The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Nick Name:
Lance Sergeant
Regimental #:
‘D’ Company, No. 13 Platoon
Place of Birth:
Wagin, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Thomas Pearce
Mothers's Name:
Emma Pearce
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Selarang Camp Changi; Thomson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp); Adam Park Camp; Selarang Barracks Changi
‘D’ Force Thailand, S Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Kanu II, Hintok Road Camp, Hintok River Camp, Kinsaiyok, Konkoita, Tamarkan, Petchaburi, Kachu Mountain Camp, Bangkok, Lopburi, Nakom Nayok, Bangkok
Return Details 1945:
Bangkok-Singapore by aircraft; Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Moreton Bay

General Description

NCO was wounded in action north Lim Chu Kang Road at ‘D’ Company No. 13 Platoon position at 1130 hours on 8/2/1942. Admitted to 2/9th Field Ambulance with shrapnel wounds to his leg and burns to his body. NCO was transferred to 2/10th Australian General Hospital on 9/2/1942.
On the 60th anniversary of ‘The Fall of Singapore’ Joe Pearce and John Morgan, both original members of No. 13 Platoon travelled to Singapore for the occasion. They made a return visit to the isolated end of Lim Chu Kang Road – to the place they were located 8th February 1942.
The following is the story Joe Pearce related to Murray Ewen, Author, ‘Colour Patch.’
‘My feelings on finding our old gun emplacement site on the Buloh Estate initially was one of excitement. Finally here we were at the same spot after all these years. The jetty, which had been enlarged was still there and is still used by the owners of a large residence which is there now but of course wasn’t in 1942. Back then, there was a two-storied house with an orchard and palm trees. This was where our slit trenches were but now this whole area is overgrown with jungle. Part of the wall where our guns were set up has been extended on one end. The middle section of this wall has been lowered to about half of its original height but nevertheless you still roughly work out where our three guns were sited.
I sat down quietly and my mind reflected back to that fateful day when the Japanese artillery barrage started and pounded us continually for seven hours.
First Bob Pratt, Bill Patterson and myself were knocked out. Later when the Japs tried to land, Eric Wankey, Jim Loller and Tom Beard were carted out. Lin MacDonald and Fred Tregenza were ambushed on the way out, never to be seen again. Later as POWs Edgar Hunt, Jack McCarthy in ‘D’ Force, Bill Patterson in ‘F’ Force, Ron Langdon in ‘H’ Force, Johnny Browning and ‘Comet’ Shirley in Sandakan Borneo. There was also Harry Carter, Norm Venemore, Jim and Lacy Gibbs drowned going to Japan and Ken Lally killed in a mining accident, all never to see Australia again.
Then the fight to stay alive for three and a half years until war’s end and the joy of seeing Australia again and our family and friends. Our loves, lives and ambitions realized, children to raise, beautiful life. Now just John Morgan and myself from No. 13 Platoon back at the landing after 60 years. All these memories good and bad, of life I feel very lucky and humble for my life’s experience and say a prayer for our fifteen that never saw Australia again.’

Read the story of Joe and John Morgan’s return to Singapore.

Also read the story Joe & Daniel Pearce written by Joe’s grandson Daniel.

Fairbridge 2004 No 2

Trevor James, Jim Burns, Alf Worth, John Lane, Des Colevas, Bob Whitield, Joe Pearce (rear), Tom Pilmoor (front), Owen Morris, Jim Elliott, Ron Badock, Gordon Lynam

For further reading go to D Company

Also please read about Kachu Mountain Camp



Back: L-R Clarrie McDonald, Joe Pearce, George Neville, R. Anderson, ?, Ralph Williams, ? Front: L-R Clive (Potty) White, Charles Fielder, Jim Basel, Reg Stewart, Roy Matthews, Pommie Para, Sid Webb, N. Simmonds
Nakom Nayok       Back: L-R Clarrie McDonald, Joe Pearce, George Neville, R. Anderson, ?, Ralph Williams, ?
Front: L-R Clive (Potty) White, Charles Fielder, Jim Basell, Reg Stewart, Roy Matthews, Pommie Para, Sid Webb, N. Simmonds



Below:  amazingly Joe returns to football playing with Swans 1951.


Fairbridge 2001
Fairbridge 2001
Back Row L-R: Jim Burns, John Lane, Jim Elliott, Cowboy Matthews, Frank Evans, Alf Worth, Trevor James, Wally Lynn, Les Cody, Owen Morris
Front Row L-R: Greg Burdon, Ron Badock, Des Coleves, Jim Gilmour, Joe Pearce.


Read about Joe Captaining WA and Tas against Rest of Australia.

Joe’s Outstanding Football Career
He played a total 90 games for Swan Districts Football Club in 1939, 1941, 1948,1949, 1950 and 1951 kicking 29 goals and 40 points.
Final siren sounds for Swans stalwart Pearce  by John Townsend | The West Australian Tuesday, 12 June 2012 
Country football great Joe Pearce, who played 91 league matches for Swan Districts and was a member of one of WA’s most famous sporting families, has died. He was 95.
The Moulyinning product made such an impact at Swans during his two stints either side of World War II that the Joe Pearce courage award is given to the club’s bravest player each season.
And the Anzac Day match is also named after the former prisoner of war who spent three years on the Burma railway after being captured in the fall of Singapore during service with the 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion.
Pearce first played at Swans in 1939 and though his best years were lost to the war, he was good enough on his return to twice win the Swan Medal as the club’s best and fairest as well as twice play for WA.
Sporting excellence in the Pearce family was not just confined to the football field.
While younger brother George “Possum” Pearce played 140 games for Claremont, it was the performance of their sisters – May, Jean, Morna and Caroline – that proved the most remarkable achievement.
All four were dominant figures in WA and Australian hockey from the 1930s to the 1960s with May, Jean and Morna all captaining Australia.
Morna would later marry John Hyde who won two flags with Geelong and was captain-coach of Claremont in the 1950s. Their son John is the State member for Perth.
Joe Pearce’s son Tom also played in Claremont’s 1981 premiership team and followed his father as an outstanding country coach.
Joe Pearce coached Moulyinning – about 300km south-east of Perth – in the Great Southern league for two decades from the early 1950s, winning nine consecutive flags among 13 in his time at the helm.
Other prominent footballers from the area included East Perth premiership player Mick Cronin and Claremont brothers Malcolm, Graham and Dalton Gooding.

Read further about 2/4th Football team





Pearce J

Joe passed away aged 85, April 25 2002 at Moulyinning WA.



Camp Locations:

  • Adam Park Camp - Singapore
  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Thomson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp) - Singapore
  • Hintok, 154k - Thailand
  • Hintok River Camp, 158k - Thailand
  • Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
  • Kinsaiyok Main, 170.2k - Thailand
  • Lopburi - Thailand
  • Nakom Nayok, Nakhon Nayok - Thailand
  • Petchaburi - Thailand
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Kachau Mountain Camp - Thailand