War Memorial with beautiful rural Northampton in the background.
WX15783 CRIPPS David Charles known as ‘Davey’ was born December 1921 Geraldton. He enlisted 13 August 1941 and joined ‘A’ Company HQ. Following the fight for Singapore and Allied Capitulation he was taken POW of Japan. He was interned at Selarang Camp, Singapore however joined work parties around the island before being selected to work on the Burma end of Thai-Burma Railway with ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion. He survived working on the railway and was fortunate not to fall seriously ill. When the railway was completed, all the POWs working in Burma were sent south to Thailand to one of several large camps. Cripps was selected fit from Tamarkan Camp, Thailand to sail to Japan to work.
He lost his life aged 22 years when the ship ‘Rakuyo’ Maru on which he was a POW was hit by torpedoes from an American Submarine ‘wolf pack’ in the South China Sea September 1944. His mate from Northampton, Jimmy Randall also lost his life at the same time. Their Japanese guards left the men to fend for themselves with few if no life boats.
OSBORNE, Eric Francis WX16279 was born 31 August 1922 Perth to Henry Joseph Osborne and Edith Beatrice Ash of Isseka. Sadly, Osborne spent most of his young life in Clontarf Orphanage, Geraldton as his mother died in 1929. He enlisted 1 September 1941 and joined ‘A’ Company HQ with Cripps.
Eric Osborne & Davey Cripps have a family connection. Davey’s young mother Mary Grace Ridley was widowed with young Davey. Widowed Mary remarried about 1927 into another Northampton family – Bertie Ash – an older brother of Edith Beatrice Osborne (nee Ash) – Eric’s mother. Bertie Ash’s young wife died a year or so earlier, leaving him with four young children. Sadly the marriage ended in divorce in 1948.
Tragically Osborne was killed in action 15 February 1942 during the week’s fighting at Singapore. He was very young, only 19 years of age having enlisted the day he turned 19 as so many keen young men did. Please read further.
RANDELL Ernest Edward WX16356 (Jimmy) was born 1908 at Northampton to Edward Harrison and Martha Randall. He married Jessie Oxenham about 1940. Jimmy enlisted 3 Sept 1941 and as a reinforcement joined 2/4th MG Battalion’s ‘A’ Company HQ as did Cripps, Sutherland and Osborne.
Randall left Singapore the first work party to leave – ‘A’ Force Burma Green Force No. 3 Battalion to work on the northern, i.e. Burma end of the railway.
When the rail link was completed by end of 1943, the Japanese began to bring all POWs working in Burma, south to one of several large POW Camps in Thailand. Jimmy was considered ‘fit’ by the Japanese and selected to work in Japan.
Jimmy Randall was 36 years old when he perished with Davey Cripps in the South China Sea following the sinking of ‘Rakuyo’ Maru.
Jimmy’s wife Jessie died 19 June 1980 and is buried at Northampton Cemetery. Jessie and her children highly regarded Jimmy.
SUTHERLAND, Donald Elias WX15967 was born 28 March 1921 Fremantle to William James Alexander and Amelia Georgina Victoria Sutherland. Don enlisted 22 August 1941. He joined 2/4th MG Battalion’s ‘A’ Company HQ with Cripps, Osborne and Randall as reinforcements.
During the battle for Singapore, Don was Killed in Action at Tanglin Halt, Buona Vista, Singapore on 15th February 1942 as was Eric Osborne. He was just 20 years old.
Those who survived and returned to Australia included:
WX15785 CARLYON, William (Bill) b. 1905 around Northampton. Left Singapore by sea to work on the Burma end of the railway with ‘A’ Force Burma Green Force No 3 Battalion. When the rail link was completed the Japanese began moving all POWs in Burma and Thailand to one of few larger Camps in Thailand. If the POWs were sick they were sent to Tamarkan Hospital Camp. In Carlyon’s case he was sent to Chungkai Hospital Camp. From here he was selected to work with the Linson Wood Camp as was Cornell. He was recovered from Nacompaton Hospital Camp when the war ended 15 Aug 1945. Flown to Singapore from Bangkok, Carlyon sailed to Fremantle on Hospital Ship ‘Karoa’.
WX16260 CORNELL, Edward Ainsley (Ted) below. Enlisted Aug 1941 and was with Reinforcements to join 2/4th on board ‘Aquitania’ anchored at Gage Roads, Fremantle on 15 Jan, 1942. Promoted to Lance Corporal 7 Feb 1942 he served with ‘E’ Company, Special Reserve Battalion.
Cornell left Singapore by sea with ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion to work on the Burma end of the Burma-Thai Railway as did Cripps, Randall and Carlyon. It is probable Cornell was sick when the POWs were selected to work in Japan. He remained at Tamarkan, Thailand and was sent on work parties to Linson Wood Camp and Banderra bridge repairs Chao Puraya River from where he was recovered at the end of the war.
Cornell died 24 September 1981 aged 68 years and was buried Northampton Cemetery.
WX20095 McEWEN, William Alexander enlisted AIF 1 Oct 1941 and with Cornell boarded the ‘Aquitania’ at Fremantle on 15 Jan 1942 as reinforcement for 2/4th MGB. He fought in Singapore with ‘E’ Company Special Reserve Battalion.
McEwen sailed from Singapore in 1942 with Cornell and others from Northampton for Burma end of Burma-Thai Railway with ‘A’ Force Burma Green Force No. 3 Battalion.
It appears McEwin was sick when POWs were selected for Japan. He was at Tamarkan Hospital Camp and on recovery was sent with work parties to Petchaburi, Linson Wood Camp and recovered from Nacompaton at the end of war. Carlyon and Cornell were also at Linson Wood Camp.
Known to all as Bill. The McEwen family spent many years at Galena, Northampton where Bill’s father worked at the mines – foreman at Grand Junction Mine.
Bill’s maternal grandfather Alexander Salter died Northampton in 1935 and was buried at the Old Catholic Cemetery, Northampton .
WX9825 McLOUGHLIN, Charles (Peter) b. Northampton 1920 to James Archibald McLoughlin and Violet Minnie Counsel. He enlisted AIF 6 Dec 1940, later joined 2/4th’s ‘C’ Coy 12 Platoon under C.O. Lt Wedge. McLoughlin was left in Fremantle when ‘Aquitania’ sailed from Fremantle 16 January 1942. He was one of about 100 well trained machine gunners who were AWOL and later sailed to Java where they were taken POWs of Japan 8 March 1942. He worked on the Burma Thai Railway with ‘A’ Force Burma, Java Party No. 4 Williams Force.
McLoughlin was recovered from Thailand at the end of the war.
Was born Northampton 24 Jan 1920, the eldest of five sons to parents James Archibald McLoughlin and Violet Minnie Counsel who married Holy Trinity Church Northampton in 1918. Violet was the eldest daughter of Charles Henry Counsel of Northampton.
Violet’s three younger sisters: Ida Mary who married 1921 Northampton to Marshall Walter Clifton. Ida and Marshall resided and died Northampton.
Marion married Edward E Martin and Mabel Agnes Counsel married Allan H. Drage.
Violet McLoughlin returned regularly to Northampton to visit her sisters.
Peter was working at a garage in Midland when he enlisted 6 Dec 1940. He survived to return to Australia.
His brother James Archibald McLaughlin Born 1921, also enlisted and died January 1944 over Germany. His burial place is Charlottenburg, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Berlin, Germany.
WX9554 POWELL, Arthur ‘Lindsay’ Roy (known as Lin) born Northampton July 1918 to Arthur Powell and Clara Evelyn Trenaman from Nanine.
Powell initially joined 11th Battalion Militia prior to enlisting AIF Dec 1940. He later joined Headquarters Company No 3 Platoon. On 2 January 1942 he was promoted to Corporal.
In 1943 Lin Powell departed Singapore by train for the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand ‘V’ Battalion under the leadership of Alf Cough. He was recovered from Pratchai when the war ended. Please read story of ‘V’ Battalion.
Lin Powell’s mother Clara Evelyn Powell, died 13 December 1979 aged 89 years and was buried at Northampton Cemetery.
WX9005 ROGERS, Eric Reginald (known as Buck or Reg) b. Berkshire, England 1905. It is probable Rogers had been working in the Northampton area prior to acquiring land at Mukinbudin. Please read about the Boys from Muckinbudin. He enlisted AIF Oct 1940 and joined 2/4th ‘C’ Company 12 Platoon under Commanding Officer Mick Wedge.
From Singapore Rogers joined with the men from Northampton to sail to the Burma end of the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion.
When the rail was completed towards end of 1943 the Japanese began sending all POWs in Burma and Thailand to one of several large Camps or hospitals in Thailand. Rogers was evacuated to Tamarkan Hospital Camp, then sent in 1944 to Nacompaton Hospital Camp until 30 August 1945 and the end of war.
Returning to WA Rogers returned to his farm at Mukinbudin, where he and his wife had three Children – Hazel, Jim and Betty. Elizabeth and Eric Rogers retired to near Northampton where he died in 1972 aged 67 years. He was buried in Northampton.
Eric died 20 January 1972 aged 67 years and his wife Elizabeth Rogers died 21 June 1991 aged 78 years. Both are buried at Northampton Cemetery.
WX8141 SIMKIN, Ronald Henry b. 22 September 2917 Geraldton to Henry Simkin Annie May Simkin.
Ron enlisted AIF 16 Aug 1940 and later joined 2/4th’s ‘C’ Company Headquarters as a Driver.
Otherwise known as Ron, Simkin returned to Australia and took up farming north of Northampton. He married and had a family.
Ron was the veteran of the Northampton boys.
Simkin left Singapore with the first work party ‘A’ Force Burma Green Force No. 3 Battalion starting at the Burma end of the railway. He was recovered from Thailand at the end of the war.
Ron had a toe on his left foot amputated in 1944.
Ron Simpkin died 2 May 1984 and is buried at Northampton Cemetery. His mother and father are also buried at Northampton.
Below: Rail map. Showing route from Geraldton through Northampton to Ajana.
Below: Ridley and Cripps families.