WX15654 WALKER, Robert Joseph ‘Bob’ of Bellevue (near Midland & Greenmount)


Bob Walker was born Bellevue 1905 and remained residing in the area throughout his life.  Bellevue is east of Midland and Greenmount, 23 km from Perth in the City of Swan.

P100-08. Midland Junction Railway Station viewed from the railway line to the west and looking east to Bellevue and  Perth hills. The Helena Vale Hotel can be seen in the background on the left.

 Bellevue Railway Station facing in a south west direction in 1924. Bellevue Hotel can be seen in the background and demolished 1943.  Now known as Todd Park.
Image: City of Swan Local History Collection
Bob Walker enlisted AIF 6 August 1941 and  was Taken on Strength from Northam to Woodside Camp SA,  5 October 1941.  He became reinforcement to Headquarters Company No. 3 Platoon.
Bob was unable to reboard ‘Aquitania’ by midday of 16th Jan 1942.  He was locked up in Fremantle Prisons with nearly 90 men from 2/4th unable to free themselves.
Please read further about the ‘Aquitania’ incident and the 2/4th men AWOL.
Along with the other men who were AWOL Bob sailed a few weeks later, but landed at Java because Singapore was about to fall.
On 1st Mar 1942, 45,000 Japanese troops landed on Java at four different locations.  The Allied forces on Java were under the leadership of Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) commander General Hein ter Poorten, Dutch Commander-in-Chief – local Dutch Commander  and the appointed commander of land forces in the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command, a short-lived unified command of all Allied forces in South East Asia – to whom Australian Commander Arthur Blackburn was to support and report to.
Dutch East Indies, who within a very short time capitulated to Japan much to the anger of the Australian Force. By about 8th and 9th March  all Allied Forces were taken POWs and incarcerated in various camps around Java.
 Bob was imprisoned at Bicycle Camp where conditions were initially very crowded with  Dutch, British and American POWs.  Within a few months Bicycle Camp became solely for Australian POWs.
Tragically on 5 May 1942, Bob Walker succumbed to dysentery and died aged 36 years.  This Bellevue 2/4th boy’s early death left his young wife widowed, two young sons without a father and grieving parents and family who had probably little knowledge of a country called Java.

Please read further about Bicycle Camp, Java

Bicycle Camp Batavia, 1942-3


After the war, Bob’s body was interred at Jakarta Commonwealth War Cemetery.


Please read further about Bob Walker and his family.