The following men from 2/4th are recorded as having lost their lives:
WX9230 EVANS, Walter ‘Cyril’
was born England 1902. He was selected as a POW from Selarang, Singapore with ‘B’ Force Borneo. He died on the Sandakan-Ranau track on 14 June 1945. Cyril was 43 years old. The Japanese guards had been ordered to ensure there were no survivors from Sandakan.
Walter was married to Ida (nee Carpenter) and they had two daughters Val and Audrey.
WX9255 GIBBS, Stuart Henry
was born Cardiff, Wales in 1903. Gibbs arrived WA 1924 aged 20 years of age.
He was selected as a POW at Selarang, Singapore with ‘E’ Force Borneo. Stuart died at Sandakan on 24 February 1945 aged 41 years. Please read further about ‘E’ Force Borneo
Gibbs had been farming at Ongerup according to 1931 and 1937 Electoral Roll.
WX9241 HOPSON, Edward Mason (Ted)
born Albany 1909 to Alfred Joseph and Mary Jane Hopson. With several other men, Hopson managed to successfully escape from Singapore on the night of 15 February, 1942 reaching Sumatra. Their freedom was short-lived. It was far too difficult for Europeans to blend into local communities. The three men joined other POWs on Sumatra.
Tragically Edward Hopson died at Tenal Gajoe, Sumatra of appendicitis on 26 April 1944, he was far too ill with dysentery to undergo surgery. He was 35 years of age.
WX9260 NEALE, Stanley ‘Stan’ Edward
born Northampton 1914 enlisted 30 Oct 1940. He was the eldest of four Neale sons to enlist, plus a brother-in-law, George Rouse WX7656 who was also with 2/4th.
Rouse was married to Stan Neale’s sister. He was captured by Japanese on the first night of their invasion of Singapore and soon after was shot and killed whilst trying to escape.
Stan enlisted from Elleker, near Albany, in fact 16 km east of Albany, where he was recorded 1936 and 1943 Electoral Rolls.
The 1930’s depression proved to be a challenging decade for so many – with jobs hard to come by and many farms ‘going to the wall’.
In 1933 Stan was recorded as a ‘Sustenance worker’ for Thyne (Company or family) fishing at Wilsons Inlet, Denmark.
Neale went to Borneo with ‘B’ Force. He died 28 Feb 1945 at Sandakan aged 30 years. Read further about Sandakan and ‘B’ Force Borneo.
WX12628 OLIVER, Stirling John
The Oliver family resided in Boulder where Stirling’s father was a miner. Stirling was one of several children, including sister Florence Mary who was born in Boulder.
In 1925 Stirling married Wilma Mildred Herbert. Prior to enlisting,Aberdeen Street Albany with his wife and family. He was employed as a shop assistant.
Wilma Oliver died in 1977.
WX9253 ROSS, Donald
was born Albany 1913, son of Alexander and Lillian Ross of Bornholm (small town situated between Denmark and Albany on the railway line). Don married Ada Bunker, daughter of George and Annie Bunker of Albany. Ada’s brother WX9223 Harold Bunker, known as Harry was also a soldier with 2/4th MGB and had a miraculous escape from death, and returned home. Read further about Harry Bunker.
Don Ross enlisted 30 October 19430 and was a Driver with ‘A’ Company as was WX9252 James Shackleton. Harry Bunker was a rangetaker with ‘A’ Company.
Ross was selected as a POW from Selarang, Changi with ‘E’ Force Borneo. He died at Sandakan on 23 May 1945 aged 32 years, his death devastated the Ross and Bunker families of Albany.
WX9252 SHACKLETON, James Harold
was born Norfolk, England in 1904. He enlisted 30 October 1940 and was a Driver with ‘A’ Company. James and his wife Enid migrated to Australia in 1926 with their young son, settling in Albany.
James fought with ‘A’ Company during the torrid but short fighting to save Singapore from Japanese invasion. He was a POW at Selarang and Thomson Road, working with parties for the Japanese around Singapore before becoming ill. He died of acute bacillary dysentery 6 September, 1942. He was 38 years old.
WX17344 SLATER, Albert ‘Billy’
born 1921 in Perth was foster son to Mr and Mrs Whimmerah of Redmond. Billy enlisted 22 October 1941 and joined the 2/4th reinforcements with ‘E’ Company to sail to Singapore on ‘Aquitania’ on 16th February 1942. Billy survived the battle for Singapore however many of ‘E’ Company were killed when ambushed at south west Bukit Timah on 11 February 1942.
He was selected with ‘D’ Force Thailand V Battalion to work on Thai-Burma Railway. Tragically he died of beri beri at Kuii Camp on 26 September 1943 aged 22 years. Billy was one of 21 men from 2/4th to die at Kuii Camp.
Below: Thursday 28 Nov 1940. (Note this newspaper item is printed 1940 – many more men enlisted in AIF and 2/4th after this date).