The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Regimental #:
Attached 2/4th, 88th Light Aid Detachment
Place of Birth:
King William Town, South Africa
Father's Name:
Herbert Randall
Mothers's Name:
Florence Randall
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Blacksmith and Mechanic
River Valley Road Transit Camp (awaiting to sail Awa Maru),
‘Blackforce’, attached to 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion
‘A’ Force Burma, Java Party No. 4, Williams Force
Camps Thailand:
Nikhe Wood Camp 282k, Kami Songkurai 299k,
Camps Burma:
Tanyin 35k, Kun Knit Way 26k, Anakwin 45k, Taungzun 57k, Mezali 72k, Apalon 77k, Kyohdaw 95k, 122k, Changaraya 113k, Augganaung 105k,
Camps Java:
Bandoeng, Tjimahi
Awa Maru Party (remained behind at Singapore due to illness)
Return Details 1945:
Saigon-Bangkok‐Singapore by aircraft; Singapore-Fremantle, 2/1st H.M. Australian Hospital Ship Manunda

General Description

Sailing with  2/4th MGB on the ‘Aquitania’ from Sydney to Fremantle on their way to Singapore, John was one of probably 100s of men from the Battalion who ‘jumped’ their ship at Gauge Roads to see their families – perhaps for the last time as they left for War.  A large number of these AWOL men managed to return to the ‘Aquitania’ as it sailed the next day on 16th January 1942 for Singapore.  However John was one of more than 90 men who were unable to board ‘Aquitania’ in time.

This group of about 93 men sailed out of Fremantle a few weeks later, but were left at Java and not Singapore as was the initial plan.  Please read the story of ‘Blackforce’.

He was a POW at Bandeong and Tjimahi Camps, Java.

John Randall was selected in Java to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘A’ Force Burma, Java Party No. 4 Party, Williams Force.  Please read further. 

When the Railway was completed, the Japanese brought all the POWs working in Burma south into Thailand, to one of 4 large Camps where they could received medical treatment if necessary or simply to recover their health.  From one of these camps, John was deemed fit by the Japanese and selected to work in Japan with ‘Awa Maru’ Party.    Please read further.

When the ‘Awa Maru’ party arrived in Singapore to await their ship to Japan, John remained behind due to illness.  He then joined Both Party supposed on a journey to Japan!  However, the ship made for the port of Saigon, and that is where John Randall worked as a POW.

Soldier was sent to French Indo-China with Both Party leaving 2 February 1945.  He was recovered from here at end of war.

Read further about Both Party and Saigon.

As there are no records of which camps the POWs worked at particularly in Burma and Thailand on the railway (unless they were sick) we have to assume their movements according to general records of where work parties were assigned.



The above was included in ‘Daily News’ 12 Sep 1945.  There were numerous messages in this newspaper article.


John died mid 1991.


Camp Locations:

  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Nikhe Wood Camp, Ni Thea, 131 Kilo, 284k - Thailand
  • Kami Songkurai, 299k - Thailand
  • Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
  • Bandoeng - Java ***
  • Tjimahi, Cimahi- Java ***
  • Saigon - French Indo China
  • Changaraya No. 5 - Thailand
  • Tanyin 35 Kilo Camp - Burma
  • Anakwin 45 Kilo Camp - Burma
  • Mezali 70km Camp - Burma
  • Nikhe, Ni Thea, 133Kilo Camp, 281.80km - Thailand
  • Kyondaw 95 Kilo Camp – Burma