The Esperance WW2 War Memorial sadly includes two boys from 2/4th MGB – Rob Baker & Wally Mccudden.
WX8682 BAKER, William Robert Samuel born Esperance 1919 to Lulu Baker and stepfather William Edward Johnson.
He was a driver with ‘B’ Coy 7 Platoon under Commandiung Officer Lt Dean. Rob/Bob Baker was unable to reboard ‘Aquitania’ at Gage Roads Fremantle before she sailed for Singapore on 16 Jan 1942 and instead with about 90 2/4th men landed in Java where in time they were taken POWs of Japan. Please read details.
Baker left Java with Java Party No 4 Blackforce to work on the Burma-Thai Railway. Please read about this work force.
Baker survived working on the railway – he was selected as being fit by the Japanese and was to be sent to Japan to work and what would become known as ‘Rakuyo’ Maru. Tragically he was one of about 38 men from 2/4th who lost his life when the ‘Rakuyo’ was hit by US submarines in Sept 1944 in South China Sea. Please read this sad story.
Bob Baker was 25 years old when he perished in the South China Sea along with 100s of POWs.