NORSEMAN – centre of Western Australia’s second largest goldfield. 
Below is a list of men who had enlisted up until 7 November 1941.  There were further enlistments after this date.
It is also Western Australia’s last town before crossing the Nullabor Plain.  Located  725 km east of Perth, 190 kms south of Kalgoorlie/Boulder.
In 1892 when gold was first discovered, it was known as the ‘Dundas Field’ and the town which sprang up around the mine became known as Dundas. By 1894 it had become known as Norseman.
Known for its harsh and inhospitable environment, Norseman was proclaimed a town in 1895, acquiring its first Post Office and doctor.  In 1896 Norseman became a municipality and was connected to the telegraph.
In 1899 a water reservoir capable of holding 3 million gallons was completed. By this time the town had five hotels, three churches and was regularly served by Cobb & Co coaches.
 In 1901 a brewery was built, known as Norseman Brewing Company – of course Breweries were essential in mining towns!!  Miners must have somewhere to spend their wages.
(By 1936 the town managed to have a reliable water service when a pipeline connecting Coolgardie to Norseman was completed.)
In 1902 the town of Princess Royal was established north of Norseman 1905 however had disappeared by the 1920s.


 The population had reached 3000 by1905 and the railway from Coolgardie reached Norseman in 1909. The railway continued through to Esperance by 1929.


(By 1941 the southern road through to Esperance and Port Augusta was upgraded.)
1910 saw the construction of the town’s first theatre capable of holding 600 people.

The road to Coolgardie was sealed in 1956.



Above:  Norseman Memorial Park


Some of the enlistments were 2nd generation Norseman miners.  The remaining men came looking for work from areas of Western Australia, interstate and others had come to this state mostly as agricultural labourers as young men from UK, Wales, Scotland, etc. then moved onto mining. 
 There was a large contingent of enlistments from the Goldfields area, at least 25 men joined 2/4th MGB  There may well have been further enlistments during 1941.


WX8682 William Robert Samuel Baker – born Esperance 1919 was working at Norseman as a miner. (known as Bob, and WRS) He was married with two children.

Bob was a driver with ‘B’ Coy 7 Platoon under C.O. Lt Dean.  Absent from ‘Aquitania’ when ship departed Fremantle 16 Jan 1942, Bob sailed a few weeks later but was offloaded at Java.  See story. 
He fought with ‘Blackforce’ attached to 2/3rd MGB and captured by Japanese 8 March 1942.  He was sent to work on the Railway with ‘A’ Force Burma Java Party No. 4 Black Force. Please read further
Baker survived to be selected by the Japanese as fit to work in Japan.  He perished when his transport ship ‘Rakuyo’ Maru was sunk by American Submarines on 12 Sept 1944 in South China Sea.  Baker was 25 years old. Please read about ‘Rakuyo’ Maru.


Above:  Left Baker with mate Joe Starcevich from
Grass Patch- taking a Ferry ride in Sydney before their ship ‘Aquitania’ sailed to Singapore via Fremantle, January1942 they had sailed from Darwin at the end of 1941.



WX8729 Ronald Collett Badock – born 1919 Kalgoorlie. Ron’s Stepfather was transferred to Norseman as  Stationmaster. Ron’s brother Fred joined RAAF  (as per enlistment list.) Enlisted 23 Oct 1940 he joined ‘B’ Coy 8 Platoon under C.O. Lt MacKinnon.
At Singapore he worked at Jahore Bahru (erecting a Memorial for the fallen Japanese!) then
Adam Park.  Ron was sent to work Burma-Thai Railway at the Hellfire Pass Cutting area and further northwards withD’ Force Thailand, Capt. Harris Party.  When the rail link was completed at end of 1943, all POWs were brought back to one of 4 large POW Camps in Thailand  or hospital if ill which many were.  He was later selected fit to work in Japan and sailed  with ‘Both’ Party and reached Info-China. Recovered Saigon, French Indo-China.  RTA.

Ron loved his Aussie Rules Footy and played for Kalgoorlie, Norseman and 2/4th at Northam.  Please read further
Throughout his life Ron was a committed member of the ex-Members Assoc attending reunions interestate and locally.    He rarely missed a Committee Meeting.
We are thankful to Ron who was a marvellous source of 2/4th history and knew of nearly every man in the battalion.
He was a great member of the 2/4th family.  Ron passed away 1 December 2016.
WX8709 Richard Bernard Blaschek (Dick) – joined Battalion Headquarters as a stretcher bearer under Commanding Officer Lt. Col Mick Anketell (who died of wounds 13 Feb 1942).  Following Surrender, Dick remained POW at Singapore, worked with X8 Party.  He was recovered Changi.  RTA
Born in 1914 Murray Bridge, South Australia, Dick Blaschek came to WA Goldfields with his brother.
Eulogy read at funeral of Richard (Dick) Bernard Blaschek
Dick was born Fullarton, South Australia near Adelaide June 1914. His father, an immigrant from Bohemia, worked on the railway to supplement income from a farm. His mother had eight children seven surviving childhood.
With his sisters and brothers he attended a Catholic School at Murray Bridge. Dick was an alter boy and carried the cross.
At the completion of grade 7 and at the age of 13, Dick was sent to work on neighbouring farms.   Work was hard, the hours long and his his earnings included board and a few shillings. He drove large teams of horses ploughing paddocks for wheat growing in the Mallee area. He often spoke of the hardship he endured at this early age. Sleeping in sheds on wheat bags, weathering the cold winter morning and rising early every day. He also spoke of his love for the horses and kindness of some of the farmer’s wives who gave him extra food and even taught him some of the things he should have been learning at home.
As a young man Dick left South Australia with his brothers Bill and Frank, driving across the Nullarbor to work at the Norseman gold mines.   With the outbreak of WW2, Dick enlisted 23 October 1940. He joined 2/4th and became a Stretcher Bearer with Battalion HQ. His training included first-aid, combat and route marches from Northam to Perth a distance of 44 miles in two days.
He met his future wife Vi  ** (Violet Anne Le Serf) while on leave in Perth.   They married during 1941 prior to his departure for Adelaide. The Battalion undertook training at Woodside Camp and Darwin when just prior to New Year 1941, they sailed for Singapore via Sydney and Fremantle.
Following surrender by the Allies to Japan, Dick became a POW of Japan. He remained in Singapore throughout the war. He believed his early years of hard work prepared him for his internment.
Vi had their first daughter Carol while Dick was away – not knowing whether he was safe or not as there was no news.   Carol was almost 3 years old when Vi finally received news via the Red Cross.
He returned to WA and had to adjust to civilian life. After a short stay in Norseman where their second daughter Gale was born Dick and Vi bought a house in Perth and he worked for a bricklayer until they decided to move to Renmark, South Australia in the early 1950’s.
The Blaschek family travelled in a utility loaded with as much as it could carry (their border collie ‘Laddie’ riding on the roof) driving for 7 days across the Nullabor Plains, their travelling included getting bogged on the rough dirt roads until they reached their destination and stayed with Dick’s brother Frank and his family until Dick found a suitable fruit orchard on the Murray River.
Finally Dick was able to grow all that he had dreamed of – citrus and stone fruits. The family was very happy, and at last Dick loved being his own boss! Their third daughter Lynette was born. Both Dick and Vi worked very hard and were successful on this property and others until in 1963 the family moved to a soldier settlement vineyard in Loxton, South Australia where they remained until Dick’s retirement in 1975.
Dick and Vi moved to Caboolture to be near their daughters and grandchildren. He was very proud of his daughters Carol, Gale and Lynette, their husbands and his grandchildren taking an interest in all that they did.
Due to ill health, Dick became a resident at the War Veterans’ Home where he was cared for with love and understanding by Vi and the staff.
** Violet was 3 years old when she departed London 29 November 1929 on S.S. Benalla for Fremantle with her parents Arnold and Nellie Le Serf.  Shipping list recorded they were all Swiss subjects and accompanying them was Violet’s small brother Arnold 2 years.  Arnold (Snr) was recorded being a farmer.


Below:  Norseman Mates L-R Jimmy Hall, Blaschek and Wilkie.


WX8766 Harold Vernon Booth – was also member of ‘B’ Coy 8 Platoon with Badock, Wheelock and Jackson.  He was one of about 88 2/4th soldiers who jumped ship at Fremantle 1942 and couldn’t get back to ‘Aquitania’  before she sailed for Singapore on 16 Jan 1942. (it is believed a far greater number of men did manage to return in time).
Booth sailed to Java instead as Singapore was about to fall.  He fought with ‘Blackforce’ and captured 8 March 1942.  In early 1945 Booth with others were put on ships to sail via Singapore to Sumatra where the POWs slaved building the Sumatran railway track.  He died of illness 15 April 1945 at Pakan Baroe, Sumatra aged 37 years.
The Sumatran Railway was a hellhole for POWs – built towards the end of the war, the physical and mental health of POWs was almost at breaking point.  Please read about this appalling event.
Many of the guards and engineers from Burma-Thai Railway came to work in Sumatra – they brought with them their experience and sadism – they knew how to make POWs work!



WX8789 Sydney Thomas Brown – born Burracoppin 1911. He joined ‘D’ Coy No. 13 Platoon as a Batman/Runner to Commanding Officer Lt Wankey.    Please read further about this Platoon.

‘D’ Company Platoons were the front line of Singapore’s north west coast defence – very sparsely spread as there simply were not sufficient numbers of soldiers available.   They dug into the beaches with their machine guns and were subjected to ongoing and heavy artillery and bombing for at least a week leading up to the invasion. The last 24 hours horrendous, the men were under continual attack from Japanese artillery and arial bombing.  Many POWs suffered shell shock.
Brown was wounded in action during withdrawal at  14 mile peg on Lim Chu Kong Road on 8.2.1942 – the first night of the Japanese invasion into Singapore. He was taken to 2/9th Field Ambulance in same truck that evacuated Lieutenant Wankey. It is believed Sydney Thomas Brown died of shock in hospital as a result of his wounds.
The machine gunners fought to the very last but soon they were overrun by huge numbers of Japanese arriving across the Straits.
Syd Brown died aged 30 years.  He was a committed family member who took his mother and sister to England prior to enlisting.

You can read about Syd and his family


WX8735 John Goode Curtin (Jack or Taddy) – born 1918 Norseman to Frances ‘Frank’ Henry and Ethel May Curtin (nee Pippin).  Jack had two sisters and one brother.  His father Frank worked for many years as a hairdresser from about 1917 through to 1931 as well as operating a newsagency and finally working for Norseman Mining.
It was whilst his father Frank Curtin was working for Norseman Mining and working as a Nightwatchman that a shocking family tragedy occurred.  Frank shot and killed his younger son, seriously injured his wife (who died in hospital), shot and killed his young grandson and injured his daughter before committing suicide.  Jack Curtin was already in the Army.  But he took this horrific tragedy away with him and it would have played on his mind during his POW years.
Jack was a driver with ‘B’ Coy 8 Platoon with Badock and others. Left Singapore with’D’ Force Thailand and joined Captain Fred Harris Party.
With Ron Badock, he was recovered from Saigon, French Indo-China at the end of the war.   His ship although headed for Japan, only sailed as far as Saigon in French Indo China.  RTA




WX8830 Alexander McDougal Donald Drummond (known as Bulldog Drummond/Alex and Bull to family)   born Scotland 1911, joined ‘B’ Coy Headquarters under C.O. Capt Bunning.   – Sailed to Java and not Singapore from Fremantle and fought with ‘Blackforce’ becoming POW about 8 March 1942.

From Java he was sent to work on the northern end of the Burma railway with ‘A’ Force Burma, Java Party No. 4 Williams Force. 
The POWs sailed to Singapore on their way to Burma by ship.  Their ship departed Singapore on 14 October 1942 for Burma.  Arrived Rangoon, travelled Selaween River to Moulmein, then to Thanbyuzayat Camp.  Soon after, with Williams Force Alex Drummond left to work Tanyin Camp 35 km, then Kun Knit Way 26 km Camp, Anakwin 45 km Camp, Meiloe 75 Camp and Aungganaung 105 km Camp.
Drrummond endured a tough time with this workforce.  Williams Force moved up and down the Railway Line often walking to their next designated camp at night and commencing working that morning.  The larger number of POWs were from 2/2nd Engineering Corps – the Japanese hit a jackpot finding all these men with engineering skills – and they made the most of their find.
Drummond arrived at 105 km Camp 21 Sep 1943 and thereafter was sent to Tamakan Camp, Thailand when railway was completed towards end of 1943.    It was at Tamarkan, that Drummond was considered fit by the Japanese and selected to work in Japan.
He lost his life in the South China Sea when his transport ship ‘Rakuyo’ Maru was sunk by American Submarines.  He was 33 years old.

Please read about ‘Rakuyo’ Maru

For those of us who were not around in 1920’s and early 30’s – ‘the Bulldog Drummond stories follow Captain Hugh ‘Bulldog’ Drummond, D.S.O., M.C., a wealthy former WWI officer of the fictional His Majesty’s Royal Loamshire Regiment, who, after the First World War, spends his new-found leisure time as a private detective.’  There were as many of 25-30 stories printed, produced as plays and some movies.




WX8679 Alfred Ernest Foch (Alf) L/Corp – London Born Foch naturally earned his
nickname   – ‘Marshall’ Foch!
His last known address was Widgiemultha.
Foch joined ‘B’ Coy 7 Platoon under C.O. Lt Dean.
Foch was sent to work on Burma-Thai Railway with ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion.on the Burma end of the railway.
He was recovered from Thailand at the end of the war, was flown to Singapore and hospitalised before sailing home on hospital ship ‘Koroa’.  RTA
WX9202 Ronald Keith Gregory (Ron) – born Kalgoorlie 1910  was with 2/4th’s ‘A’ Coy 5 Platoon.  He  left Singapore with ‘F’ Force.Was recovered from Changi, Singapore at the end of the war.  Please read about ‘F’ Force Thailand.
He was recovered from Thailand at the end of the war.


John & Ron Gregory


Rons’s older brother John (Jack) Gregory WX8674 died of cholera 1/6/1943 Shimo (Lower) Sonkurai aged 39 years.  The brothers were working here at the same time having left Singapore with F’ Force Thailand  John’s death to cholera would have been huge shock for Ronald.
Jack Gregory enlisted one week before brother Ron, with John in ‘B’ Coy 7 Platoon and Ron in ‘A’ Company 6 Platoon.  The brothers were however together in Singapore at Selarang Camp and Barracks before being selected with ‘F’ Force  and sent to Thailand.  We believe the brothers were at Shimo Sonkurai at the same time.  Ron was evacuated to Tanbaya Hospital Camp, in Burma (the hospital camp for ‘F’ Force) where he remained 3 months before being evacuated to Kanchanaburi.


WX8819 Jack Halligan – born Menzies in 1919 joined ‘B’ Coy 9 Platoon.  He tragically lost his life with malaria in Borneo on the Sandakan-Ranau track aged 25 years.  Please read further about the Sandakan story.
WX8807 William Arthur ‘Bill’ Halligan  Cpl- brother to Jack was born 1918 at Geraldton.   Bill joined ‘B’ Coy 7 Platoon.  Was sent to work on the Railway at the Hellfire Pass Cutting with ‘D’ Force Thailand S Battalion.  Bill survived to be recovered from Nacompaton Camp, Thailand at the end of the war.  RTA

Above:  Three Halligan brothers – L-R Bill, Jim KIA Crete and Jack


WX8733 Henry Ralph Harrison (Harry) –  born Perth 1916.
Joined Headquarters Company No. 2 Platoon, Anti Aircraft under C.O. Lt Royce.
Was sent to work Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand V Battalion.   15 Sep 1943 27 years.
It is believed Harry and his brother Thomas were adopted and they ‘kept’ their parents who were both blind.  Adopted father Arthur Ellis’s blindness was caused during his service in WW1.
WX8570 Huia Albert Jackson – New Zealand born Jackson remained in Singapore throughout the war and was recovered from Changi, Singapore.  RTA

Jackson joined ‘B’ Coy Headquarters under C.O. Capt Bunning who also remained in Singapore throughout the war and was involved in the ‘Garden Party’.
Jackson was born 1905 Foxton, New Zealand enlisted 23 Oct 1940 and later joined ‘B’ Company Headquarters as a motorcycle orderly. He remained in Singapore throughout the war – he was involved in the ‘Garden Party’ at Changi.
WX8813 Thomas Marshall ‘Snake’ Jackson L/Cpl – born Dwellingup 1916  joined ‘B’ Coy 8 Platoon as a driver.  He left Singapore to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ force Thailand, T Battalion.  Jackson was recovered from Saigon, French Indo-China when war ended as were Ron Badock and Jack Wheelock.  The three men were also in ‘B’ Coy 8 Platoon.  RTA

Please read further about 8 Platoon


WX8767 Percival Henry Charles (Perce) Lakeman – Collie born Lakeman left Singapore to work on the Hellfire Pass region with ‘D’ Force Thailand S Battalion.
Perce joined ‘D’ Coy 14 Platoon under CO Lt Tomkins.
Born in 1898  Bunbury ‘Perce’ was the only son of Henry Lakeman and Alice Beatrice Camp.  He had two sisters Mabel and Gladys.
Lakeman would have changed his birth year to later than 1898 to comply with the AIF age restrictions.
Perce  died of malaria 20 June 1943 at Kanu I River Camp Thailand, aged 44 years.
WX8760 Thomas Membury McMahon (Tom or Blue) – born 1920 Loxton SA,  joined ‘A’ Coy, 5 Platoon under C.O. Lt Walton.    Left Singapore with the first work Force to leave Singapore, ‘A’ Force Burma Green Force No. 3 Battalion to work on the Burma end of the Railway.
McMahon survived his time on the Burma-Thai Railway and was selected fit to work in Japan.
He lost his life when his POW transport ship ‘Rakuyo’ Maru was sunk by American Submarines.
He survived 2 days in the water before succumbing to the elements. (this information would have been confirmed by survivors)
WX8749 Archie Gerald Newell – born 1905 England.  He joined ‘B’ Coy 9 Platoon under C.O. Lt Lee.  Worked Burma -Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand S Battalion around the Hellfire Pass Cutting.  Was Selected fit by Japanese. to work in Japan sailing with ‘Byoki’ Maru Party. Recovered from Niihama Copper Mine, Japan.
Please read further about the ‘Byoki’ Maru which sailed to Japan in 1944.
Newell was recovered from Niihama, Japan at the end of the war.




WX8777 SANDERSON, John William (known as Jack) Cpl b. Morgan 1907.  
Jack was a good mate to Ron Badock.
He was an original member of No. 7 Platoon. When Sergeant N. J. Harris was evacuated to hospital, Sergeant K. D. Tucker was promoted to Senior Sergeant and Corporal J. W. Sanderson was promoted to Sergeant and transferred to No. 9 Platoon. This NCO was a highly thought of ‘B’ Company member.
He was selected with ‘D’ Force S Battalion to work on the Burma Thai Railway.  This work party included the largest number of men from 2/4th as did ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force.  He succumbed to illness and died at Tarsau Camp July 1943.
He joined ‘B’ Coy promoted to Corporal and moved to 9 Platoon.
Jack Sanderson played 19 games with West Perth Football team in 1930-31.
Jack was a travelling salesman for Sandovers, travelling from Wiluna to Esperance. He was a big man weighing nearly 15 stone but weighed less than half at death.
WX8809 Richard Henry ‘Dick’ Sandilands Sgt– born 1913 Perth.  Joined ‘B’ Company, 8 Platoon.  He was Platoon Sergeant to C.O. Lt MacKinnon.   Wounded during the withdrawal  action on West Mandai Road, Sandilands was  paralysed from the waist down.  He died soon after on 11 Feb 1942, aged 43 years.

Please go to story of ‘Jocka’ Skelton to read details of Platoon 8’s actions  during the battle for Singapore.
Tragically his death was one of several from Platoon 8 on that day – Raymond Carruthers, Don Day and Robert Smith also lost their lives.
Please read 2021 Fall of Singapore Service


WX8376 Robert Leighton ‘Bob’ Smith –  born 1908 Norseman.  Joined ‘B’ Coy 8 Platoon.  KIA West Mandai Hill Hill 11 Feb 1942, 33 years.  See above.


WX8731 Thomas Ernst ‘Tom’ SMITH –  Born Norseman 1912 is younger brother to Bob.
Tom sailed to North Borneo with ‘E’ Force Borneo.
Tom died of illness at Sandakan on 18 Dec 1944 aged 32 years.
He had joined ‘B’ Coy 8 Platoon under C.O. Lt MacKinnon as a section orderly.
Please read the story of the Smith brothers from Norseman
WX87398 William ‘Bill’ Struthers – was  born 1907 Leslie, Scotland.  He joined Headquarters Coy as a Driver.  Bill left Singapore with ‘D’ Force Thailand, V Battalion.  He was recovered Ubon Camp, Thailand. RTA



WX8765 John Warren-Smith – Sent to work on the Burma-Thai Railway he died of illness Prachaub Kirikhan, Thailand 17 July 1945 47 years just a month short of the end of the war.

Jack was good mates with Archie Newell and pre-war with Tom Buscombe.
Archie Newell, Tom Buscombe and Jack W-Smith were in ‘B’ Company No 9 Platoon.
John was prospecting and living at Norseman when he enlisted. He apparently was about 3 years with 10th Light Horse Reserves 1933-1936 before joining 2/4th in October 1940.  His recorded NOK was initially Mr M.J. Coyle, Norseman and then changed to Constance Smith, Friend from Mosman Park.


WX8699 Cyril Bernard Thackrah – English born Thackrah left Singapore with ‘F’ Force.  He died at Tambaya Hospital Camp, Burma of dysentery and malaria on 19 Sep 1943 aged 40 years.

Thackrah known as ‘Barney’ was AWOL from ‘Aquitania’ when anchored at Gauge Roads off Fremantle on 15th January 1942, however  managed to get back on-board next morning at 9.00am.  He was find 40/- (Shillings).
Barney was selected with ‘F’ Force Thailand to work on the Burma-Thai railway

Please read the story of ‘F’ Force Thailand.

F Force left Singapore by rail 16 April 1943 lower Thailand.  The POWs then marched from between 18-25 days until they reached their destination about 16 May, to their first destination Lower Sonkurai.
Barney died at Tanbaya Camp of dysentery and malaria on 19 September 1943 aged 40 years.
Funeral service by Chaplain Duckworth (British Army) on 15.11.1943.
Barney Thackrah was last recorded residing Norseman where he was working as a tool sharpener before enlisting AIF 23 Oct 1940. He later joined 2/4th MGB’s HQ Coy, No. 2 Platoon Anti-Aircraft  and promoted to Corporal on 14 Feb 1942.  He was one of four Corporals under Commanding Officer Lt. Royce.
Barney sailed from Southampton, England 3 July 1926 aged 23 years for WA on board the ‘Majestic’ he was recorded as being clerk.
In 1931 Electoral Roll Barney and Dudley are both recorded working as labourers at Woodanilling not far from Katanning.
In 1936 and 1937  Electoral Rolls Barney was recorded working as truck driver at Laverton.


Rakuyo Maru Party –
Alex Drummond departed Java on 14 October 1942 and   From here he was selected to work in Japan with the ‘Rakuyo’ Maru Party.
Initially the group were to depart for Japan via Saigon.  They remained in Saigon working mostly on the docks for several weeks.  The Japanese then decided it had become impossible to use this port which had been successfully blockaded by American submarines resulting in large numbers of Japanese shipping being sunk.   The POWs were now entrained and sent to Singapore via Bangkok to await a ship.
The ‘Rakuyo’ Maru was sunk by Allied submarines in the South China Sea. Very few POWs survived long enough to be picked up by the Americans.
WX8753  Jack Logan Wheelock – recovered Saigon, French Indo-China.  He joined ‘B’ Company 8 Platoon

Jack and his brothers were talented sportsmen throughout their younger lives in Carnarvon. Jack did very well at rifle shooting, football, cycling, swimming and cricket. It seems there was no sport he was not able to participate well. From working at Carnarvon Newspapers, Jack moved south to Perth before taking up a position at Norseman.
WX8706 James ‘Jim’ Wilkie – Scottish born Wilkie joined Headquarter Coy No. 2 Platoon. He  perished 17 May 1945 at Sandakan, North Borneo with ‘E’ Force.  He was 36 years old. He had previously been in Carnarvon where he tried to carve out a plantation.
His photo is above taken with Jimmy Hall and Blaschek.


**WX8818 Edward. J ‘Ted’ Keating – was not part of 2/4th but lost his life in the Japanese crack down on POWs of ‘E’ Force Borneo at Sandakan.  He was shipped to Kutching to await trials with many others including Alf Stevens from 2/4th.nTed died while awaiting trial at Kutching for his involvement of the illegal radio. (he had been savagely beaten).   Please read further about the trials

A tall, big man, Ted created a memorable moment when he ran down the railway platform carrying a 5 gallon keg of beer on his shoulder to the train moving out of Kalgoorlie. (the men had drunk the train dry since departing Norseman).
Wonder what sort of condition the enlistments were in when they arrived at their destination?
Please read further
Further 2/4th enlistments from Norseman NOT included in the above List:


WX8856 PEARCE, Harry Walter– Harry enlisted AIF 23 Oct 1940 and later joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘C’ Company, No. 11 Platoon under Command of Lt. Boyle.
He had been residing at Mathesons, Fuller Street, Norseman working as a miner.  He was one of three sons and one daughter born to Harry Arnell Pearce and Ellen Ada Pearce, of Beaconsfield.
Harry didn’t make it back to his ship ‘Aquitania’ before she sailed for Singapore midday of 16 Jan 1942.  He was one of 88 2/4th men who was landed at Java and taken POW  8 Mar 1942.
Harry sailed from Java to work on the Burma end of the Railway.
 Please read about ‘A’Force, Java Party No. 4 Williams Force
Tragically he was also selected with ‘Rakuyo’ Maru Party and lost his life in the South China Sea in Sep1944 age 30 years when his POW transport ship was sunk by American submarines.


WX8734 RYAN, Cornelius known as Con b. 1913 Victoria Park enlisted 23 Oct 1940 and later joined ‘B’ Coy 8 Platoon as a rangetaker.

We know Ryan was working at Norseman for several years.  His name was frequently mentioned playing football.
He also played in the 2/4th team.
Ryan left Singapore to work on Burma-Thai Railway with D’ Force Thailand S Battalion.  At Tarsau he contracted malaria.  He remained behind to work on the barge landing.  He was working at Bangkok on the go-downs when the war ended.  Working at Bangkok on the wharves was highly dangerous – the area was frequently subjected to Allied boing raids. POWs were killed and or injured.
Below:  Cricket Norseman – Ron Badock and Wheelock are mentioned.


Below:  Football August 1938 Con Ryan is Captain of Tigers, Badock in in his team.


39’s Player Awards include Fairest & Best: Badock

Best Training Member:  Con Ryan


Norseman-Esperance News (WA : 1936 – 1954), Thursday 13 June 1940, page 6

Players mentioned Ryan, Badock, Wheelock.