at Joondanna in 1998. Because Bill’s sister Elizabeth was for many years living at Mullewa, Bill would visit.
Bill married about 1936 at Northam to Iris Ellson.  They had one daughter Rayma.    Sadly their marriage ended in divorce prior to Bill leaving with 2/4th.  Iris Struthers remarried in 1942.
Bill was working for Iris’s father at his farm, at Narambeen when the couple married.   Bill and Iris lived on the farm in a house about 70 yards from the Ellison family home.  The couple soon after moved to Tambellup.


J Blaschek, J Hall & W Struthers
J Blaschek, J Hall & W Struthers


Please read further about the Four Mates


For further information read stories Puffin Magic

Above:  the death of Bill’s father in Scotland 1944 written by Bill’s sister Elizabeth Peet, Mullewa.





Bill worked on Burma-Thai Railway around Hellfire Pass with ‘D’ Force V Battalion, this Battalion sustained many deaths from illness.  Please read further
Also please read Bill’s handwritten document about Ubon.
Bill spent many years at 142 Brentwood Road, Wattle Grove  where he had 10 acres of land.
Bill died 24 January 1992 aged 84 years.

Camp Locations:

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  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Non Pladuk, 0k - Thailand
  • Ubon - Thailand ***