WX7595 GLASS, George (aka Paddy) b. 1901 Belfast, Ireland. He sailed from London 29 Oct 1927 on ‘Osterley’ for Fremantle. He enlisted AIF 1940 and later joined 2/4th MGB’s Headquarters Company as a Driver. The Commanding Officer was Anketell.
Others from HQ Company included Allpike, Wally Harris, Fred Kuhl, Clarrie Sawyer and Wally Watkins.
When ‘Aquitania’ anchored off Fremantle for one night on 15 Jan 1942 George was one of several hundred boys from 2/4th who defied orders, jumped ship, intent on seeing their families before they went to war. George was one of about 100 men unable to reboard before ‘Aquitania’ sailed for Singapore the following day.
This group of well-trained machine gunners sailed for Singapore a few weeks later – however their ship was diverted away from Singapore as it was about to fall to Japan. They were landed in Java where he joined ‘Blackforce’. With barely a chance to fight the invading Japanese army the local Dutch East Indies forces capitulated and all nationalities were taken POW of Japan about 8 March 1942.
He sailed from Java with ‘A’ Force Java Party 4, Williams Force heading for the Burma end of the Burma-Thai Railway. Because of the 2/2nd Pioneers engineering skills, Williams Force worked and moved frequently, often working all day then ordered to march through the night to a new location and immediately beginning work in the morning. He was evacuated ill on 25 March 1944 to Kanchaburi Hospital Camp No 3.
George was recovered from hospital in Bangkok at the end of the war where he was being treated for chest and cough problems.
After the war.
George had been working for two weeks at Deanmill (mostly known as Timber Mill Number 1 – one of three state government owned timber mills) 5 kms from Manjimup. Deanmill was heavily involved in the production of timber railway sleepers for the Trans-Australia Railway. He was working with a fettling gang using a press to straighten iron and accidently stepped backwards off a stack of sleepers about 4 feet high injuring his back when he fell onto a length of rail suffering internal injuries. It was reported George felt no immediate discomfort, however soon complained of illness and was taken to Manjimup Hospital.
George died some hours later. A later post mortem revealed no abnormalities.
During Feb the previous year (1949) Glass was in Fremantle Court charged with vagrancy. He had been found sleeping rough in Reserve Park, Fremantle. The Magistrate had made enquiries about Paddy. At Court he said Glass had ‘lost his way’. The RSL offered to assist Paddy and the charges were dropped.
Paddy had come to WA alone as a 22 year old. He recorded his NOK as a sister who was living in Ireland. It is believed he had no known relatives and had never married.