The boys who enlisted from around Bruce Rock included:
WX9294 William Finlay ‘Bill’ BAILLIE – b. Bruce Rock 1920 to William Finlay Baillie (Snr) and Mary Oswald.
Enlisted AIF 20 Oct 1940 later joined 2/4th’s ‘D’ Company HQ as Batman/Runner (Walter Bow also ‘D’ Coy HQ).
He worked on Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand, V Battalion (with Bow) which suffered terrible loss of lives.
Baillie was recovered from Thailand at the end of war, he initially flew from Ubon, Thailand to Colombo.
Bill Baillie was mates with Ken Lally and Doug Carter who both worked at Carnamah. Carter was working at a Bank in Carnamah, returned safely home to renew his banking career. Lally (born in Northam) was working at Eric H. GURR’s General Store in Carnamah from September 1939 until mid 1940. Ken Lally was tragically killed in an accident, crushed whilst as a POW working in Japan at Omuta Mine.
Below on Right: Doug Carter
WX9321 Andrew James ‘Jim’ LOLLER – b. Kellerberrin to James Leslie Loller and Rossietta Melba Barry. Enlisted AIF 30 Oct 1940 joined 2/4th’s ‘D’ Company No. 13 Platoon. Loller was wounded in action Singapore. He later had his right leg amputated above the knee on 6 April 1942. Jim Loller remained a POW at Singapore and was recovered from Changi at the end of the war.
WX9287 John Robert OSBORNE – b. 1915 Bruce Rock to John and Alice Osborne. Osborne had been farming at Korbel prior to enlisting on 30 Oct 1940. Osborne joined ‘D’ Coy No. 15 Platoon. He left Singapore with ‘F’ Force to work on Burma-Thai Railway. He died of pneumonia at Kami Sonkurai POW Camp, Thailand aged 28 years.
Others who enlisted from this area included:
WX7253 Walter Verdun BOW – b. Perth 1916 to Harry Bow and Rachel Watts who married Wandering 1903.
Bow spent his formative years in Bruce Rock. He enlisted AIF 1 Aug 1940 later joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘D’ Coy HQ as a Driver. Wounded in action 15 Feb 1942 Buona Vista he received shrapnel wounds to left and right buttock. Worked on Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force’ Thailand, V Battalion (with Baillie and Lally) which suffered terrible loss of life to tropical illnesses and starvation. Recovered from Bangkok and flew to Rangoon, Burma before flying to Singapore.
WX10372 George Howard BRANSON – b. Subiaco 1918to Howard and Ethel Branson. He enlisted 18 Dec 1940.
Was a Lt with ‘A’ Coy. No. 6 Platoon. Branson was recovered from Singapore at the end of the war. He travelled with ‘H’ Force to Thailand for about 4-6 months.
WX9323 Melville William HORTIN – b. South Australia 1913. Enlisted 13 Dec 1940, was Scout with ‘B’ Company No. 7 Platoon. Hortin remained POW at Singapore throughout war due to health reasons and was recovered from Changi.
Below: The parents of John Osborne receive news they have been dreading. The Loller family at Bruce Rock, finally have news their two sons who have been POWs, are now safe.
4 Oct 1945 Bruce Rock Newspaper
Below: Celebrations offering a warm welcome home to the men from Bruce Rock and surrounding regions –