The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Harry Walter
Regimental #:
‘C’ Company, No. 11 Platoon.
Place of Birth:
Fremantle, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Harry Amell Pearce
Mothers's Name:
Ellen Ada Pearce (nee Miller)
Pre-war Occupation:
Truck Driver
Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 19, Age 30.
River Valley Road Transit Camp (prior to departing Singapore for Japan)
‘A’ Force Burma, Java Party No. 4, Williams Force
Camps Thailand:
13lkm-133km, Kanchanaburi Camps
Camps Burma:
Tanyin 35km, Anakwin 45 km, Taungzan 57km, Mezali 72 Km, Apalon 77km, Payathonzu 108km
Camps Java:
Bicycle Camp (estimation only)
Rakuyo Maru Party, Kumi No. 38
Cause of Death:
Lost at Sea
Place of Death:
South China Sea
Date of Death:

General Description

Harry enlisted AIF 23 Oct 1940 and later joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘C’ Company, No. 11 Platoon under Command of Lt. Boyle.  He had been residing at Mathesons, Fuller Street, Norseman working as a miner.

Read about the men who were AWOL at Fremantle

Harry was one of about 90 men who was unable to re-board ‘Aquitania’ when it sailed from Fremantle to Singapore on 16 January 1941.  Probably because Harry’s family lived in Fremantle, he was able to easily visit them.  It is possible he was gaoled as many were, unable to leave.  These men then disembarked at Java.

Please read about ‘A’Force, Java Party No. 4 Williams Force

Harry survived working in Burma on the Railway and remained in Burma until end of 1943.
In April 1944 he was selected by the Japanese as being fit to work in Japan and became part of what would become known as ‘Rakuyo’ Maru party.
They were sent by train to Saigon, French Indo-China to sail to Moji, Japan.  The POWs worked around the docks Saigon and eventually the American Submarine blockade had become effective they could no longer use the Port.  The ‘Rakuyo’ Maru Party were then sent by train to Singapore via Bangkok.
They remained at River Valley Road Transit Camp and were used daily on work parties, many to the Singapore wharves.
Finally early Sept the men were loaded on ‘Rakuyo’ Maru which sank in the South China Sea following a US submarine attack.


Please read further about ‘Rakuyo’ Maru.



PEARCE, Private, HARRY WALTER, WX8856, A.I.F. 2/4 M.G. Bn., Australian Infantry. 12 September 1944. Age 30. Son of Harry Arnell Pearce and Ellen Ada Pearce, of Beaconsfield, Western Australia. Panel 19.
Labuan Memorial, Malaysia.




Harry was one of three sons and had one sister.

Harry’s father died 1959 at Fremantle and his mother in1965 South Australia.

Camp Locations:

  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Kanchanaburi, 50k - Thailand
  • Apalon, Apalaine, 80 Kilo, 337k - Burma
  • Taungzun, 60 Kilo, 358k - Burma
  • Bicycle Camp, Batavia, Jakarta - Java ***
  • Saigon - French Indo China
  • Tanyin 35 Kilo Camp - Burma
  • Anakwin 45 Kilo Camp - Burma
  • Mezali 70km Camp - Burma
  • Kyondaw 95 Kilo Camp – Burma