At Liberation listed as Lance Corporal
Walter Ernest Francis O’Hara
Born - 1917/12/12, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
by the late Arthur Lane
'I knew Walter very well, I was a young old soldier, three years younger than him and had been in the army six years when he arrived in Singapore in November 1940, He came as a duty man (A private soldier) and fancied his hand at becoming a musician, unfortunately he could not read music so he was put in the drum section where I was serving as a drummer. In other words, a purveyor of music via bugle fife and drum. Walter was not very musically minded and was given a Timpani side drum to learn to play.
If there are any photographs of him he would stand out. Being a tall lad he stood out above the rest of the section. He was referred to as 'Canada' by everyone. Being tall and not English, there were many who tried to take the mickey. He took all their jokes and sarcasm’s without blinking an eye lash, he never ever retaliated aggressively. I have been in his company on many occasions but I don’t think I ever saw him drink beer or alcohol. He trained as a machine gunner in my group 16 platoon and the last time I saw or spoke to him was in January 42 as I was heading off to Gemas in Malaysia. I had lost my night glasses and he loaned me his.
In August 1995 I received a message from the Manchester Regiment OCA informing me that Walter had been in contact and was trying to obtain some regimental regalia. Unfortunately he never called back or left an address.'
WO 417/40 - 15/02/1942, Reported to War Office Casualty Section for the 24 hours ending at 09:00. as Missing
WO417/96_1 - Casualty List No. 1837. Previously shown on Casualty List No. 778 as posted Missing 15/02/1942, Now a Prisoner of War
1942/02/15 - Captured Singapore
PoW No. II 1468
1942/05 - M.I.B.
1942/07 - Taniong Rhu
Japanese Index Card - Side One
Japanese Index Card - Side Two
1943/04/20 - Overland to Thailand in ‘F’ Force
New PoW No. 8195
1943/04 - No 2 Camp (Songkurai, Thailand)
1943/09 - Tanbaya (Burma) - Hospital Camp
1944/02 - Kanchanaburi (Thailand)
1944/07 - Singapore
Now listed as Lance Corporal
1945/09/05 - Liberated Changi, Singapore
WO417/99, 1945/11/19 - Casualty List No. 1914. Previously reported on Casualty List No. 1837 as Prisoner of War now Not Prisoner of War. Previous Theatre of War, Malaya.
Upon his return to Canada in 1946 Walter signed up with the RCA later to volunteer & serve in the Korean War with the 2nd Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery.
Walter served 32 years in the British/Canadian Army. He later worked at the carpentry shops at the University of New Brunswick until his final retirement at age 65.
5th April 1996
Buried Forest Hill Cemetery, Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Maureen - Walter's daughter
KEW:- WO 392/25, WO 345/38, WO 361/1948, WO 361/2062, WO 361/2229, WO 367/3, WO 361/2201, WO 361/2070, WO 361/2229,