Soldier profiles

Service Number : VX47404
Date of Birth : 15/08/1917
Place of Birth : ELMORE, VIC
Known as : LES
Occupation on Enlistment : PLUMBER
Date of Enlistment : 30/07/1940
Locality on Enlistment : BRUNSWICK, VIC
Place of Enlistment : CAULFIELD, VIC
Next of Kin : MERTON, LYDIA
Rank (at time of discharge / death) : CORPORAL
Service : ARMY
Final Posting : 2/2 PIONEER BATTALION
Position / Platoon / Company (as 2/2 Pioneer) (date / details) :
Unit Transfers / Promotions (date / details) :
Theatres of War : SYRIA, JAVA
Actions :
Wounded (date / details) :
Discharged : 18/01/1946
Date Died : 03/11/1967
Age at Death : 50
Community Roll of Honour : N/A
Buried Location / Memorial (P.O.W., D.O.W., K.I.A.) : N/A
K.I.A. (date / details) : N/A
D.O.W. (date / details) : N/A
M.I.A. (date / details) : N/A
P.O.W. (location/s) : JAVA
Died P.O.W. (date / details) : NO
P.O.W. Camps (details) : THAILAND
Recovered P.O.W. (location/s) : YES
Honours and Gallantry : None for display
Applicable Australian War Memorial circulars : Australian War Memorial B-JAVA-0061 Missing & POW Circular
References found (entries & photos) : National Archives of Australia (Barcode 6130501 [DIGITISED]),   WW2 Nominal Roll,   Australian War Memorial,   Past article (size 598kB),   AWM_PR01405

Background : Son of John Ed Merton and Bridget Bourke. Repatriated to Australia on M.V. Highland Chieftain. Married to Lydia Mary Christina Richards. Father of Dianne Frances Merton (born 28/02/1946 and died 02/03/1946), Joan Shirley Merton and Carole Ellen Merton. Died in Heidelberg, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. AWM has (id PR01405) two Christmas cards sent by VX47404 Corporal Leslie Francis "Les" Merton, of 2/2 Pioneer Battalion, to his wife, Lydia; photograph of Lydia Merton, with personal message on reverse side, sent to Corporal Merton, then at a Japanese Prisoner of War camp in Thailand (undated); personal message to Corporal Merton from wife (undated); copies of each card.

Service & personal summary At enlistment : married. No previous military experience. At discharge : height 5 feet 9 inches, blue eyes, fair complexion, dark brown hair. Marital status : married. Dependent children : 1 16 years & older. Marks / scars : 2 scars left arm, legs scars. Full time war service : A.I.F. 30/07/1940 to 18/01/1946 which included 1999 days active service (99 days within Australia & 1649 days overseas). Operational service : Middle East and Java areas (embarked from Australia 07/04/1941, disembarked in Australia 11/10/1945). War badge no. 290807. Discharge certificate no. 484346.

Service record
30/07/1940 Taken on strength Recruit Reception Depot Caulfield, Victoria.
07/09/1940 Admitted Rehabilitation / Geriatric Hospital Caulfield, Victoria with ear trouble.
04/10/1940 Discharged to Broadmeadows Convalescent Depot, Victoria.
04/10/1940 Admitted Broadmeadows Convalescent Depot, Victoria with earache.
15/10/1940 Discharged for duty.
23/10/1940 Transferred from No.2 Recruit Reception Depot Royal Park, Victoria.
23/10/1940 Transferred to 2/24 Training Battalion Echuca, Victoria.
25/11/1940 Posted from 2/24 Training Battalion to 2/2 Pioneer Battalion Puckapunyal, Seymour, Victoria.
07/04/1941 Embarked Sydney, New South Wales on H.M.S. Queen Mary (H.M.T. N.N.).
24/04/1941 Appointed Lance Corporal.
03/05/1941 Disembarked Middle East.
27/07/1941 Evacuated to 1 Australian General Hospital with dysentery and transferred to X list.
05/08/1941 Discharged 1 Australian General Hospital and transferred to 2/2 Pioneer Training Battalion.
05/08/1941 Marched in.
16/08/1941 Promoted to acting Corporal.
08/09/1941 Taken on strength Headquarters Section Pioneer Training Battalion.
30/12/1941 Rank of Corporal confirmed.
22/01/1942 Transferred to 2/2 Pioneer Battalion.
22/01/1942 Taken on strength from Pioneer Training Battalion.
31/01/1942 Embarked Middle East on S.S. Orcades.
18/02/1942 Disembarked Batavia, Java.
07/03/1942 Reported missing in action, Java.
30/04/1942 Battalion casualty. Reported missing in action, Java and transferred to X list.
31/12/1942 Reported missing in action believed prisoner of war.
04/11/1943 Reported prisoner of war.
08/12/1943 Reported interned Thailand camp and transferred to Thailand camp.
22/12/1943 Reported interned Thailand camp.
13/10/1945 Marched into General Details Depot Watsonia, Victoria from General Details Depot New South Wales Lines of Communication area.
14/12/1945 Admitted 115 Australian General Hospital, Heidelberg, Melbourne, Victoria with haemorrhoids and hookworm.
11/01/1946 Discharged to General Details Depot Watsonia, Victoria.
17/01/1946 Marched out to Australian Military Forces Discharge Depot.
18/01/1946 Discharged Royal Park, Victoria.