The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Roy David
Regimental #:
Headquarters Company
Place of Birth:
Dundee, Scotland
Father's Name:
David Hugh Maconachie
Mothers's Name:
Flora McLeod Maconachie
Pre-war Occupation:
Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 18, Age 25.
Selarang Camp Changi
‘B’ Force Borneo
Cause of Death:
Place of Death:
Sandakan‐Ranau track
Date of Death:

General Description

Years after the war ended Wally Holding wrote:

‘It turned out that two of the boys we knew at Bassendean, Archie McIntosh and Roy McConachie, were amongst the mob that hopped off the Aquatania. As they went along Ivanhoe Street past Wyn’s home they were spotted and told Wyn’s family that we were going aboard the Aquatania as they were coming off. Neither Roy nor Archie came home. Archie McIntosh was in “F” Force and was sick, he went up to Tanbaya, Burma where he died on 10.11.1943. Roy McConachie went to Sandakan and died there.’
Both McIntosh and McConachie managed to reboard ‘Aquitania’ before departing for Singapore the following day on 16 January 1942.
It was Saturday January 25, 1942 when the 2/4th arrived in Singapore.


Roy was selected with ‘B’ Force to sail to Borneo to work for the Japanese to construct an aerodrome at Sandakan.  Read further about Borneo.
There were 70 men from 2/4th who died at Sandakan.
Roy left Sandakan with Second March, 536 POWs beginning 29 May with the POWs moving out in groups of about 50 men – each man forced to carry a load of rice/ammunition for the Japanese. 288 men remained behind at Sandakan, too ill to be moved or to march.   Most of those who left with the march could barely be judged fit.
Roy died 26 miles from Sandakan on the Second March on Sandakan-Ranau track on 5 June 1945 aged 25 years.


WA. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of WX9801 Private Roy David Maconachie, 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion, Australian Infantry. He was one of over 2000 Allied prisoners of war (POW) held in the Sandakan POW camp in north Borneo, having been transferred there from Singapore as a part of B Force. The 1494 POWs that made up B Force, were transported from Changi on 7 July 1942 on board the tramp ship Ubi Maru, arriving in Sandakan Harbour on 18 July 1942. Private Maconachie, aged 25, died as a prisoner of the Japanese on 3 June 1945. He was the son of David High Maconachie and Flora McLeod Maconachie, of Bassendean, WA. He is commemorated on the Labuan Memorial Panel 18. (Photograph copied from AWM232, items 4 and 5. Personal information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database.)

Please see larger map and photos of all Western Australians who perished at Sandakan. 




Version 2




Roy was the eldest of five children born to David and Flora Maconachie.
Maconachie family sailed to Adelaide from London on ‘Moreton Bay’ in 1926.   The family only had Roy and Flora at that time.
From shipping documents we see David and Flora sail from Adelaide to Albany in 1930 on ‘Katoomba’.
Maconachie family settled at  Bassendean.  Roy was known as ‘Big Ginge’ by his sister and brothers.
The Maconachie and McIntosh families moved from Scotland to Australia and probably became close friends due to their
Scottish history whilst settling into a new country.
Roy’s father David Hugh Maconachie died in 1940.


Roy and Archie McIntosh enlisted 6 Dec 1940.  They joined 2/4th HQ Company as Signallers.   Archie McIntosh went to Burma Railway with ‘F’ Force and tragically died at Tanbaya Hospital Camp of illness 10 Nov 1943 aged 23 years.
Below:  There is an engagement notice for Roy and Irene Gilby March 1941.

There is a death notice from the McIntosh family, also Bassendean residents and members of same church.  Roy & Archie were good mates.  Archie became engaged to Roy’s sister Flora in 1941.  Flora married Donald Purnell.  Sadly for the Maconachie family, Flora died in 1952 aged 28 years.


Please read about the Bassendean Boys.

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Sandakan - Borneo ***