The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Christopher Robert
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- 'C' Company
- Place of Birth:
- Carlisle, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Christopher Lush
- Mothers's Name:
- Annie Lush
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Apprentice Carpenter
- Selerang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Sime Road Camp, Selarang Barracks Changi, Kranji Camp Woodlands, Changi Gaol Camp
- Return Details 1945:
- Singapore-Darwin-Sydney, HMT Arawa, Sydney-Melbourne by troop train,Melbourne-Fremantle, HMT Strathmore.
Lush enlisted AIF Oct 1940 and later joined 2/4th’s ‘C’ Company No. 12 Platoon.
He went to training in June 1941 to Woodside in SA and to Darwin in N.T. He like all the men of the 2/4th felt disappointment they were being left behind from the war. All this training for what!
When ‘Aquitania’ anchored off Fremantle on 15 January 1942, Bob was of the many 100’s of men who went AWL against orders. He went to visit his mother. Then met up with his 2/4th mates in Perth. He succeeded in returning to his ship.
During the battle of Singapore ‘C’ Company, and in particular his Platoon 12 missed the Japanese invasion. They were attached to the Indian 44th Battalion further south of all the fighting which they could hear but not see. Others in his gun crew included Arthur Gamble and Monty Smith. They had dug in at a sandy beach. When the Indians began running – the Australians then received word to leave as well. He spoke highly of Colin Cameron, ‘C’ Company C.O.
Lush knew the truth about Anketell, that he had been shot by one of his own men. Remaining at Singapore probably offered to opportunity to hear further about this incident.
This soldier suffered from asthma and was sent to Kranji Camp Woodlands.
For this reason both he and Private M.W. Hortin were not sent away from Singapore.
While at Singapore he worked at Jahore Bahru, Adam Park, Sime Road, Selarang Barrracks and was at Changi Gaol (mostly at the hospital) when the war ended. Unfortunately for Lush he spent a great deal of his POW hospitalised with Asthma. He also suffered malaria.
Listening to Bob’s interview with Winstanley, Lush mentioned the Changi Garden project run by Bunning. Bob worked there at times.
Whilst at Jahore Bahru he witnessed along with other POWs a Jap soldier being bashed to death with the flat side of his sword by his senior officer. He had jumped over the fence of the Sultan’s garden – stolen something from the garden/verandah. The Sultan had witnessed this event and reported it to the officers. Bob said it was a terrible event, so bloody and violent. The dead Japanese soldier’s body was then thrown into the rear of a truck and taken away.
Bob Lush also witnessed Capt Odlum being bashed. One of the men in his work party sole something so it was Odlum who was punished. Two Japanese guards began beating him until he was on the ground. At this point the POWs yelled at Odlum to stay down, which he did and the beating stopped.
Bob worked on Changi Airfield carrying sand in baskets.
Apparently the Hospital at that time (because Changi Gaol was very overcrowded) the hospital facilities consisted of various huts either side of Changi Wall.
On his return to WA, Lush spent the first two years in and out of Hollywood Hospital with Asthma.
View Peter Winstanley’s video interview of Christopher Lush WX9146.
Bob was born 1922 at Carlisle to parents Chris and Annie Lush. He was the youngest of six children. He attended school at Carlisle and later attended Leederville Technical school to commence an apprenticeship in carpentry.
Christopher ‘Bob’ Lush married in 1949 to Alice M Holst.
He returned to Bunnings to complete his carpenter’s apprenticeship – it took 7 years to complete.
Not long after this Bob worked with a ‘C’ Class Builders certificate and began building houses around Willagee.
He sold his business/equipment in 1968. He worked temporary jobs after this. His favourite was as a gardener at McKay St Primary School, which we believe is in Bentley.
He received an O.B.E. 20 January 2002 – celebrated during at luncheon at the Wings Restaurant – Airforce Memorial Estate at Bullcreek with his wife, relatives, 2/4th mates, friends from far and wide and two grandchildren who sang Happy Birthday. His birthday was 14 December.
Wally Lynn is also believed to have been living at RAAF aged care, and the two men were frequently afternoon tea together.
Bob died on 31 January 2011 at Bullcreek, he was 89 years old.
- Adam Park Camp - Singapore
- Changi Gaol Camp - Singapore
- Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
- Kranji Camp Woodlands - Singapore
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Sime Road Camp - Singapore