Harold Edward (Tony) Saw

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Harold Edward (Tony) Saw
Saw Harold Edward.jpg
Photo of Harold in Light Horse Uniform
Personal Information
Date of Birth 20 Sep 1918
Place of Birth Perth, Western Australia
Death 3 Dec 2002, aged 84.
Place of Death Shoalwater Bay, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 22 years, 1 month
Description 5'8" (1.73m) tall ; ; fair complexion ; brown eyes ; fair hair
Occupation Truck driver
Religion Congregational
Address Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Harold Thomas Saw
Military Information
Reg Number WX9045
Date of Enlistment 25 Oct 1940
Rank Lance Sergeant
Unit/Formation 2/4th Australian Machine Gun Battalion, 'A' Company
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 30 Dec 1941 ‒ 24 Jan 1941
Transport Details HMT Aquitania Darwin to Singapore via Port Moresby, Sydney & Fremantle
Transport Details railway Singapore to Thailand
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 30 Aug 1945
Transport Details aircraft Thailand to Singapore
Journey Dates 24 Sep 1945 ‒ 26 Sep 1945
Transport Details plane Singapore to Brisbane via Labuan & Morotai
Post War Details
Fate POW 1942 Singapore
Returned to Australia
External Monument(s) The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial Ballarat, Victoria
Medals 1939-45 Star
Pacific Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

During 1941 Harold married Alma Maude Cox (nee Johnson).They divorced in November 1946.

War Service

Undertook his medical examination successfully on 21 Jun 1940, but did not enlist at the Claremont Recruit Reception depot until 25 Oct 1940. On 15 Nov 1940 he was appointed temporary Lance Corporal at Claremont before being transferred on 28 Nov 1940 to the No. 3 Depot Battalion at Northam camp, where he was quickly taken on by the 2/4th Australian Machine Gun Battalion on 5 Dec 1940 and allocated to 'A' Company.

On 24 Jan 1941 Harold was promoted to Acting Corporal. Along with the rest of the battalion he enjoyed leave from 1 - 8 Jul 1941 before boarding the HMT Duntroon for Adelaide on 21 Jul 1941, disembarking in Adelaide four days later. After training in the Adelaide foothills the battalion left for Darwin on 11 Oct 1941, arriving there on 19 Oct 1941, and on 6 Nov 1941 he was appointed Acting Lance Sergeant.

On 30 Dec 1941 along with the rest of the battalion, he boarded the HMT Aquitania, ostensibly for Port Moresby where they expected to join an escorted convoy for Singapore. With Japanese activity now just to the north of Papua / New Guinea, they instead took the long way round, via Sydney and Fremantle. On arrival in Singapore the unit was split up and sent to various parts of the island to prepare for the Japanese attack. On 29 Jan 1942 Edward was confirmed as a Corporal, although still acting as a Lance Sergeant. By 15 February the surrender of Singapore had occurred and Edward like most of his unit was a Prisoner of War. While authorities assumed that he was a POW, this status was confirmed on 30 Aug 1943. He had two POW Numbers during his incarceration, 4/4752 in Singapore, and 8723 as part of D Force Thailand's S Battalion. During his time as a POW Tony was at times located in the following camps: Adam Park Camp - Singapore; Johore Bahru, - Malaya; Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore; Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore; Sime Road Camp - Singapore; Hintok, 154k - Thailand; Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand; Nakom Nayok, Nakhon Nayok - Thailand; Nikhe Wood Camp, Ni Thea, 131 Kilo, 284k - Thailand; and Tamuang, Tha Muang 39k - Thailand.

Recovered from his capturers on 29 Aug 1945, Harold was repatriated from Thailand to Singapore by aircraft. A month later on 24 Sep 1945 he was flown from Singapore to Brisbane via Labuan, and Morotai, arriving on 26 Sep 1945. On 30 Sep 1945 he caught the overnight train from Brisbane to Sydney, and on 2 Oct 1945 he boarded a troop train in Sydney for Perth via Melbourne, arriving on 6 Oct 1945.

On arrival he was sent to the 110th Australian Base Hospital Perth (Hollywood Repatriation Hospital in later years). Given some leave, he entered the hospital again on 8 Nov 1945, and a week later he was released to the 109th Australian Convalescent Depot at Point Walter. On 5 Dec 1945 he was well enough to be discharged.

5 Pl A Coy -Tony front row 6th from right

Harold's entry on the The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial wall in Ballaratt, Victoria

Post War

Following his divorce in 1946, Tony married Jean Mary McCormack in 1947. Jean was born Capel about 1915 and died in 2008.

Electoral Roll entries: 1954 - 1972 at 19 Fifth road, Armadale, labourer; 1977 - 1980 at 34 Second avenue, Shoalwater, butcher


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