The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Stanley Edward
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- Trade Group 1
- Attached 2/4th, 88 Light Aid Detachment
- Place of Birth:
- Northampton, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Edward Neale
- Mothers's Name:
- Ruby Elizabeth Neale
- Roman Catholic
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 29, Age 30.
- Selarang Camp Changi
- ‘B’ Force Borneo
- Cause of Death:
- Not stated on Japanese Death Certificate
- Place of Death:
- Sandakan (presumed)
- Date of Death:
2/4th Field Workshops, 11th Recovery Section. Taken on Strength at Darwin, no date.
‘WA. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of WX9260 Private Stanley Edward Neale, 88th Light Aid Detachment, Australian Army Ordnance Corps. He was one of over 2000 Allied prisoners of war (POW) held in the Sandakan POW camp in north Borneo, having been transferred there from Singapore as a part of E Force. The 500 Australian and 500 British POW’s who made up E Force, left Changi on 28 March 1943, on board the S.S. DeKlerk arriving at Berhala Island (adjacent to Sandakan Harbour) on 15 April 1943. The POW’s were held there until 5 June, when they were taken by barge to Sandakan. The next day they were transferred to the 8 Mile Camp, which was about half a mile from the B Force compound. Private Neale, aged 30, died as a prisoner of the Japanese on 28 February 1945. He was the son of Edward and Ruby Elizabeth Neale, of Maylands, WA. He is commemorated on the Labuan Memorial Panel 29. (Photograph copied from AWM232, items 4 and 5. Personal information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database.)’
Below: In 1943 Stan Neale’s family received mail to inform them he is safe and well.
Sadly he was to go to Sandakan, North Borneo where all POWs lost their lives.
Stan Neale was born 1914 at Northampton to Edward Neale and Ruby Neale (nee Ainsworth). His parents were farming at Naroling. In fact his father had been there, according to Electoral Rolls through 1912, 1913 and 1916. Edward had earlier (1909 and 1910 Electoral Rolls) been farming at Mt Erin.
Map below shows Naroling outlined.
We are unable to locate the Neale family again until 1925 Electoral Roll – Edward Neale is Foreman at Yoting (a small town located between Quairading and Bruce Rock in the Wheatbelt region) and in 1931 he is working as Farm Manager at Wubin.
The Neale family resided at Orange Grove (Maddington) thereafter.
Edward Neal died in 1941 – leaving his widow Ruby and 8 children. Stan was with 2/4th in Darwin when his father died.
Ruby Elizabeth Ainsworth remarried in 1943.
Ruby died in 1953.
Stan enlisted from Elleker, near Albany, in fact 16 km east of Albany, where he was recorded 1936 and 1943 Electoral Rolls.
Map showing location of Elleker.
In 1933 Stan was recorded a ‘Sustenance worker’ for Thyne (Company or family) fishing at Wilsons Inlet, Denmark.
In 1939 Stan Neale was recorded in the Walpole directory as a labourer. It is believed he moved to WA minefields after this time.
Unfortunately this Honour Plaque for Stanley Edward Neale includes an incorrect death date. He died 28 February 1945.
Neale enlisted with 2/4th Field Workshop, however joined 88 Light Aid Detachment (LAD) Trade Group 1. He was one 18 men with 88 LAD under Commanding Officer Capt. A.H.R. Odlum who became attached to 2/4th MGB.
His mother Ruby Elizabeth Ainsworth married her second husband Edward Neale at Northampton 1914. She had 8 children 2 girls and 6 boys. Stan was her second son.
Stan’s sister Hannah Jemina Nora Neale married George Robert Rouse WX7656 of 2/4th MGB in Northam 1940. Tragically George was killed 8th February 1942 at Singapore aged 27 years.
Rouse had been captured by the Japanese and was shot whilst attempting an escape.
As a young man, Stan got himself into a few ‘scrapes with the law’ – nothing too serious but nevertheless would have been concerning for his parents!
Stan was taken from Singapore with ‘B’ Force to work in Borneo. He was one of the brave men who lost their lives in that hellish place called Sandakan. His death details are not certain. He was 30 years old when he died February 1945 .
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Sandakan - Borneo ***