2/4th Cricket Team – Property of Geoff MacDonald, nephew of Lindsay Murray MacDonald who is standing 2nd from left amongst those in whites. MacDonald was KIA at Singapore 9 February 1942.
The team above L-R (as per October 1990 Borehole Bulletin)
N. Outrim, L. MacDonald, T. Beard, J. Treasure, G. Arthur WA State Wicket Keeper, Capt. Anderson, V. Warhurst, E. Hunt, C. Farley (did not remain with 2/4th)
Front L-R . C. Spackman, S. Gorringe, B. Stubbs, H. Scadden, R. Matthews, N. Fraser.
Many of the above players were also members of the 2/4th Football team: Treasure, Spackman, Edgar Hunt.
WX9031 Gerald ‘Gerry’ Arthur played for WA Cricket. He was wicket keeper prior to enlisting. Gerry was included in the above team.
WX13562 Peter Moate was regarded as a talented cricketer from Merredin, however as he did not enlist until May 1941 and missed the cricket season.
Another soldier who was a talented cricketer is Jack Leahy WX9312 from Pithara.
The team played in Country Week Cricket in 1941. Syd Gorringe was the recipient of an award for taking 21 wickets and Gerry Arthur received an award for making total of 205 runs. Below: Gorringe
West Australian Tuesday 11 Feb 1941
“An interesting innovation is the inclusion of a team from ‘the men who have enlisted in the A.I.F. and are at present in camp at Northam. That the soldiers are pleased to be able to play again in a cricket competition is indicated by an arrangement for the members of the team to have practice early this morning. The list of players registered includes Major Saggers, Scaddon, G. Arthur and C. Farley, (formerly of Subiaco), Haddon, MacDonald, Matthews, Gorringe, Minchn, Hunt, Fleay, Treasure, Stubbs (formerly prominent in Country Week cricket), Fraser, Beard and Spackman.”
Fleay, Saggers, Hadden and Minchin did not actually appear in the team.
Bert Saggers – ex Fremantle, Subiaco and Claremont wicketkeeper and batsman 1923/24 to 1933/34
Pte Harry Wright Scaddan – Hockey and Cricket player. Scadden is evident playing cricket for Boyanup in 1937/37. He played cricket for Elgin-Statham (‘Elgin’) as an opener in the Vasse CA in 1939/40. They lost to St Mary’s in the final at the end of April 1940. In late Nov 1940, H Scaddan is evident playing for Elgin again (1940/41). He played football for Elgin in 1938 and in 1940 at least. Elgin just 10 km from Boyanup, both about 15 km S of Bunbury, all 200 km S of Perth.
Lloyd Foster Hadden WX9139 – A couple of possible matches in 2/4 MG Battalion, but from Pingaring WA was a POW (survivor). He played Country Week cricket for Lake Grace (close by Pingaring, and his parents’ location) in 1934/35. Both Lloyd and his brother Ron (RAAF) were prisoners of the Japanese. Ron escaped from a gaol in Rangoon in mid-1945 just before the British captured the city (Perth Mirror Sat 23 Jun 1945, Western Mail Thu 26 Feb 1946). He was a Driver in B Company. He was held in Singapore in various places, and in Thailand as part of “D” Force, Captain Harris Party. Died Jan 1967.
Lin MACDONALD – Quairading batsman and four-time Country week centurian.
Lance Corporal Roy (‘Scotty’) Matthews – No record of his playing.
Warhurst – He may be the V Warhurst at Norwood HS in 1932 as under-15. V and R Warhurst are evident for East Torrens Colts in Adelaide Turf CA in 1933/34 and 1934/35. In late 1936/37 and through 1937/38, V and W Warhurst played cricket for University C team in Students grade (opening the batting). Was KIA Singapore 11 Feb 1942 with ‘E’ Company SRB
Sydney (‘Sid’) Gorringe – Evidently a bowler, he took 7/37 vs Eastern Goldfields and 6/25 vs Bruce Rock. 23 yo farmhand on enlistment at Hyden.
His older brother John (Jack, ‘Cocky’) Gorringe – he played Country Week in 1949/50 and 1950/51 for Kalgarin-Hyden.
Of the original 15 named players, Farley did not continue with 2/4th, eight of the 14 remaining soldiers did not return to Australia and Syd Gorringe had his left leg amputated below the knee:
WX10366 Norman Wilson FRASER born Claremont 1913 was a former Scotch College student. Enlisted AIF 18 Dec 1940 and joined 2/4th’s ‘C’ Coy 11 Platoon under CO Lt Boyle.
He departed for the Burma end of the Railway with ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion (as was Harry Scaddan).
Fraser died of cholera at Aungganaung 105 km Camp, Burma 4 June 1943 aged 29 years. He was married and father to two young children.
WX9327 Edgar Harold HUNT Corporal born 1914 Beverley and enlisted AIF 30 Oct 1940 and later 2/4th’s ‘D’ Company.
Edgar departed Singapore with ‘D’ Force Thailand V Battalion to work on the Burma-Thai Railway. He died of bacillary dysentery at Hindaine Camp, Thailand on 10 August 1943. He was 29 years of age.
Hunt had been working at Jacobs Well near Beverley and Dangin when he enlisted.
WX10802 Corp. Noel James OUTTRIM was a Glen Forrest boy who was a Rangetaker with ‘B’ Coy, 8 Platoon. He worked on the Burma-Thai Railway with Capt Fred Harris Party. Almost all POWs had been evacuated out of Burma & Thailand’s railway by end of 1943. Please read further
Outtrim was obviously part of a maintenance party which was sent back up the line.
Noel, a former ‘letter carrier’ died of cerebral malaria at Kinsaiyok Camp on 22 November 1944. He was just 24 years old.
Noel’s name is included on the Mundaring WWII Memorial, along with Arnold Vivian Cousins and Alex A.J. Colquhoun. Please read further.
WX9279 Lindsay (Lin) Murray MacDONALD
Was with ‘D’ Coy 13 Platoon under Commanding Officer Lt Wankey. They were located on the very front line when the Japanese landed on 8 Feb 1942.
13 Platoon were overrun by the Japanese and evacuated from the front line.
‘Lin’ was KIA 9 Feb 1942 at Lim Chau Kang Road. He was 27 years old.
Prior to his enlistment he was farming on the family farm at Quairading.
He was also with the 10th Light Horse before joining 2/4th.
WX7617 Harry Wright SCADDAN born Ashington, England in 1914 Harry came to Pinjarra as a young boy to attend Kingsley Fairbridge Farm School.
Harry excelled in most sports. He was sent to work on farms from the age of 14 (as all Fairbridge kids were) however was able to maintain his keen interest and played cricket and hockey for local teams.
Scaddan was included the first work party out of Singapore in May 1942 – ‘A’ Force Burma Green Force No. 3 Battalion. They sailed first to south west Burma and repaired and enlarged 3 airfields before making their way to the most northern end of the railway. Harry die of cerebral malaria at Tamarkan Hospital Camp on 22 April 1944, aged 29 years.
Towards the end of 1943 when the railway was completed, the Japanese began moving all the POWs in Burma south to one of 3 or 4 very large camps where the fit were selected to send to work in Japan. Prior to Harry travelling south, he was at Khonkan 55km Camp from 4 July to 19 Oct 1943 – a long period of time and where sick were sent in Burma.
WX9332 John ‘Bowe’ STUBBS born Narrogin he lived his formative years at Kondinin. Bowe was the youngest of 7 children. With his two older brothers Len and ‘Bill’, Bowe played for both local cricket and football teams and was mentioned regularly for his talent.
Bowe enlisted 30 Oct 1940 aged 20 years and was drafted into ‘B’ Coy 8 Platoon under CO Lt Penrod Dean – same Platoon as Noel Outtrim who died of illness Thailand in 1944. He was KIA on second day of fighting trying to protect Tengah Aerodrome – but the Commonwealth Forces were soon overrun.
Bowe’s body was never recovered and he is remembered on a Singapore Memorial Epitaph Column 36 at Kranji War Memorial, Singapore, he was just 23 years old.
His family were notified of his death within weeks – many families did not learn of their loved one’s death until after the war – they spent years praying and hoping they were alive.
In July 1942 his brother ‘Bill’ who had joined Australian Air Force was killed during a training flight in NSW. Bill was two years older than Bowe.
WX9351 John (Jack) TREASURE was another talented football and cricket player (from the south west) who played in the 2/4th teams. He spent his formative years around Broomehill. His brothers, fathers and uncles were all keen cricket players. He was the eldest son of Leo and Victoria Treasure and born 1919.
He enlisted AIF 30 Oct 1940 and later joined Headquarters No. 3 Administrative Coy as a driver under Quartermasters Capt Phelps and Lt. B. O’Sullivan
As a POW in Singapore Jack left to work on the Burma-Thai Railway about May 1943 with ‘D’ Force V Battalion. He died of cerebral malaria at a dreadful camp known Kuii. He was 24 years old. V Battalion suffered a horrific 50% death rate on the railway. Subjected to tropical illnesses, bashings and spiteful guards.
NX70433 Victor Ingleby (Bunny) WARHURST LT born 1918 Adelaide, SA. Enlisted 30 Oct 1940. Was a regular officer and Graduate of Duntroon. He was KIA with ‘E’ Company Special Reserve Battalion when they ran into Japanese ambush at south west Bukit Timah on 11 Feb 1942. Almost half the Company were wounded or KIA.
It was later confirmed Warhurst had been wounded by mortar fire shattering his thigh. Unable to move five Japanese soldiers killed him with his own rifle and bayonet.
The Japanese would not allow the Australians to recover any of their dead until later in the year – 10 months after the battle. It was far too late to recover or recognise most of those who had died who were uncovered and exposed to the elements and wild animals. The Japanese buried their own dead amongst and nearby their enemy. This created much anger and grief amongst the POWs. His death left his wife widowed in Adelaide with a young daughter whom Warhurst had never seen.
Those fortunate to return to Australia at the end of the war included:
WX9335 Sydney GORRINGE b. 1916 Perth enlisted 30 Oct 1940 with his older brother John WX9336. Both boys survived to return home, however Syd had his left leg amputated on 30 Sep 1943 below the knee due to a tropical ulcer. He worked on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand ‘S’ Battalion at the Hellfire Pass Cutting region.
Sadly Syd would never play cricket again.