ALFRED BENDALL WX17864
Bert BENDALL b. Donnybrook 1914. Joined the Donnybrook 25th Light Horse Militia prior to enlisting with AIF 3 Dec 1941.
As reinforcement he joined the 2/4th on board the ‘Aquitania’ which had anchored at Gage Roads off Fremantle for one night, and sailed to Singapore the next day on 16 January 1945.
Bert had barely one month’s training at Northam Army Camp. Japan invaded Singapore 8th February 1945 – 2 months and 5 days after enlisting Bert was fighting for his life and for Australia!
Wounded in action in Singapore on 15 Feb 1942 he was admitted hospital with shrapnel wound to his back and discharged 5 days later.
Bert’s parents William and Alice Bendall married 1908 England before moving to Donnybrook where they developed an apple orchard they named ‘Floral Farm’. They had three children. Bert was the 2nd son and had a younger sister.
He worked at the orchard with his father. The Bendall family were active community members.
Sent with ‘B’ Force to Borneo, Bert died with the First March on 12 Feb 1945 aged 30 years. After the end of war, his body was found by Track Recoveries 4 miles east of Nelapak – just 8 miles from Ranau.
Bert’s mates who also joined the Donnybrook 25th Light Horse Militia & enlisted early Dec 1941 with 2/4th included Harry Cain (KIA Singapore) and Trigwell cousins Allan and Vern.
Vern lost his life when ‘Rakuyo’ Maru, transporting 1300 POWs to Japan was torpedoed by USS “Sea Lion” in South China Sea. (90 lucky British & Australian POWs survived 3-4 days in the ocean to be picked up by same American submarines, which attacked the convoy and a Japanese vessel).
WX17882 Allan George TRIGWELL b. 1920 Donnybrook to Tom Frederick and Mary Jane known as ‘Dolly’ Trigwell. Allan was one of four sons and had one sister Marjorie. Allan’s brother Colin WX4110 also enlisted, returned home safely having been POW in Japan.
Allan sailed to Borneo with ‘E’ Force 2 Mar 1943 with Bubbles Holme and George Lake of Collie, and 2/4th’s Joe Sevier and George Smith who were massacred 7 June 1945 with Bubbles Holme on Sandakan-Ranau Track.
Allan was 24 years old when he died at Sandakan No. 1 Camp on 4 May 1945 – 6 days before Bill Beard and 3 weeks before Charlie Harris.