The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Alexander John
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
'C' Company, No. 12 Platoon.
Place of Birth:
Midland Junction, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Robert Colquhoun
Mothers's Name:
Mary Ann Colquhoun (nee Daggett)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 18, Age 33.
Selarang Camp Changi, River Valley Road Transit Camp
'A' Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Camps Burma:
Victoria Point, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw, Meiloe, Augganaung,
Rakuyo Maru Party
Cause of Death:
Lost at Sea
Place of Death:
South China Sea
Date of Death:

General Description

Alex Colquhoun married Phyllis Doreen Hillman in 1935.  They resided in Sawyers Valley as did most of Alex’s siblings and family.  In 1931 and 1936 ElectoraL Roll – Alex was working at one of the several wood mills in the area.  Alex was father to two young children when he drowned in South China Sea 15 Sept 1944 aged 38 years.
Alex’s parents Robert Colquhuon and Mary Daggett  of Victoria,  married 1901 Fremantle.  The family settled at Sawyers Valley where they had a farming property and a large family of 9 children.
Sawyers Valley and surrounding areas were known for timber, orchards and farming.
In 1931, Mary (known as Tot) Colquhuon’s mother Fanny Daggett, died a Lubeck, Victoria.



In 1939, Robert Colquhuon died.  He was buried at Mundaring.



Alex’s mother Mary died in 1970 at Mundaring and was buried at Mundaring Cemetery with her husband.





Alex, the first born son, firstly enlisted with 10th Light Horse Militia on 21/12/1938 before joining 2/4th on 30 October 1940.  He joined ‘C’ Company No. 12 Platoon as did Harry De-Castilla.

Please read about men of 12 Platoon

He was selected with the first work party to leave Singapore – ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion.  In May 1942, 3,000 Australian POWs sailed to south west coast of Burma where they were to first work on repairing and enlarging 3 aerodromes before moving to the northern most point of Burma-Thai Railway link in Burma.
Green Force No. 3 Battalion arrived at the railway to commence work on 1 October 1942 and would remain so until end of 1943.
Please read further about ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion.
‘A’ Force Buma.
Victoria Point Airfield, Burma, then to Kendau Camp, Thetkaw Camp,  Meiloe 75k Camp, Aungganaung after which all the POWs in Burma at end if 1943  were sent south by the Japanese to Tamarkan – selected for Japan 27/3/1944.
Aled travelled by train to Phom Penh then-Saigon via Bangkok from where the POWs were to be shipped to Japan. In Saigon the POWs were sent on work parties.
Several months later the Japanese finally copncluded the American Submarines had affectively blockaded their shipping exit!  The POWs had to be returned by train to Singapore where the men were accommodated at River Valley Road Transit Camp, Singapore to wait for a ship.  The men were sent out on work parties during this time.  Early September the men boarded the  ‘Rakuyo Maru’ headed for Japan.
Also read about ‘Rakuyo Maru’
COLQUHOUN, Private, ALEXANDER JOHN, WX9109, A.I.F. 2/4 M.G. Bn., Australian Infantry. 15 September 1944. Age 38. Son of Robert and Mary Ann Colquhoun; husband of Phyllis Doreen Colquhoun, of Sawyers Valley, Western Australia. Panel 18.

Labuan Memorial, Malaysia.


Alex’s family were notified of his 15 September 1944 death by November that year – news being brought back to Australia via the POWs rescued by American Submarines.  Obviously these men personally knew Alex died on 15th September, three days after ‘Rakuyo’ Maru sank on 12th September.  Those rescued were picked up by the Americans the following day.




Colquhoun Alex
Colquhoun Alex









Dusty is WX9826 Hubert James Millar of 2/4th.  Millar was from Mundaring and both men were with ‘C’ Coy.  Millar was AWOL Fremantle, landed Java and taken POW there.  The two may have met up again as both were working Burma on railway.



In January 1945, the Colquhuon family learn their son William Francis known as Bill, was KIA in New Guinea aged 31 years.  A third son also enlisted, Harry.  We believe Harry survived.
Bill was father of two young children.



Please read about the boys from Wooroloo, Mundaring and Perth Hills.

Also the boys from Midland

Camp Locations:

  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
  • Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
  • Meilo, 75 Kilo, 340k - Burma
  • Saigon - French Indo China
  • Mezali 70km Camp - Burma
  • Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
  • Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma