The Soldier's Details

First Name:
John Murray Colville
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
Headquarters Company, No. 3 Platoon. Attached to 2/4th, Australian Army Postal Corps
Place of Birth:
Cottesloe, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Charles Campbell Cheyne
Mothers's Name:
Ina Millicent Cheyne (nee Tulloh)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Clerk & Regular Soldier
Selarang Camp Changi, Changi Gaol Camp, (attached to Changi Administration 28.1.1945), River Valley Road Transit Camp, Levelling Party Changi Aerodrome.
'A' Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Camps Burma:
Victoria Point, Tavoy, Thetkaw, Meiloe
Rakuyo Maru Party, Kumi No. 36 (removed from draft at Singapore)
Return Details 1945:
Singapore-Darwin-Sydney, HMT Arawa, Sydney-Melbourne by troop train, Melbourne-Fremantle, HMT Strathmore.

General Description

Murray Cheyne



Changi February to May 1942 – departed Singapore with ‘A’ Force Burma Green Force No. 3 Battalion.  Please read further.

Victoria Point   2/5/1942 – Jul 1942

Tavoy (split up)  Jul 1942 – 19/10/1942

First Railway Camp 14km, Thetkaw  25/10/1942 – 17/3/1944

Meiloe 75km, Tamarkan  30-3/1944 – 27/6/1944  Saigon.  Went to Phnom Penh by cattle truck.  Worked at Saigon Docks Camp and aerodrome at Hanoi.
Returned to Singapore due to US submarine action.  Soldier contracted pneumonia so didn’t go to Japan (removed from draft for Rakuyo Maru Party, Kumi No.36). Lucky Man!  Read further about Rakuyo Maru   
Missing the journey to Japan onboard ‘Rakuyo’ Maru probably save Murray’s life.  About 1,000 POWs perished and not even 200 were saved when ‘Rakuyo’ was hit by an American submarine Sept 1944.

River Valley Road 12/1/1945 (evacuated pneumonia and malaria)

Transferred to Changi Admin  28/1/1945.

Worked in Changi Aerodrome. Was billeted outside Changi Gaol due to overcrowding.  Cheyne was recovered from  Singapore.

John Cheyne was discharged 12th December 1945.



Murray’s parents Charles Campbell Cheyne and Ina Millicent Tulloh married 1910 in Perth.  Both Cheyne and Tulloh were born in Victoria.



Murray had an older brother b. 1916 named after their father –  Charles Campbell Cheyne (also enlisted WX31719).  Murray also had at least three sisters including Marjorie b. 1918 and Beatrix b. 1917. Nancy was born in 1920.
In 1925 Murray’s father Charles Campbell Cheyne died aged 53 years.  He was buried Karrakatta.   Murray would have been about 6 years of age.











Below:  Murray’s brother Charles married 1945.




After returning from war, and In 1946 Murray Cheyne married 1946 to Dorothy Olivier in Perth.




Dorothy Cheyne and son Gary born 7th July 1951


In 1949 Electoral Roll, Murray and  Dorothy resided Merriwa Street, Nedlands and in 1954 they were at Nardina Street, Cottesloe.

Dorothy Cheyne died Jan 1978 at Mosman Park aged 63 years.  It appears she did not remarry.
In 1956 Murray’s mother Ina Cheyne (nee Tulloh) died aged 76 years.  She was buried Karrakatta.  It is believed Murray’s sisters Beatrix and Marjorie continued residing at the family home at Saladin Street, Mosman Park.
Murray & Beverley Cheyne’ wedding 14 June 1964
On the 14th June 1964 Murray remarried to Beverley Colville Girling  whose brother in law, John Erwin, was a member at 14ft Perth Dinghy Club.   The couple did not have a family.
Initially Murray worked for a hardware business selling tools, as a travelling salesman.
Later he bought a Newsagency at Highgate.
Murray and Beverley Xmas 1994


















Last photo of Murray 14 June 1995
















We thank Beverley Cheyne for sharing these family photographs with us as well as several from 2/4th reunions. Murray suffered with malaria throughout his life as well as many asthma attacks amongst many other health issues.

Beverley and Murray Cheyne were married for 31 happy years.











Murray Cheyne & Percy Tompkin


Above:  Rockingham seated Murray Cheyne with Percy Tompkin who was President of 2/4 Assoc. from 1982-1990.   


Murray Cheyne died aged 76 years at the end of 1995 at Rockingham.


Below:  Murray prepared his memoirs in 1992 for his neice who resided in England.   We are grateful to his wife Bev for forwarding them to 2/4th.
Amongst his writings Murray includes:
he received many bashings from Korean guards;  suffered 19 bouts of Malaria, had pneumonia twice during his captivity (in fact the second time Cheyne had pneumonia it  saved his life – he was to board Rakuyo Maru to Japan but was too ill and remained in Singapore);   the POWs would sabotage the rail construction wherever and whenever possible;   would forage in the local surrounds for food – cooking local grasses like spinach, using bamboo shoots, using Belacan (paste made of very hot chillies and onions);   their initial payment was 3 cents a day.
Did you know?    the boys who were lucky enough to  remain in Changi throughout the war were referred to as ‘Changi Chocos’ – a name they disliked.

Camp Locations:

  • Changi Gaol Camp - Singapore
  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Tavoy (Dawei) - river port - Burma
  • Saigon - French Indo China
  • Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
  • Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma