The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- James William
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- 'C' Company Headquarters
- Place of Birth:
- Kelmscott, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Alfred John Basell
- Mothers's Name:
- Esther Basell (nee Walton)
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
- 'D' Force Thailand, S Battalion.
- Camps Thailand:
- Kanu II, Tamuang, Chungkai, Nakom Nayok
- Return Details 1945:
- Thailand-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Labuan-Morotai-Townsville-Brisbane, R.A.A.F. aircraft A65-89, Brisbane-Perth by troop train 10.10.1945.
BANGKOK, THAILAND. 1945-09-15. COOKS PREPARING THE EVENING MEAL AT THE PRISONER OF WAR (POW) BRANCH HEADQUARTERS, RECOVERED ALLIED POW AND INTERNEES UNIT TRANSIT CAMP FOR 8TH AUSTRALIAN DIVISION, EX-POWS OF THE JAPANESE AWAITING TRANSPORT BACK HOME TO AUSTRALIA. SHOWN: SERGEANT P. A. GARDINER, 2/4TH MACHINE GUN BATTALION (1); PRIVATE (PTE) J. W. BASELL, 2/4TH MACHINE GUN BATTALION (2); PTE A. RUMBLE, 2/2ND PIONEER BATTALION
Basell enlisted AIF at Claremont Depot October 1940 transferred to 3rd Depot Northam Camp, on 4 Dec joined 2/4th MGBs ‘C’ Coy Headquarters as a Driver under Commanding Officer Capt. Colin Cameron. (He returned to Claremont 24 Feb 1941 undertaking a Motor Transport course and granted trade status as a Grade 3 Driver.)
As a POW in Singapore he left by train to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force S Battalion in 1943. Jim Basell remained in Thailand until the end of the war.
Jim’s parents Alfred John Basell and Esther Walton married in 1913 at Wellington.
We know Jim had at least three sisters. His mother Esther Basell died at East Victoria Park in 1960 aged 81 years. His father whose birth name was Adolph Bernard John Basell died in 1964 aged 84 years.
We are first able to locate Jim in 1937 Electoral Roll living and working as a dairyhand at Guildford.
Initial home address post discharge was Station street, East Cannington from 1949 – 1954, later relocating to 78 Henry St East Cannington 1954 – 1977 with his wife Ethel Beatrice, until sadly Ethel passed away on 19 September 1986, aged 63. James was a butcher by trade and a devoted father to three children: eldest daughter Carol, middle son Brian and youngest son Rodney.
In 1941 Jim married Ethel Beatrice Byron. According to Electoral Rolls 1958 through to 1977, Jim and Ethel appear to have lived most of their lives at 78 Henry Street, East Cannington with Jim working as a butcher. They had a family of three children Carol, Ryan and Rodney.
Jim died 9 September 1977 at East Cannington, aged 61years and Ethel died 1986 aged 63 years.
We are unsure if WX9195 C. F. Basell is related to Jim who is listed further down.
Other 2/4th enlistments include WX9063 Albert James Bell who was killed attempting an escape during the fighting at Singapore having first been trapped behind Japanese forward lines.
WX7541 Charles Clement Keitel who remained at Singapore throughout the war and RTA.
WX9570 Percival Leonard Westlake a former Fairbridge Farm Schoolboy RTA having worked on Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand, S Battalion.
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Chungkai, 60k - Thailand
- Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
- Nakom Nayok, Nakhon Nayok - Thailand
- Tamuang, Tha Muang 39k - Thailand