William Albert Arthur Parkin

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William Albert Arthur Parkin
Parkin William Albert A.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 3 May 1906
Place of Birth Fremantle, Western Australia
Death 3 Jan 1989 aged 82
Place of Death Albany, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 34 years, 2 months
Occupation orchardist
Religion Roman Catholic
Address Holden road, Roleystone, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Margaret Parkin
Military Information
Reg Number W235580 & WX5020
Date of Enlistment 3 Jan 1940 & 23 Jul 1940
Rank Sergeant
Unit/Formation 8th Australian Division Signals Company
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 10 Feb 1941 ‒ 19 Feb 1941
Transport Details HMT Queen Mary Fremantle to Singapore
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 29 Oct 1945 ‒ 7 Nov 1945
Transport Details HMT Karoa Singapore to Fremantle
Post War Details
Fate POW Malaya
Returned to Australia
Monument(s) Roleystone Roll of Honour
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

Between 1932 and 1939 he spent some time in Victoria working in a news agency before returning to Perth.

War Service

Mobilised into the Militia as a motor transport driver on 3 Jan 1940 at the Claremont Camp for recruits, he was posted to the AASC, classified as a Driver Trade Group 3. On 23 July 1940 he changed his enlistment to the 2nd AIF and was posted to General Reinforcements before transferring to 8th Australian Infantry Division's 2nd Echelong Signals on 31 Jul 1940, joining them at Liverpool in New South Wales on 6 Aug 1940. On 6 Feb 1941 Bill returned to duty having enjoyed pre-embarkation leave at home in Western Australia. He embarked aboard HMT Queen Mary part of Convoy US9 in Fremantle on 10 Feb 1941, disembarking in Singapore on 19 Feb 1941. They then moved to Kuala Lumpur.

On 27 Feb 1941 Bill was admitted to the Alexandria Hospital with Bronchitis, returning to his unit on 17 Apr 1941. On 19 Apr 1941 he was granted convalescent leave, returning to his unit on 26 Apr 1941. Bill was admitted to the 2/10th Australian General Hospital on 22 Jul 1941, returning to his unit in Malaya on 12 Oct 1941 following 4 days convalescent leave in Singapore. On 6 Jan 1942 Bill was again admitted to hospital, this time to the 2/13th Australian General Hospital with Malaria. On 18 Jan 1942 he was released from hospital and two days later on 20 January he was posted to the 8th Australian Infantry Division Signals Company at Jahore. On 16 Feb 1942 Bill was reported to be missing in action in Malaya, and on 3 May 1943 he was confirmed to be a POW of the Japanese having been captured on 15 Feb 1942 when all British forces surrendered. In May 1943 he was being held in Siam (Thailand). Bill spent 2½ years in Kanchanaburi near the Burma Railway. According to him, he had it easier than many others as he drove for a Japanese doctor.

Retrieved from the POW camp in Thailand on 20 Aug 1945. He spent from 2 - 28 Oct 1945 in 2/14th Australian General Hospital in Singapore before embarking in Singapore on 29 Oct 1945 for Fremantle aboard HMT Karoa. He disembarked in Fremantle on 7 Nov 1945 and was then a patient in the 110th Australian Base Hospital until 16 Nov 1945. On 14 Dec 1945 Bill was readmitted to the 110th Australian Base Hospital and they released him to the 109th Australian Convalescent Depot on 20 Dec 1945. Margaret Long was one of his nurses and they were married on 2 Feb 1946. On 12 Mar 1946 Bill was with the Western Command Recruit Reception & General Details Depot and on 17 Apr 1946 he was posted toHQ Western Command. He was again a guest of 110th Australian Base Hospital from 31 May until 19 Jul 1946 when he joined the 124th Australian General Transport Company. Finally, on 17 Oct 1946 Bill was transferred to the Western Command Recruit Reception & General Details Depot to prepare for his discharge which occurred on 23 Oct 1946.

Post War

On 2 Feb 1946 Bill married Margaret Long (1917 - 1956) in Perth. Margaret died from cancer in 1956, and Bill remarried in 1958, to Mary (Mollie) Pannett (1910 - 1992). He died from Leukaemia in 1989.

Electoral Roll entries: 1949 - 1954 at Carmel, orchard manager; in Wagin in 1950s, working in a bakehouse, and Albany in 1955 working for Hunt's Canning Factory


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