There were two men from 2/4th included on the Merredin WW2 War Memorial:
WX9287 OSBORNE, JOHN ROBERT who as a POW was selected in Singapore with ‘F’ Force to work on Burma-Thai Railway and died of illness aged 28 years at Kami Sonkurai Camp, Thailand.
He was born 1915 to parents John and Alice Osbone at Bruce Rock and farmed at Korbel, near Merredin.
WX10808 ROCHESTER John (known as Jack)
b. 1905 England to Edward Anderson and Jane Rochester.
John (known as Jack) Rochester sailed to Fremantle from London on ‘Esperance Bay‘ on 14 June 1927 leaving behind his siblings and widowed mother. He was 21 years old, and his occupation recorded as farm labourer.
In the Western Australian Electoral Rolls for 1931, 1936, 1937 up to 1943 Jack was recorded as farmer residing at Burracoppin South.
He enlisted AIF 15 Jan 1941 and later joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘A’ Company No. 6 Platoon. John Rochester was at Woodside Camp South Australia when he contracted meningitis and was returned to WA on 25.11.1941. He was transferred to the 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion reinforcements ‘E’ Coy on 9.1.1942.
Rochester was KIA at South West Bukit Timah on 11 Feb 1942 aged 36 years. ‘E’ Coy ran into a Japanese ambush and suffered a terrible almost 50% death loss. Please read further.
Korbel is within the Merredin Shire.
WX9061 BEVIS, Daniel Edmund ‘Danny’ born 1909 to Daniel (Snr) and Mary Bevis. He enlisted AIF 25 October 1940, later joining 2/4th MGB’s ‘C’ Company as a Corporal of No. 10 Platoon.
He departed Singapore with ‘A’ Force Burma, Green force No. 3 Battalion to work on the Burma end of the railway.
Danny was recovered from Thailand at the end of the war. He worked tirelessly in hospitals assisting doctors.
He died four years after returning home.
WX8031 MILLER, EDWIN ERNEST enlisted AIF August 1940, later joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘B’ Company Headquarters under Commanding Officer Capt Bunning, as a Driver.
Miller worked on Burma-Thai Railway with ‘F’ Force
He survived and returned to Singapore where he worked with different parties and was recovered from here at the end of the war.
WX13562 MOATE, Peter Joseph although not included in the lists above, we know Peter Moate worked with WAGR at Merredin and competed with several local sporting teams.
He also returned to Merredin after the war.
Moate was originally with 25th Light Horse at Merredin prior to enlisting AIF. He was selected as reinforcement to 2/4th and TOS to Woodside, SA on 5 October 1941 to join the Battalion.
He was AWOL when their ship ‘Aquitania’ left for Singapore 16 January 1942 and instead sailed with about 100 2/4th soldiers to Java. Please read further
He was taken POW of Japan in Java in March 1942. He later sailed to Singapore and would work on the Burma-Thailand with ‘D’ Force Thailand, Java Party No. 6, O Battalion. Please read further
You may wish to read the War
Affidavits written by Peter Moate
We have been able to identify from the above list those who joined 2/4th (there may well be additional names.)
WX8738 STRUTHERS, William (known as Bullets) enlisted 23 Oct 1940 joined HQ Coy as a Driver. Struthers was born at Leslie, Scotland. He sailed to Australia in 1924 as a 17 year old with his 18 year old sister. Prior to enlisting he recorded his occupation as farmhand and miner.
He worked on Burma-Thai Railway around Hellfire Pass Cutting with ‘D’ Force Thailand, S Battalion and was recovered from Ubon at war’s end.
WX10865 TEASDALE, Thomas ‘Eric’ born 1919 to Herbert William and Mary Elizabeth Teasdale of Merredin. Eric enlisted AIF 12 April 1941 and later joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘B’ Company, as Acting Sergeant to No. 9 Platoon under C.O. Lt. Don Lee. He was promoted (24 January 1942) to Corporal.
Eric was sent to Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand, S Battalion, working around the Hellfire Pass Cutting.
Teasdale was recovered from Nacompaton Hospital Camp, Thailand when the war ended, returning to Merredin.
Eric was a talented hockey player and very much involved with Merredin’s Hockey Club.