WX16439 Dennis Richard LANE
2/4TH Machine Gun Battalion 8TH Division, AIF WW2
Brothers Dennis and Tony LANE from Boulder lost their lives enlisting to fight for Australia. Young men in the prime of their lives who had migrated from England with their parents.
WX16439 Dennis Richard LANE enlisted AIF 10 Sept 1941and soon after joined 2/4th Reinforcements boarding ‘Aquitania’ 15 Feb 1942 anchored on night at Fremantle Gauge Roads having sailed from Sydney. Dennis Lane recorded his birth date as 1920, when in fact he was born 1922. He fought at Singapore with ‘A’ Coy HQ.
As a POW of Japan Dennnis was imprisoned Selarang Barracks, Changi, Singapore- included in daily work parties around the island until ‘E’ Force Borneo, left Changi on 28 March 1943 arriving at Berhala Island (adjacent to Sandakan Harbour) on 15 April 1943. The POW’s were held there until 5 June, then taken by barge to Sandakan. The next day they were transferred to 8 Mile Camp, which was about half a mile from the ‘B’ Force compound – POWs from the two Camps were forbidden to communicate!
Dennis Lane’s older brother Anthony ‘Tony’ John LANE WX12342 – 2/2 Commandos
‘Anthony enlisted in Citizen Military Force (Reserves) with Service No W10315 and served with 28th Infantry Battalion. He transferred to A.I.F. on 2 May 1941 and after training he was an original member of the unit, embarking aboard “S.S. ZEALANDIA” on 8 Dec 1941 for Timor as a Private in No 7 Section, “C” Platoon.
He was Killed in Action, 20 Feb 1942, when the Ration truck hew was travelling in was caught in an ambush, during the first landing of the Japanese on Timor.’
(We wish to acknowledge this above information is from the Double Reds Website
Tony was one of 14 or 14 Australian men returning to camp from Dilli when they were captured in a Japanese ambush. All were executed on 20 Feb 1945.
At this time, Tony’s younger brother Dennis was a POW of Japan now at Selarang Barracks, Singapore.
Parents of the boys, George and Elizabeth Lane of Boulder were notified their younger son Dennis died at Sandakan of illness at Sandakan Camp 16 January 1945. The families of those who died at Sandakan were never provided details of deaths. Most would never have heard of this place known as Sandakan. All they knew was they had fought at Singapore and were taken POWs of Japan.
Not having heard any news of Tony there is little doubt the Lanes were hopeful for his safe return. In early February 1946 their lives were again shattered – they were officially notified Tony had been KIA at Timor on 20
Below: Tony Lane