The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Herbert William
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- 'A' Company
- Place of Birth:
- Perth, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Herbert William Heal
- Mothers's Name:
- Elizabeth Heal (nee Weir)
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Hotel Yardman
- Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Plot A16, Row E, Grave 2, Age 33.
- Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
- 'F' Force Thailand
- Cause of Death:
- Beri-Beri and Dysentery
- Place of Death:
- Tanbaya Hospital Camp Burma
- Date of Death:
- Grave No. 737, Tanbaya
Above: notice of Bertie’s g.grandfather at York 1909.
Herbert’s parents Herbert William Heal b. 1882 York and Elizabeth Weir married about 1910 Perth. He was eldest of three children.
Herbert William Head (Snr) died in 1939.
In 1934 and 1937 Electoral Rolls show Bertie residing Moorgate Street, Victoria Park with his parents – working as a clerk. Before he enlisted, Bertie had moved to Toodyay and was employed as yardman.
Bertie enlisted 30 Oct 1940 and joined 2/4th’s ‘A’ Coy. As a POW at Singapore he was selected to work on Burma-Thai Railway with ‘F’ Force Thailand which departed by trains beginning 16 May 1943.
‘F’ Force was to endure a tortuous and horrific journey to Thailand to their first work camp, and then conditions did not improve.
The majority of POWs who made up ‘F’ Force had been former patients and/or older soldiers. It is probable Bertie had been hospitalised prior to this selection.
Bertie was evacuated to Tanbaya Hospital Camp in Burma where he died of beri beri and dysentery on 22 Dec 1944 aged 33 years. By December 1944 ‘F’ Force survivors were returning to Changi, Singapore. Their time on the rail link was not long, but they endured needless deaths because of working conditions, appalling camp conditions and starvation amidst dreadful tropical illnesses.
Funeral service conducted by Chaplain Duckworth (British Army).
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Tanbaya, 362k - Burma