Photos

Identification

AWM_REL31910.jpg
Typical small rectangular Aluminium metal identity badge with a large safety pin on the reverse for attachment. The badge has been engraved on the front with an irregular rectangular border which has been roughly subdivided into three parts. The top left division is engraved with a Japanese character for 'AUSTRALIAN' and the top right division contains an engraved Japanese character, coloured red, for 'SENIOR OFFICER'. Underneath this, is a piece of adhesive cloth tape with the number '29325' written in black ink. The reverse of the badge is engraved 'LT. D.JUNOR NX71145'. The Pioneers were issued with similar identification tags made out of wood to be suspended from their belt. AWM id no. REL31910

NAOA_VX39726-D1.jpg
Typical Japanese record of prisoner of war (see below photo for back of record). This one is for 31081 (VX39726) Sergeant Terence Michael Croft. id no. NAOA_VX39726-D1

NAOA_VX39726-D2.jpg
Typical Japanese record of prisoner of war (see above photo for front of record). This one is for 31081 (VX39726) Sergeant Terence Michael Croft. id no. NAOA_VX39726-D2


Torture

AWM_030391/08.jpg
Informal group portrait of Australian officers who had been subjected to torture by the Kenpeitai (Japanese Military Police) in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain matters of military importance. The image was taken at the Bicycle Camp the day after their release from the Kenpeitai. Identified from left to right: Lieutenant Colonel J M. Williams, Commanding Officer, 2/2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion; Lieutenant Mullens, 2/2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion; Captain S J Handasyde, 2/2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion; and Flying Officer J Alderton, RAAF. The men had been subjected to up to 40 days of continuous torture. AWM id no. 030391/08

AWM_030391/04.jpg
Informal portrait of Captain (Capt) Stewart John Handasyde, 2/2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion, in the Officers' Compound, Bicycle Camp. Capt Handasyde had just been returned to the camp from the hands of the Kenpeitai (Japanese Military Police) who had tortured him for 40 days in an endeavour to obtain from him matters of military importance to the Japanese. One of their methods of torture was to place pieces of bamboo between his fingers, drawing them backwards and forwards until the flesh burned to the bone. Despite such brutal treatment the Japanese were not successful in gaining any information. AWM id no. 030391/04

AWM_030391/05.jpg
Informal portrait of Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) J M Williams, Commanding Officer, 2/2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion, in the Officers' Compound, Bicycle Camp. Lt Col Williams had just been returned to the camp after having been subjected to torture for 30 days by the Kenpeitai (Japanese Military Police) in an attempt to obtain from him matters of military importance. Persistent refusal to capitulate to the Japanese inquisitors was met by such treatment as poisoned food which brought on excessive vomiting and filling the stomach with water and being jumped on. On one occasion he was taken out before a firing squad. He was humiliated by being imprisoned with native prisoners and allowed only an occasional wash, but was not permitted to shave. AWM id no. 030391/05

AWM_030391/10.jpg
Informal portrait of Lieutenant Colonel J M Williams, Commanding Officer, 2/2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion,in the Officers' Compound at the Bicycle Camp after his release from the Kenpeitai (Japanese Military Police). He is shown with the beard which grew while in captivity as a result of not being permitted to shave. AWM id no. 030391/10

AWM_030391/11.jpg
Informal portrait of Lieutenant Colonel J M Williams, Commanding Officer, 2/2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion, in the Officers' Compound at the Bicycle Camp. Colonel Williams has removed the beard which grew while he was in the hands of the Kenpeitai (Japanese Military Police). He was tortured for 30 days and was humiliatiated by not being allowed to shave and only occasionally allowed to wash. AWM id no. 030391/11

AWM_030391/06.jpg
Informal portrait of Lieutenant (Lt) Mullens, 2/2nd Australian Pioneer Battalion, in the Officers' Compound, Bicycle Camp. Lt Mullens has just returned to the camp after being subjected to torture for nine days by the Kenpeitai (Japanese Military Police) in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain military information. AWM id no. 030391/06


Japan

AWM_REL/01823.jpg
NX48180 Private Stanley Herron was born in England, in 1914, and later immigrated to Australia. He enlisted for service in the Second World War in Sydney on 24 September 1941 and served first with 2/19 Battalion. The battalion was posted to Malaya with 8th Division, and Herron later transferred to 2/20 Battalion. He escaped from Singapore on a Chinese boat shortly before the surrender to the Japanese and reached Java, where he joined an Australian-bound ship. It was bombed by the Japanese and Herron ended up in a lifeboat. After drifting for five days he landed on Java again. He escaped to the hills and joined a guerrilla group but was forced to surrender to the Japanese when they threatened wholesale killing of the local villagers. He was taken to Singapore and then sent to work on the Burma-Thailand railway. He avoided a double amputation of his feet, due to tropical ulcers, after doctors applied maggots to clean them out, and subsequently returned to Changi. He was sent by sea to work in the coal mines in the mountains of Japan and it was here that he was issued with the calico undershirt. Herron did not wear the shirt but kept it under the floorboards taking it out for fellow prisoners to sign in indelible pencil. The shirt eventually had about 200 names on it, some of them added immediately after his release, before he was repatriated to Australia. The signatures include those of fellow 8th Division prisoners of war and those of survivors from HMAS Perth and USS Houston who were sunk in Sunda Strait in 1942. The cartoon about the cook refers to Herron's experience as a cook in the mines. Herron was discharged from the army on 3 December 1945. His wife Betty embroidered over the names after the war when she noticed that the pencilled signatures and addresses were fading. Before she donated the shirt to the Australian War Memorial she realised that her husband, who had died in 1967, has never signed the shirt, so she had his name machine embroidered on the left sleeve. The names of the following Australians have been identified on the shirt: VX45260 Corporal Ian James Cameron, 2/29 Battalion; QX14696 Warrant Officer Class Two John Michael Collins, 2/10 Field Regiment; NX72294 Sapper Robert Davis, 2/12 Field Company; B3093 Able Seaman Charles Arthur Goodchap, HMAS PERTH; QX13325 Gunner Charles Edward Helmhold, 2/10 Field Regiment; NX49013 Sergeant Colville Duffy, 2/20 Battalion; NX26885 Driver Vincent Joseph Augustine Leonard, 2/30 Battalion; VX56830 Private William Douglas Rhook, 2/2 Pioneer Battalion; WX7355 Sapper Harry Roy Ribbins, 2/6 RAE; NX25602 Driver James Hynd Richardson, AASC; QX14246 Signalman Robert Francis Rolfe, 8 Corps of Signals; VX47141 Private Harry Victor Rooke, 2/29 Battalion; NX42406 Sapper Thomas Sisson, 2/12 Field Company; NX37543 Lance Sergeant Oswald Victor Skinner, 2/30 Battalion; VX56184 Private Kenneth James Swanson, 2/2 Pioneer Battalion; VX24166 Private Kenneth Cicil Tingate, 2/29 Battalion; VX34519 Corporal Richard Lloyd Trewin, 2/2 Pioneer Battalion; NX58037 Sergeant Ronald Lawrence Tulloch, Headquarters 8 Division; NX49365 Private Donald Leo Walker, 2/18 Battalion; NX28436 Gunner Kenneth William Wills, 2/15 Battalion; NX33605 Signalman Noel Frederick Adamson, 8 Corps of Signals; NX72557 Private Frederick James Asser, 2/19 INF; NX67807 Sapper Noel Robert Baker, 2/12 Field Company; VX55245 Private Frederick James Barnstable, 2/2 Australian Pioneer Battalion; VX61315 Private George Gregory Beavis, 4 Australian RES MT; NX65921 Corporal Frederick Joseph Bentley, 2/6 Field Company; NX59568 Sapper Stanley Charles Booth, 2/6 Field Company; NX35494 Driver Stanley Brodie Cannon, 2/19 Battalion; S5930 Able Seaman Francis Charles Chattaway, HMAS PERTH; VX47817 Corporal Charles Edward Clark, 2/29 Battalion; NX45053 Private John Arthur Cooper, 2/19 Battalion; 22886 Able Seaman Ronald Frederick Crick, HMAS PERTH; NX35317 Private Robert Henry Darling, 2/19 Battalion; QX15584 Gunner Victor Robert James Draney, 2/10 Field Regiment; NX66461 Sapper Duncan Campbell Ferguson, 2/6 Field Company; VX19538 Corporal William Finch, 2/2 Australian Pioneer Battalion; NX23295 Private Fred Gilbert, 2/18 Battalion; VX56017 Private Richard Gill, 2/2 Pioneer Battalion; QX10431 Lance Corporal Robert Leslie Gourley, 2/26 Battalion; NX48180 Private Stanley Heron, 2/20 Battalion; NX54516 Sapper Arthur George Holloman, 2/12 Field Company; NX4734 Driver William Thomas Hudson, 105 General Transport Company; NX29972 Corporal John Robert Israel, 2/18 Battalion; NX26566 Gunner Eric John Jenner, 2/15 Field Regiment; NX69341 Driver William Killian, 2/3 Reserve M T Company; NX30981 Gunner Timothy Bayton Lee, 2/15 Field Regiment; WX16572 Private Neil Ormiston Macpherson, 2/2 Pioneer Battalion; VX45047 Corporal Ernest Marson, 2/2 Pioneer Battalion; WX13285 Private Jack Maude, 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion; NX71593 Driver James Patrich McCraw, 2/3 MT; VX38580 Gunner Keith Ross McKenzie, 4 Anti Tank Regiment; NX31833 Lance Corporal John Harold McQuire, 2/12 Field Company; NX52577 Private John Stevenson Meek, 2/20 Battalion; VX22505 Private Michael Norton, 2/2 Pioneer Battalion; VX19734 Corporal William George Nutt, 2/2 Pioneer Battalion; NX16288 Sapper Thomas Victor Phillips, 2/6 Field Company; QX12254 Private George Albert Pill, 2/26 Battalion; VX23691 Lance Sergeant William John Reilly, 2/2 Pioneer Battalion; VX8241 Private William Alfred Simpkins, 2/2 Pioneer Battalion. AWM id no. REL/01823


Miscellaneous

AWM_RELSLASH11885.jpg
Bandoeng, Java. 1942. Handwritten Nominal Roll commemorating members of 2/2 Pioneer Battalion who were taken prisoner of war by the Japanese at Java in March 1942. The roll is written on a fringed rectangle of brown canvas kitbag and shows the colour patch of the unit within a laurel wreath, a rising sun badge over 'AIF' and : '2'2ND PIONEERS/LT COL DUNLOP COMMANDING POW/BANDOENG, JAVA 1942' within handpainted coloured ribbons. The second half of the kitbag is divided into four columns for 9, 10, 11 and 12 sections respectively and lists the following names: SGT KL YOUNG; WO F PHILLIPS; SGT AE MONTEFIORE; CPL SHANNON; CPL POULTON; CPL ROBERTS; PTE CREER; LCPL PRITCHARD; CPL ANDERSON; PTE HAYES; PTE CREER; PTE BLYTON; PTE TOOMEY; PTE DUB SMITH (10 PLATOON); PTE ALEXANDER; PTE KRYGGER; PTE NOBLE; PTE ARMSTRONG; PTE HEARD; PTE CARPENTER; PTE QUINN; PTE OLDHAM; PTE JENSEN; PTE RATTEN; PTE SMITH; PTE OLDHAM; PTE STILLEY; PTE BULMER; PTE SORLEY; PTE BELL; PTE DURKIN; PTE VANDERVORD; PTE FORREST; PTE CASEY; PTE REYNOLDS; PTE WAITE; PTE SIPTHORPE; PTE MARTIN; PTE SMITH; PTE DARGAVILLE; PTE TULLY; PTE MARSH; PTE BATTEN; PTE FRASER; PTE STOKES; PTE BAKER; PTE HAY; PTE GAZZARD; PTE STOKES; PTE CLEMENTS; PTE MERRITT; PTE GLYNN; PTE McLEOD; PTE DOUGLAS; PTE FRANKLIN. At the time that the roll was made the POWs were under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Edward 'Weary' Dunlop. The maker of the roll, VX27889 Private Charles Edward Hay, died from dysentery in Thailand on 20 May 1943. The roll was returned to Australia at the end of the war with repatriated members of the 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion and donated to the Australian War Memorial. Some names are not 2/2 Pioneers; being other members of Blackforce. AWM id no. REL/11885

ART28403.036.jpg
Burma Railway. 1943-1945. Portrait of VX15670 Captain Stewart John Handasyde, 2/2 Pioneer Battalion, 2 AIF, of 267 Church Street. The artist, Jim Collins, was a member of A Force, one of the work parties forced to construct the Burma-Thailand Railway. By the beginning of 1943 many prisoners had died and it was clear to their senior officer, Brigadier Arthur Varley, that the number of deaths would only increase. Collins was instructed by Varley to draw "portraits of fellow POWs, some of whom would not survive the war." The drawings - almost 100 of them - were done in secret using rudimentary materials provided by Varley. It was intended that the collection be kept together as a reminder of the men who had died and the suffering endured by the survivors. The artist wrote: 'The big majority of the subjects were AIF personnel; the balance being of other Allied POWs in the same area'. AWM id no. ART28403.036

ART28403.046.jpg
Burma Railway. 1944. Portrait of Lieutenant Colonel John Williams, Commanding 2/2 Pioneer Battalion. The artist, Jim Collins, was a member of A Force, one of the work parties forced to construct the Burma-Thailand Railway. By the beginning of 1943 many prisoners had died and it was clear to their senior officer, Brigadier Arthur Varley, that the number of deaths would only increase. Collins was instructed by Varley to draw "portraits of fellow POWs, some of whom would not survive the war." The drawings - almost 100 of them - were done in secret using rudimentary materials provided by Varley. It was intended that the collection be kept together as a reminder of the men who had died and the suffering endured by the survivors. The artist wrote: 'The big majority of the subjects were AIF personnel; the balance being of other Allied POWs in the same area'. AWM id no. ART28403.046