Carnamah War Memorial


The following two men from 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion have their names honoured on the above Memorial:

WX9318  LALLY, Kenneth

Born Northam 1915, Lally enlisted AIF 30 October 1940. He was then working at Carnamah as was Doug Carter and Bill Baillie.
Carter and Lally were together in No 13 Platoon ‘D’ Coy under Commanding Officer Lt. Wankey.   As part of 8th Division the 2/4th was sent to Singapore. He was taken POW of Japan 15 February 1942 following surrender  by the Allies and a short bitter fight resulting in many deaths and injuries.  He was selected to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand V Battalion departing Singapore by train 17 March 1943.
Lally was one of the fortunate few to survive.  V Battalion had one of the highest death rates of all Australian Forces on the railway.

Please read about V Battalion.

When the railway was completed the Japanese regrouped all  POWs from Burma and Thailand to 4 of largest camps in Thailand,  for many it was for desperately needed medical treatment and the remainder, time to recover from their months and months of slavery, starvation and ill-treatment.  Ken was considered fit by his Japanese captors and selected to work in Japan and travelled with ‘Aramis’ Party.
He died at Omuta Coal Mine, Japan 23 March 1945 when crushed between two trucks whilst working underground at the mine.  The men were devastated.  Ken was a well respected and much liked young Australian. He had survived the battle for Singapore, the ill-fated ‘D’ Force V Battalion with a 50% death rate whilst working on the railway.  Survived the sea journey from Singapore to Japan on ‘Aramis’.
Ken Lally was 30 years of age.
Please read about the Mafia running Omuta Camp.


WX16674  MURPHY,  James Joseph 

Was born 1917 Pinnaroo, South Australia to James and Gwendoline Murphy. James enlisted 22 September 1941.  Within four months he was serving in Singapore as a reinforcement with ‘E’ Coy Special Reserve Battalion. Three days into the Battle for Singapore on 11th February 1942,  James Joseph Murphy was KIA at South-West Bukit Timah, aged 25 years. Please read further about Special Reserve Battalion.




ALTHOUGH NOT INCLUDED ON THE CARNAMAH WAR MEMORIAL – William Cameron was working in the area prior to enlisting.
WX20026, CAMERON, WILLIAM b. Inverness Scotland 1908.  William Cameron enlisted AIF 8 Sept 1941, later joining 2/4th’s reinforcements ‘E’ Coy SRB .  He was KIA11 Feb 1942 at S-W Bukit Timah when a Japanese ambush killed a large number of inexperienced soldiers.

William Cameron and his wife Edith Eugenia were recorded living at Carnamah in 1936, where he was a farm-hand.  It is believed he may have been working forWalter Bodycoat.









Below:  Eric Fraser, Eric Wankey.


WX9392 Lt. Milton Wankey Eric WANKEY was CO of 13 Platoon, D Coy . 13 Platoon took up their position North West Singapore coast with 2/20th, 22nd Brigade –  west of Kranji and the head of a side road which serviced a landing strip of Lim Chi Kang Road.
Early after dawn on 8 Feb Japanese aircraft dive-bombed and machine gunned the machine gunners in their dug-outs.  This with the artillery kept the soldiers trapped like animals in their burrows or huddled in shallow slit trenches.
When the Japanese came in their water craft 13 Platoon managed to hold off the first waves of enemy preventing them getting a foothold.  Lt Wankey was manning a machine gun with Jimmy Loller as his No. 2 when they were both hit.  Wankey although badly wounded continued to direct the fire of the three remaining guns.
For his outstanding leadership and example during the action, Lt Wankey was awarded the Military Cross.
Wounded on 8 Feb, Lt Wankey was transferred to 2/10th AGH ex 2/9th Field Ambulance on 10 Feb.  Transferred  2/13th AGH on 17 Feb where his lower right leg was amputated.  Transf. to AGH at Roberts Barracks Changi on 11 March and discharged to unit on 26 March.  He was awarded an ‘A’ Medical Classification by the Japanese.

Loller was wounded by a mortar round at 2330 on 8th
Feb.  Admitted to 2/9th Field Ambulance on 13 Feb with a shrapnel wound to his right knee, both legs and his back.  Transferred to 2/13th AGH on 16 Feb where his right leg was amputated above the knee on 6 April.  Loller was awarded an ‘A’ Medial Classification by the Japanese.  He later worked in the hospital cookhouse at Changi Gaol Camp