The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- David John
- Regimental #:
- Headquarters Company, No. 2 Platoon.
- Place of Birth:
- Pontyberem, Carmarthenshire, Wales
- Father's Name:
- Benjiman Davies
- Mothers's Name:
- Mary Davies
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Plot 1, Row D, Grave 61, Age 37.
- 'A' Force Burma, Java Party No. 4, Williams Force
- Camps Thailand:
- 131km - 133km (26.12.1943) departed 133km Camp arrived Kanchanaburri 13.1.1944
- Camps Burma:
- Tanyin 35km, Anakwin 45km, Taungzan 57km, Mezali 72km, Apalon 80km, Kyondaw 95 km , Nikhe Wood 131 km, Nikhe 133KM
- Cause of Death:
- Cerebral Malaria
- Place of Death:
- Date of Death:
- Tamarkan Cemetery, Row AX, Grave No. 37.
Davies enlisted AIF 23 Oct 1940 from Coolgardie. He later joined 2/4th MGB’s Headquarters Company, No. 2 Platoon under Commanding Officer Lt. Royce who was KIA 12 Feb 1942 at Hill 200.
Davies is one of ‘the boys’.
Davies was AWOL and one of about 90 2/4th men left behind when ‘Aquitania’ sailed from Fremantle Gage Roads to Singapore 16 January 1942.
These well-trained 2/4th men were then sent to Singapore shortly after, intending to be dropped at Java and transhipped to Singapore to join Battalion.
Unfortunately by the time they reached waters off Java it was either the last days of fighting/or it was anticipated the Allies would capitulate to Japan. Davies became part of the fighting force in Java, taken POW, was selected with Java Party No. 4 to sail to Singapore where they joined ‘A’ Force to travel to Burma to commence work on the Burma-Railway.
Davies then became part of Williams Force.
JAVA PARTY NO. 4
Was under the command of Lt. Col J.M. Williams. This Party departed Tanjong Priok, Java 8 October 1942 on ‘Kimmon Maru’ for Singapore where they disembarked 12 October 1942.
At Changi, Java Party No. 4 was reunited with Java Party No. 3 who had reached Singapore a few days earlier.
Two days later Java Parties 3 and 4 departed Singapore having boarded ‘Maebashi Maru ‘ to Rangoon, Burma arriving on 23 October 1942. They were transhipped to a smaller vessel called ‘Yamagata Maru’ which took the men up the Salaween River in Burma to Moulmein. They arrived late on 24 October and were accommodated overnight in the local gaol.
It was at Moulmein Java Party No. 4 was organised into 2 groups, Black and Williams Force. There were approximately 43 men from 2/4th with Williams Force (and about 6 men with Black Force, including William ‘Bill’ Gregory). David Davies would spend the next year working on the Burma-Thai Railway in Burma.
Please go to Stories to read about ‘A’ Force and Williams Force and their movements along Burma-Thai Railway.
Davies survived ‘Speedo’, the toughest challenges and work camps facing William Force and was selected probably at Tamarkan or Kanchanaburi Camps, Thailand by the Japanese as ‘fit’ to be sent to Japan to work. He marched out on 27th June 1944, became ill on 5th July1944 and returned to Tamarkan Hospital Camp where died 5 days later of cerebral malaria aged 37 years on 5 July 1944.
Funeral service conducted by Chaplain F. X. Corry 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion. Chaplain was assisted by Lt-Col C. Green and Lt. C. Blakeway. Initially buried at Tamarkan Cemetery, David Davies was finally laid to rest at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery where there are 91other men from the 2/4th Battalion.
We know he was at 131km- 133km Camps 26 Dec 1943.
Davies departed 133 km Camp and arrived Kanchanaburi 13 Jan 1944. This was at the time the Japanese moved all POWs in Burma and Thailand into one of 3-5 large central Camps.
He was selected as being ‘fit’ by the Japanese at Tamarkan Camp and marched out with the Japan Party on 27 June 1944. He however returned sick to Tamarkan on 5 July 1944. David Davies died of cerebral malaria on the morning of 10 July 1944 at Tamarkan Hospital Camp aged 37 years.
David John Davies has his name included on the Coolgardie Honour Board WW2. His name is also included on the Pontyberem War Memorial.
David Davies departed England 13 September 1928 ‘Balranald’ sailing to Fremantle. He was 20 years old and recorded his occupation as ‘Haulier’.
He was one of a group of young men about same age who had been at Government Instructional Centre, Claydon which we believe was located Suffolk. It had been a Work House for many years then in mid 1920’s was used to train young men for the work force. The Building was demolished in 1963.
He was recorded living at Metricup, in the south-west of WA in the 1936 Electoral roll, working as a labourer. Unfortunately we are unable to trace David any further, we know he was living and working in the Coolgardie region when he enlisted.
We ask anyone knowing about David John Davies to please contact us.
Plaque at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand. Plot 1, Row D, Grave 61
- Kanchanaburi, 50k - Thailand
- Nikhe Wood Camp, Ni Thea, 131 Kilo, 284k - Thailand
- Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
- Apalon, Apalaine, 80 Kilo, 337k - Burma
- Meilo, 75 Kilo, 340k - Burma
- Bicycle Camp, Batavia, Jakarta - Java ***
- Tanyin 35 Kilo Camp - Burma
- Anakwin 45 Kilo Camp - Burma
- Mezali 70km Camp - Burma
- Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma
- Nikhe, Ni Thea, 133Kilo Camp, 281.80km - Thailand