Alfred James Bone
Royal Australian Artillery
A.I.F. 2/10 Field Regt.
Born 14th February 1909 at Brisbane
Wharf Labourer with Waterside Workers Bureau, Brisbane
Enlisted 19th June 1940
At Kelvin Grove, Brisbane Queensland
Embarked Sydney 2nd February 1941
Disembarked at Singapore 18th February 1941
Battle of Malaya starts 28 Nov 1941, Malaya lost to Japanese 31 Jan 1942.
Troops retreat to Singapore1st February 1942.
Fortress Singapore is lost and Surrender Documents signed 15/02/1942.
15th February 1942 became Prisoner of War.
Admitted into Hospital 24th January 1943 with Malaria.
Discharged from Hospital 7th February 1943.
Entrained with ‘F’ Force to Thailand 18th April 1943.
‘F’Force was formed as a working party or POW’s. There were 7000 men, 3662 were Australians the rest were British, they were to help with the building of the Burma/Thailand Railway linking Bangkok and Rangoon. The men were taken from Changi and the first of thirteen trains left Singapore on April 18, 1943. Each train contained approximately 600 men crowded into rice trucks, 28 men to each truck. The last train departed on April 26, 1943. Each train took five days to make the journey, Singapore to Bam Pong, Thailand.
Alfred was sent to the Work Area of SHIMO SONGKURAI (Shimo meaning lower). When he at last went down with his illnesses he was sent to THANBAYA HOSPITAL and it was there he died.
He was firstly buried at THANBAYA CEMEMTERY, Grave number 432.
After the War ended he was reburied in THANBYUZAYAT CEMETERY, where
he is now. A5.A.02.
1,438 Australian men of ‘F’ Force did not return.
12th October 1943
Of Peritonitis, BeriBeri and Dysentry in hospital at Burma
Mrs P Cooper
Dear Mrs Cooper,
QX9663 Gunner Alfred James Bone
It is with very deep regret that I have to inform you on behalf of the Minister for the Army that official information has been received which states that your Brother, QX 9463 Gunner Alfred James Bone, Died of Illness whilst Prisoner of War in Burma on 12th October, 1943.
Realising the shock and grief this announcement will cause you, it is thought preferable to advise you by letter rather than by telegraphic means, and that some explanation is due concerning the receipt of information in respect of Prisoners of War.
Despite repeated representations by the Commonwealth Government to the Japanese Government at Tokyo through neutral sources, it has failed to comply with the terms of the Geneva Convention, one of which provides for the prompt interchange of information regarding Prisoners of War.
It is only during recent months that the Japanese have cabled information to International Red Cross, Geneva, concerning Prisoners of War in certain Camps, and it can only be assumed from the date of death as reported in the cable now to hand, that Japanese broadcast messages, capture cards and earlier particulars furnished to the Geneva Convention have been in possession of the Japanese some considerable time before
It will no doubt be readily understood that the only method of
communication with Japan prior to the cessation of hostilities was through the International Red Cross. Owing, however, to the reluctance of the Japanese to furnish information to the powers who were at war with them, the Commonwealth Government had no means of ascertaining just how long particulars in respect of members of the Australian Military Forces were held at Tokyo before release.
With the profound sympathy of the Minister of the Army
Lt. Co. Officer-in-Charge, Queensland Echelon & Records
Son of Henry James Bone and Elizabeth Bone, of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Brother to Mrs P Cooper
A5. A. 2.
THANBYUZAYAT WAR CEMETERY