The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Charles Roland
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- ‘A’ Company
- Place of Birth:
- North Fremantle, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Roland Bird
- Mothers's Name:
- Beatrice Agnes Bird (nee Stimpson)
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Bread Carter
- Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 18, Age 28
- Selarang Camp Changi
- ‘B’ Force Borneo
- Cause of Death:
- Acute Enteritis
- Place of Death:
- Ranau No. 2 Camp
- Date of Death:
‘Darwin, NT. c. October 1941. Private Charlie R. Bird of 5 Platoon, A Company, 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion on an A frame designed bed which the unit constructed for Winellie Camp. A lateral strip of bamboo at head and foot provided support for the mosquito net and personal gear could be stored on the mangrove sapling rack beneath the straw filled palliasse. When the unit arrived at the camp, galvanised huts had been erected, but many were without concrete flooring and windows, requiring the rest weeks at the camp to be spent finishing off the accommodation.’ Photograph donated by John Ramsbottom to AWM’
Bird enlisted AIF 25 Oct 1940 and later joined 2/4th’s ‘A’ Coy 5 Platoon under Commanding Officers Lt. Walton and Lt. Learmonth.
Charlie was wounded Buona Vista and admitted to 13 AGM with shrapnel would to his shoulder, elbow and thigh on 15 Feb 1942. Transferred to 2/9 Field Ambulance 7 Mar 1942 and discharged to Unit ex AGH 1 April 1942 to Selarang Camp.
Charlie’s parents Roland Bird (born about 1887 Sussex, England) and Beatrice Agnes Stimpson (born 1890 Hotham, Victoria) married 1914 at East Fremantle. Charlie was the eldest of a large family of children.
Prior to enlisting, Charlie was residing at 10 King St, East Fremantle with his parents. To his family he was known as ‘Charl’. He worked for Connolly Bros, Palmyra as a bread carter.
Charlie Bird enlisted October 1940 and later joined 2/4th ‘A’ Company. He was selected with ‘B’ Force Borneo whilst a POW at Singapore. Please read further about ‘B’ Force Borneo.
There were few remaining POWs alive when Charlie died on 26 July 1945 aged 28 years at Ranau. Sadly, we know little of the fate of these POWs, nor how they truly died during those last 6 months of the war.
The horrific story of the hell these POWs lived and died through shocked the world. One can’t begin to imagine how their families lived with the horrific news of Sandakan. The only survivors, the very fortunate six Australians who escaped were thankfully able to tell the world.
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Sandakan - Borneo ***