Bill Beard WX7883 – Jim Goldie WX7627 – Charles ‘Bubbles’ Holme WX16416 – George Lake WX17582 died Sandakan 1945


The following are some of the ‘boys’ from the region around Boyup Brook who died at Sandakan during 1945.
Were all mates from Worsley, often visiting the Beard family home. Their names are inscribed on  Collie WW2 Memorial, as is George Lake from 2/4th.
The boys from Collie included:
WX7883 Beard, W.H. ‘Bill’ b. Subiaco 1911. Enlisted Aug 1940 he died malaria 10 July 1945 aged 34 at  Sandakan No. 1 Camp.  His body was recovered from Sandakan 3 Cemetery – slit trenches in No. 2 Compound – burial site of all those who died after 29 May (except 23 massacred near airstrip 13 July 1945 & 75 POWs who left on 3RD Sandakan-Ranau March 15 June 1945).


WX16416 Holme Charles  ‘Bubbles’ b. 1922 Harvey. His father Karle Holme born Norway served WW1 with 11th Battalion. In France he received GSW arm, hand, thigh and eye (serious). He was transported to hospital in England and returned to Australia 24 August 1917 for Home Service (truamatic cataract). Karle Holme was discharged from Army 16 January 1918.
Bubbles mother died during childbirth. Karle Home was working for the Gardiners. He brought home his tiny son in a shoe-box asking Mrs Gardiner to help look after Bubbles. Bubbles Holme spent his childhood being cared for by the Gardiner family.
Bubbles was working at Worsley with mates Bill Beard and Jim Goldie.
He died Sandakan-Ranau track Second March 7 June 1945 aged 22 years. Enlisted 10 Sep 1941 – Reinforcement.  He was one of four 2/4th men who were of a group of about 35 Australian POWs who together were tortured and massacred at the 55 mile peg about 8 km from Tangkul Crossing.


WX17582 George LAKE b. 1921 Collie enlisted 6 Nov 1941 – reinforcement who received shrapnel wound to his right thigh 11 Feb 1942, was hospitalised until 6 Mar 1942. His occupation before enlistment was wheeler.
Died Sandakan 8 April 1945, aged 23 years at Sandakan.
His mother’s first husband John William Annandale KIA France, WW1 1918, she was widowed with 4 children. She married George Lake (Snr) also a WW1 veteran and had another 3 children the eldest who was George.
George died Sandakan 8 April 1945 aged 23 years.
WX7627 James McLaughlan GOLDIE b. Scotland 1918. Goldie’s family migrated from Scotland, settled Busselton. He attended Karnup School and worked as farm labourer.
Jim was working at Worsley with mates Bill Beard and Bubbles Holme.
Goldie was on 2nd March. He died on the Sandakan-Ranau Track 38 miles from Sandakan on 4 June 1945 aged 26 years.


At Sandakan, 29 May 1945.
Those on the 2nd March could hardly be described as fit and able to march to Ranau.  The Japanese ordered the fittest of the sick out of their huts at Sandakan, ordering 536 POWs  to prepare to  march.  Those unable to walk un-aided, used makeshift walking sticks.  They were each loaded with rice and ammunition to carry.  
The remaining sick, 288 sick and dying men were also ordered out of their huts (their homes for nearly 3 years) many crawled as they were unable to walk,  unable to take any personal belongings with them they had little clothing –  dressed in rags, most with only a Jap-happy  to lie on the ground of a wired off section of Sandakan Camp.  There was little shelter, some had ground sheets and some none.  They would no longer be provided food and had been unable to purchase food from the locals for some time.  Their only food supply was what the POWs had stock-piled prior to January 1945.  They would all perish here – slowly dying of starvation.
The Japanese then set about burning the huts and everything within, records etc.