The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- William Finlay
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- Batman/Runner to Cough
- ‘D’ Company 13 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Bruce Rock, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- William Finlay Baillie
- Mothers's Name:
- Mary Baillie (nee Oswald)
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selarang Barracks Changi.
- ‘D’ Force Thailand, V Battalion
- Camps Thailand:
- Kuii (evacuated sick), Non Pladuk, Ubon
- Return Details 1945:
- Thailand-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Highland Brigade.
Mates Baillie, Doug Carter (Bank Clerk at Carnamah) and Lally (who worked Eric H. GURR’s General Store in Carnamah from September 1939 until mid 1940) were with ‘D’ Company, 13 Platoon (as was Loller) – Loller wounded in action by mortar attack. He received shrapnel wounds to his right knee, both legs and his back. His right leg was amputated above the knee on 22 Feb 1942. Loller remained in Changi throughout the war. Baillie was moved to ‘D’ Coy HQ at Singapore and became Batman/runner to Cough and continued in this position until Baillie was evacuated sick 9
August 1943 from ‘V’ Btn from Kuii Camp south to a hospital camp, (possibly Tamarkan) before he arrived at Non Pladuk.
Baillie, Loller and Ken Lally were born and grew up in the town or Northam and surrounds.
As POWs at Selarang Camp Singapore they were selected with ‘D’ Force Thailand V Battalion to work on the Thai-Burma Railway under CO. Maj. A. Cough also CO of ‘D’ Company HQ. V Battalion had one of the highest death rates of all parties on the railway. Bill was sick at Kuii where 2/4th lost many men to illness. Fortunately he was evacuated to Non Pladuk – but was not recovered and considered fit to go to Japan. Lally survived to be selected ‘fit’ by the Japanese to go to Japan to work. In Japan, Ken was one of a group of 2/4th working at Omuta mines – conditions were terrible with little regard to the safety of the men. Ken was crushed between two coal trucks in the mine.
Bill was recovered from Ubon POW Camp, Thailand at the end of the war.
Cough’s daughter Aileen who is aged in her early 90’s, confirmed Bill Baillie would visit their home whenever he was able. Alf Cough loved to see his men.
(C. Mellor September 2021)
Above: the death of Bill Baillie Jnr’s grandmother, Bill (Jnr) would have been about 10 years of age.
Below: Bruce Rock Newspaper update on Bill’s return journey 1945.
Above: Exciting news from Colombo, where he was flown after his end of war recovery from Ubon POW Camp, Thailand, before returning Singapore.
The Baillie family learn the awful news Ken Lally died in an underground accident as a POW in Japan.
Below: Bill returns to Bruce Rock and his occupation of hairdressing.
Below: A little history of Billy’s father, also William Bailie.
Bill’s parents William Finlay Baillie (Snr) and Mary Oswald married 1915 Leederville. Bill took up a carrier business at Bruce Rock and retired in 1947.
Playing doubles with his sister Betty.
Bill Baillie married 1947 at Bruce Rock to Patricia Robinson.
Bill and Patricia moved to Corrigin.
We have no knowledge of when Bill left Corrigin.
He died 28 April 1969 aged 48 years and was buried at Karrakatta.
Patricia Baillie died 25 January 1976 aged 47 years at Yokine. She was also buried Karrakatta.
- Adam Park Camp - Singapore
- Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Kuii, Kui Yae, 185.6k - Thailand
- Non Pladuk, 0k - Thailand
- Ubon - Thailand ***