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.

General Description

Ken Lally & Bill Bailie



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.
Please read about D Force V Battalion
Bill was recovered from Ubon POW Camp, Thailand at the end of the war.  He was sent with the work party to Ubon early 1945.
He is reported to have been admitted to Hospital Camp 21 Aug 19145 and discharged 22 Aug 1945 suffering with a superficial abcess behind his right knee which was incised.
(This area is known as  poplileal area and is a small triangular muscle located at the back of your knee. It originates from your outer thigh bone (femur) and your meniscus and attaches to the back of your lower leg bone (tibia). Though it’s small in size, it has a huge role in knee function!)
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.



Please read story of Bruce Rock Boys

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.

Please look at Carnamah Biographical Dictionary

Camp Locations:

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  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Kuii, Kui Yae, 185.6k - Thailand
  • Non Pladuk, 0k - Thailand
  • Ubon - Thailand ***