To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

Australian Infantry-tn



Norman Edward Thorley


1921/02/27 - Born Narribie, New South Wales, Australia

Occupation Motor Mechanic

1941/04/24 - Enlisted at Paddington, New South Wales

Next of Kin Percy Edgar Thorley

Australian Infantary

2/30 Battalion

Pioneer Platoon




Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt

1941/07/29 - Transported to Singapore in the Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt (HMT FF)

Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt - Arriving Singapore

Australian troops arriving Singapore from Johan Van Oldenbarnevolt

1941/12/08 - Japan invades Malaya

1942/02/15 - Singapore surrenders to Japanese


Japanese PoW

1942/02/15 - Captured Singapore

PoW No. I 12307

Work Parties in Singapore:-

Thomson Road

Mount Pleasant

Caldecott Hill

Bukit Timah

1943/04/22 - Transported overland with ‘F’ Force to Thailand, train 5, Truck 19.

New PoW No. 18297

This is a document of the Transport but note the vertical print:-


The vertical print reads:-

I, the undersigned hereby solemnly swear on my honour that I will not, under any circumstances, attempt escape.





Rank or Position


The route in cattle trucks to Thailand:-

2nd Day - Kuala Lumpur (0300 hrs), had rice and dried fish at Ipoh (1600 hrs)

3rd Day - Reached Pai (0200 hrs), arrived Haadyi (1700 hrs)

4th Day - Water in cattle trucks very short, heat stifling in trucks all day..

5th Day - reached Ban Pong

The PoWs were ordered off the Cattle trucks on arrival and after a walk of nearly a mile to a transit camp where they were then informed they would be marching North West  along the railway route in 14 mile stages. Many of the PoWs tried to sell their possessions to the Thais but not at a good price as the Thais knew the the PoWs from ‘F’ Force were already in bad shape and could not carry their baggage for long.

 After two days of walking through the night, as it was too hot in the daylight sun, they reached the small town of Kanchanaburi. Many who tried to carry their possessions left them at this staging camp.

Walking at night caused many problems as the track was uneven with bamboo shots cutting into their feet, in time tropical ulcers would form.


After two weeks reached Songkurai, many of the PoWs had dropped out along the route.


Work areas:-

Shima Sungkurai

Kami Sungkurai

Transported back to Singapore

1945/08/31 - Liberated

1945/09/05 - On roll at Changi


General Seishiro Itagaki, Japanese Commander of Singapore, would not accept the surrender. Plus it gave him time to cover up all Japanese Atrocities in Singapore. The allied naval landing force 'Operation Tiderace' were delayed as it was still understood the Japanese would dispose of all the PoWs in Singapore if they landed. Mountbatten ordered British paratroopers into Singapore to protect the camps. To many of the PoWs in Singapore, those red berets of the paratroopers were the first signs that the war had ended. All this delayed organising the PoWs. It wasn't till the 12th September that Lord Mountbatten accepted the Japanese surrender at the Municipal Building. Hospital cases were the first to leave Singapore 1945/09/10 on the HMHS Koroa. They were soon followed by Repatriation ships which started reaching the UK about the 15th of October 1945. Why many of the liberated PoWs on these ships had November on their Japanese Index cards, I don't know as in other areas of the Far East, PoWs were marked as Liberated at their PoW camps with the correct date. Unless General Seishiro Itagaki did not make the cards available when the camps were liberated.




1945/10/05 - Transported from Singapore on AHS Manunda

438 PoWs and Internees




1945/10/24 - Arrived Melborne


Post War

1945/12/27 - Discharged






Juanita Van Dam

Andrew Snow - Burma Thailand Railway Centre

Glenda Godfrey

Thailand Burma Railway

Transport Home

2/30 Battalion A.I.F Association

Books worth a read:-

‘Railway of Death’ by John Coast

‘From Shanghai to the Burma Railwy’ - Memoirs of Richard Laird, by Rory Laird

KEW Files:- WO 361/1952, WO 361/2025, WO 361/2229,


''Our Thanks are for being a Chapter in Life.''




Keeping The Candle Burning


Fepow Family

In Memory of FEPOW Family Loved Ones
Designed and Maintained by Ron Taylor.


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Honorary Life Member-1tn

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