Youngs Siding, Bornholm, Torbay, Kronkup, Elleker

2/4th Soldiers from Youngs Siding, Bornholm, Torbay, Kronkup and Elleker area (between Denmark and Albany)




Above:  Bornholm Eleker War Memorial.                                Names of 2/4th boys include Stan Neale, Don Ross & Bill Wolfe.
We believe this area included  large numbers of Group Settlers however there were settlers living there in early 1900’s including the Caimanos family – Elleker.



Above:  Elleker Hall was opened in 1920.

The following information is from WA Heritage Council

‘ Between c1912-1923  the Elleker Hall was one of a group of halls built in the districts established along the Denmark railway line (or Torbay line) which included the original Kronkup Hall (1912), Torbay Hall (1912), Young’s Siding Hall (1923) and Bornholm Hall (now Bornholm Kronkup-Hall 1923).
The halls were all constructed of timber reflecting the importance of the timber industry in this area and the Denmark line which was constructed specifically to service the many timber sawmills in between Albany and Denmark.


Elleker was originally developed as a railway junction on the Torbay line by the Western Australian Land Company, who built the Great Southern Railway which was completed in 1889. It was originally called Lakeside, after Lake Powell. The first hall for the community was built c1895 by local settler, Herbert Hortin, adjacent to his house on his property Springbank and called Hortin’s Hall. In 1896 the Government purchased the railway and gazetted Lakeside in 1899. The Torbay line served the many timber sawmills as well as the many farms that had been established in the West Albany area.’


Please also read about Denmark War Memorial and 2/4th men who enlisted from there.


WX9261 CAIMANOS John ‘Jack’ Nicholas b. Albany 1898 enlisted 30 Oct 1940 into AIF later joined 2/4th’s ‘B’ Coy 7 Platoon.  As a POW in Singapore in 1943 Jack left by train with ‘D’ Force Thailand S Battalion to work on the Burma-Thai Railway at the Hellfire Pass Cutting region.  He was recovered from Thailand at the end of war.

Jack was one about 8 children in the Caimanos family who farmed at Ellker.  The boys were all good cricketers playing for the local team. After the war Jack married and moved to live in South Australia.  He died in 1976.


WX12661 CAKE, William Ernest (Bill) enlisted 9 May 1941, joined ‘A’ Coy.  Went with ‘A’ Force to Burma to work on northern end of Railway with Tom Minchin.  Bill survived sufficiently well enough to be selected ‘fit’ by the Japanese to work in Japan.  Sailed ‘Awa’ Maru Party and worked at Omuta Mine.  He was recovered from here at the
end of the war. 

Please read further about Omuta

Bill was one several children born to parents Ernest Will Cake and Jane Hargarth who had married in 1914.  The Cake family settled at Kronkup (near Albany) farming for many years, and it was from here that Bill enlisted in May 1941 and became a reinforcement to 2/4th, joining ‘A’ Coy No. 6 platoon.
Bill Cake married 1947 at Katanning to Florence Esther Caldwell with Harry Lucas of 2/4th his best man.





WX9222 MINCHIN, Thomas Albert Henry (Tom) was working in the area for several years prior to enlisting with AIF 30 Oct 1940 and later joining 2/4th’s  ‘A’ Coy 5 Platoon as  Driver/Mechanic.  He worked on the Burma-Thai Railway with Bill Cake A’ Force Burma Green Force Battalion No. 3

Tom married local girl Margaret Pearl Whittem.
After the war Tom purchased a farm at Youngs Siding.






WW9260 NEALE, Stanley Edward (Stan) was born Northampton 1914.  He was working around the district of Elleker/Bornholm when he enlisted AIF 30 Oct 1940 later joining 88th Light Aid Detatchment attached to 2/4th.
Neale left Singapore with ‘B’ Force Borneo, which along with ‘E’ Force Borneo men were sent to work on Airfields and support roads in North Borneo.  They all perished except for 6 POWS who miraculously escaped and survived in the Borneo jungle.
Please read about ‘B’ Force Borneo

Neale had been working in the area for a number of years.  We found him listed in the Electoral Rolls at Elleker in and 1936 and 1943.
Stan’s sister Hannah Jemina Nora Neale married George Robert Rouse WX7656 of 2/4th MGB in Northam 1940.  Tragically George was killed 8th February 1942 at Singapore aged 27 years.
Neale was 30 years old when he died at Sandakan (cause was not recorded by Japanese)
WX16426 WOLFE, William John (Bill) enlisted 10 Sep 1941 and joined HQ Company,  Wolfe  also went with ‘A’ Force to Burma to work on the northern end of the railway.
Bill was recovered from Thailand at the end of the war.  His father Richard Wolfe is included in the above newspaper item – the family farmed at Bornholm.
Bill Wolfe married Maureen Goldsmith from same area.
Bill was son of Richard Travers Wolfe (born New Zealand) and Katherine May Leonard who married about 1908 Perth. Bill was the eldest of three sons and two daughters.


WX9253 ROSS, Donald (Don) was born Albany 1913, son of Alexander and Lillian Ross of Bornholm  (situated between Denmark and Albany on the railway line).   Don married Ada Bunker, daughter of George and Annie Bunker of Albany.   Ada’s brother WX9223 Harold Bunker, known as Harry was also a soldier with 2/4th MGB and had a miraculous escape from death, and returned home.  Read further about Harry Bunker.
Studio portrait of WX9253 Private (Pte) Donald Ross 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion, killed in action on 23 May 1945. He was one of over 2000 Allied prisoners of war (POW) held in the Sandakan POW camp in north Borneo, having been transferred there from Singapore as a part of E Force. The 500 Australian and 500 British POWs who made up E Force, left Changi on 28 March 1943, on board the S.S. DeKlerk arriving at Berhala Island (adjacent to Sandakan Harbour) on 15 April 1943. The POWs were held there until 5 June, when they were taken by barge to Sandakan. The next day they were transferred to the 8 Mile Camp, which was about half a mile from the B Force compound. Pte Ross, aged 32, died as a prisoner of the Japanese on 23 May 1945. He was the son of Alexander and Lillian May Ross, and the husband of Ada Annie Ross, of Albany, WA. He is commemorated on the Labuan Memorial Panel 19. (Personal information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database.)
Don Ross enlisted 30 October 19430 and was a Driver with ‘A’ Company as was WX9252 James Shackleton.  Harry Bunker was a rangetaker with ‘A’ Company.
Ross was selected as a POW from Selarang, Changi with ‘E’ Force to work in Borneo.  He died at Sandakan on 23 May 1945 aged 32 years, his death devastated the Ross and Bunker families of Albany. His name is on the Albany War Memorial.
Please read the tragic story of Sandakan