Other local government areas in the Great Southern:
City of Albany, Shires of Broomehill, Tambellup, Cranbrook, Denmark, Jerramungup, Katanning, Kent, Kojonup, Plantagenet and Woodanilling.
WX9340 H.P. (Pat) Bennett – Gnowangerup
Born Albany 10 Jul 1914 to Albert and Margaret Bennett. Bennett enlisted AIF 30 Oct 1940 and later joined 2/4th Battalion HQ as a Driver. Pat left Singapore with ‘E’ Force Borneo. He died on the First March Sandakan to Ranau 15.2.1945, 5 miles west of Marimgan (Murikan) east of Tampias aged 30 years. The Japanese wrote he died of heart paralysis.
WX9348 Colin L Heppell – Gnowangerup
Died 6.10.1943 Kuii Camp, Burma Thiland Railway. He left Singapore with D Force V Battalion. He died about 3 weeks after Jack Treasure died at this dreadful and miserable camp. They were two of 21 men from 2/4th to die at Kuii.
Colin was born at Nalangil, Victoria July 1905. He was one of nine sons and two daughters born to Robert and Agnes Heppell of Colac, Victoria and grew up on the family farm.
He attended primary school at Nalangil and high school at Colac, Victoria. He enjoyed sport particularly Australian Rules football.
After leaving school he joined the National Bank at Colac as a teller. In 1927, he moved to Perth and continued as a teller at the National Bank there.
In 1932, he married Alfreda (Freda) Morton and later became the owner and storekeeper of the general store at Gnowangerup.
WX9350 Patrick (George) Hodgins – Gnowangerup
Born 1914 Sandstone to George & Mary Ann Hodgins. George enlisted AIF 30 Oct 1940 later joining 2/4th’s ‘B’ Coy 7 Platoon under C.O. Lt Dean. George left Singapore with work party ‘H’ Force Group No. 3 to work on Burma-Thai Railway. This Force endured many illnesses and deaths. George returned to Singapore to Sime Road Camp with Force. He was selected to work with X10 Party after which he was recovered from Changi Gaol Camp.
WX9337 Andrew Donald (Don) Moir – Gnowangerup
b. 13 Nov 1919 Albany to parents John and Gladys Moir.
Moir enlisted AIF 30 Oct 1940 later joining 2/4th MGB’s ‘D’ Company No. 15 Platoon as a Driver under commanding officer Lt. Meiklejohn. Please read about 15 Platoon
Moir was 22 years old when he was KIA by mortar fire on the first night of invasion by Japanese 8 Feb 1942. He was last seen standing beside his vehicle.
WX9338 Lloyd O. Moir – Gnowangerup
WX9339 George Moir – Gnowangerup
WX9263 Edward (TED) Charles Steven POPHAM – Gnowangerup
Born 1901 London, England to parents Edward & Sophia Popham. From Gnowangerup Ted enlisted AIF 30 Oct 1940 later joining 2/4th ‘A’ Coy 6 Platoon under CO’s Lt Morrison & Lt Branson.
Popham became ill with typhus 9 Mar 1942 and was hospitalised AGH Roberts Barracks,
He left Singapore to work on Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force S Battalion. They arrived Kanyu II at the Hellfire Pass Cutting on 25 April 1944. At the end of the war Ted was recovered from Chungkai (possibly Hospital) and from Bangkok flew to Singapore. He flew with Catalina to Perth and admitted to110(P)MH on18 Oct 1945 with beri beri
WX9351 John ‘Jack’ Treasure – Gnowangerup
Born 5 April 1919 to Leo & Victoria Treasure. Jack enlisted AIF 30 Oct 1940 and later joined 2/4th’s HQ Coy as a Driver.
Died 13.9.1943 Kuii, Thailand with D Force Thailand, V Battalion.
Jack was a talented footballer and had played with the 2/4th team.
WX14836 John Ramsbottom was a former Fairbridge Farm Schoolboy who was working in Gnowangerup area.
John enlisted AIF 4 Jul 1941 and joined 2/4th’s ‘A’ Coy. From Singapore he was sent with ‘J’ Force Japan where he worked around the Kobe area. He was recovered from here when the war ended.
John was the author of several books about his childhood at Fairbridge and Japan.
He was instrumental in promoting Fairbridge and donated a cottage built in the style of the original cottages.
You will notice Pat Bennett, Colin Heppell and Jack Treasures’ WX numbers are close as are the three Moirs.
Sadly Colin Heppell and his mate Jack Treasure with ‘D’ Force Thailand V Battalion, both died of illness at Kuii Camp, Thailand. If you would like to read further about Kuii Camp
Above: About June 1941.
Above: Printed newspaper 14 February 1942.