The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Powell
First Name:
Arthur Lindsay Roy
Nick Name:
Lin
Rank:
Corporal (Promoted on 24.1.1942)
Regimental #:
WX9554
Classification:
Carpenter
Company:
Headquarters Company
Enlisted:
4.12.1940
Discharged:
16.02.2946
DOB:
16.07.1918
Place of Birth:
Northampton, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Arthur Powell
Mothers's Name:
Clara Evelyn Powell (nee Trenaman)
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Carpenter
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi; Johore Bahru; Adam Park; Selarang Barracks Changi
Force:
‘D’ Force Thailand, V Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Brankassi, Pratchai, Bangkok
POW#:
4/4561
Return Details 1945:
Thailand‐Singapore by aircraft; Singpore-Fremantle, HMT Circassia

General Description

Lindsay Powell joined 11th Battalion Militia No. W6920 prior to enlisting AIF Dec 1940 and later joining 2/4th ‘s Headquarters Company. He was promoted to  Corporal  No. 3 Platoon Administrative on 24 January 1942
Following the Surrender, Powell remained working around Singapore at Jahore Bahru, Adam Park.  In 1943 he left
Singapore by train in appalling crowded conditions for Thailand to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand ‘V’ Battalion under the leadership of 2/4th’s Alf Cough.

Please read about ‘V’ Battalion

‘V’ Battalion endured the most appalling rate of illnesses and deaths of all of D Forces.
Most of ‘V’ Battalion were selected to work in Japan – Lin was fortunate to miss out.  This may have been because he was ill during selection, possibly evacuated sick out of Brankassi Camp to Tamarkan hospital camp.  On recovery he was sent with a work party to Pratchai.
Please read about Pratchai Camp where conditions and living was fraught with jumpy and nervous Japanese.

 

Back row L-R E. Preedy, J. Heffernan, J. Holt, Bluey Smith, Lin Powell, R Kelt, 2nd row - Tom Firns, H. Elkins,Scotty McEwan, Front row - Darkie Rennie, Unknown, R Newling, J. Quinn, Barney Doolan
Back row L-R E. Preedy, J. Heffernan, J. Holt, Bluey Smith, Lin Powell, R Kelt, 2nd row – Tom Firns, H. Elkins,Scotty McEwan, Front row – Darkie Rennie, Unknown, R Newling, J. Quinn, Barney Doolan

 

Missing Soldiers July 1942
Geraldton/Northampton Region

 

 

Above:  1943 Lin’s name is published as being a POW and no longer missing – his family relieved after not knowing his fate for about 18 months.

 

 

We are unable to find a great deal of information about the Powell family.  Lin’s parents Arthur Powell and Clara Evelyn Trenaman (from Nanine) married Geraldton 1914.
Below:  Clara’s mother and Lin’s maternal grandmother Caroline Trenaman (nee Bright) died in 1952. Clara’s father
Wilfred F.A. Trenman died in 1938 Geraldton.  Clara and her siblings were born Moonta. SA – the Trenaman’s with their  children moved to WA goldfields about 1910 to Nanine.

 

Below:  Clara’s brother WILFRED (ROY) TRENAMAN who was with the Camel Corps was KIA  WW1 at Palestine, 30 March 1918 aged 26 years.    She named her son Lindsay Roy who as  born about 4 months after her brother’s death with the Camel Corps 1918.
Roy who was not particularly tall at 5′  2 1/2 ” tall, born Moonta 24 April 1892 enlisted Blackboy Hill 1916, intially joined 16th Reinf. 10th Light Horse. 17 June 1916 he transf. to 3rd Light Horse Reserve Regt. On 8 July 1916 Roy Transf Camel Corps reinforcements.
2 March 1917 transf to 3rd ANZAC Camel Corps 13 Coy.  Two weeks later he transf 4th Camel Corps.

 

Roy Trenaman was working at Barrambie when enlisting.  It is 116 kilometres south east of Meekatharra and 75 kilometres north west of Sandstone.
We wish to acknowledge and thank Moya Sharp who wrote of Barrambie:  put the ‘wild’ in the wild west!!
‘Half the men were replaced each pay day at the Barrambie Range Mine as they were drunk and not turning up for work.’

I recommend you read about Barrambie

 

‘He has borne his cross, he has gained his crown
Now he lives in a far off gave
And we think of his life and his duty done
Manly, unselfish, and brave.’

 

 

 Please read further history of Australian Camel Corps 

 

Lindsay’s mother Clara Powell (nee Trenaman) died Dec 1979 aged 89 years and buried at Northampton Cemetery.
We know Lin spent his early years residing at Northampton where he was born and attended school.

Below:  Lin participates in the 1926 Northampton Show.

Below:  1940 Lin’s sister Peggie is married.  Her father Arthur Powell is living at Reedys and her mother is at Morowa.

 

Returning from war, Lin Powell married in Perth 1946 to Thelma Linda Tickle.  Powell returned to working as a carpenter.  In the 1963 and 1977 Electoral Rolls Lin and Thelma were living at Doubleview.
Lin Powell passed away 15 Feb 1988 aged 69 years.  He was cremated at Karrakatta Cemetery.  His last known residence was in Doubleview.

 

Below: Photographer Frank Hurley’s amazing picture of ‘Australians of Imperial Camel Corps on the march.  1917-1918’.

Below:  Red Records confirming Wilfred Roy Trenaman’s body was never recovered.

 

NANINE – MURCHISON GOLDFIELDs

Nannine, known formerly for gold mining is  today a ghost town in the Murchison Goldfields.  Located on the northern bank of Lake Anneen, approx. 35 kilometres (22 mi) south-southwest of Meekatharra, and 735 kilometres (457 mi) north-northeast of Perth.
In 1890 gold was discovered at site north east of Annean Station prompting a gold rush to the area.The Murchison Goldfield was proclaimed in September 1891 and Nanine gazetted in 1893. It was the first town in the region.
‘Lots were surveyed August 1892, and the townsite named Nannine, as “it is situated 10 miles [16 km] from Annean Station and 3 miles [4.8 km] from Nannine Wells”, and was also the name of the proposed electoral district and adjacent gold mining lease. The townsite was gazetted in April 1893.’
The Murchison Goldfield, including Nannine was proclaimed in September 1891. By December about seven hundred men were at the field.
By 1894 the town was large enough to be given its own electoral district. In 1896 construction began on a railway between Nannine and Cue, Western Australia, which was completed in 1903. The continuation of the line to Meekatharra was begun in 1909.
There were several hotels, businesses, Police Station, Post Office and a school established.  1919 brought a terrible flood which washed away the foundations for the rail line and the town began to decline.

 

Description of Barrambie – From Mindat
Located 71 km north west of Sandstone.
Latitude: -27.47922
Longitude: 119.1697
Coordinates: 714381mE, 6958610mN.
References: Minedex Database from Geological Survey of Western Australia, 2006.
This entry refers to historic gold mines in the Barrambie Ranges, and a more recent vanadium/titanium prospect. The Barrambie Ranges run north-west to south-east, showing an edge of peaks along the west backed by a tableland on its eastern side.
Con Klug was prospecting in the area in 1905 and found gold. A rush of leases were pegged.
The Barrambie townsite had developed as the mines were opened up. It was a collection of shanties. The general impression from various newspaper articles is Barrambie was the ‘wild’ in the wild west. In 1907 there was an attempted murder of a miner. The underground mine manager at Barrambie Range Mine in 1908 was accused of attacking an employee breaking his shoulder and two ribs. The same year a miner died in the Nannine hospital after being attacked in the town.
A hotel was opened at Barrambie in January 1907 but closed a year later. In a bankruptcy hearing the proprietor described Barrambie as a very rough place with the hotel at times resembling a lunatic asylum. There was also alot of sly grog being sold and drunken mobs would at times take over the hotel smashing furniture.
Half the men were replaced each pay day at the Barrambie Range Mine as they were drunk and not turning up for work.
In 1907 several people were convicted of selling sly grog in the town, the convictions coming as the result of an informant. A lynch mob was organised. Under police escort a lady named Florodora accused of selling alcohol was the first to reach him. A newspaper report states: ‘ The irate lady gave striking evidence of her antipathy to the informer per medium of an umbrella and stones. In this she was joined by (the appropriately named) Mrs Savage who lent vigerous assistance’. Outside court later it continued ‘ prodding him vigerously on the ribs with their serviceable brollys, varying the fun by occassionally whacking him on the head and other parts of his anatomy.’ Florodora was locked up and went to jail. Her shanty was set alight and burnt down while she was in jail.
The town may also be to blame for a plague of rabbits infesting the state. These had been released in Victoria and quickly bred to plague proportions, eating everything in its path as it moved across Australia. In an attempt to protect Western Australia from the onslaught a rabbit proof fence was built. A worker digging a post-hole at Barrambie discovered gold, and virtually all the workers abandoned the project to search for gold. The fence was eventually completed and the shanty town of Barrambie grew next to it. Residents would leave the gates open so rabbits could be more easily gathered on the Western Australian side for food. It was all the invitation the vermin needed and the rest of southern Western Australia was infested with the pests, and are still an environmental problem in the country to this day.
The Erroll’s gold mining field is north-west of Barrambie. Near the Barrambie Range mine were several leases and small mines, which had been developed little. The Magnum Bonum lease was adjacent to Barrambie. The Barrambie South Mine, or Barrambie South Queen mine was closed in 1908. Sugarstone and Mystery mines were 6 kilometres north north-west. General Kuropatin mine was 2 kilometres south-east of Barrambie. Others include Dawn of Hope, Parker’s Reward, Golden Hope, Trixey. Prospectors Heffernan and Swanson worked the field from 1906 and held out to 1926 before abandoning it.

Camp Locations:

  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Brankassi, Prang Kasi, 208k - Thailand
  • Pratchinburi - Thailand
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