William Rice Gregory

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William Rice Gregory
Gregory William Rice.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 19 Nov 1912
Place of Birth Armadale, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 27 years, 7 months
Occupation Miner
Religion Church of England
Address Fifth road, Armadale
Next of Kin Father , Mr Joseph Gregory
Military Information
Reg Number WX8625
Date of Enlistment 18 Oct 1940
Rank Private
Unit/Formation A Company, 2/4th Australian Machine Gun Battalion
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 30 Dec 1941 ‒ 3 Jan 1942
Transport Details SS Marella Darwin to Port Moresby
Journey Dates 4 Jan 1942 ‒ 15 Jan 1942
Transport Details HMT Aquitania Port Moresby to Fremantle
Journey Dates 30 Jan 1942 ‒ ?? Feb 1942
Transport Details SS Marella Fremantle to Tanjong Priok Java
Return to Australia
Journey Dates ?? Aug 1945 ‒ ?? Aug 1945
Transport Details plane Thailand to Singapore
Journey Dates 15 Oct 1945 ‒ 24 Oct 1945
Transport Details HMT Moreton Bay Singapore to Fremantle
Post War Details
Fate POW Captured Java
Returned to Australia
Monument(s) Byford WW2 Honour Roll
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

Electoral Roll entries: 1936 at 17 Burt street, Boulder, miner; 1937 at 35 Whittenoom street, Boulder, miner

War Service

Enlisted at Claremont Camp following a second medical. On 22 Oct 1940 Bill was sent to the Recruit Training Depot at Ascot before being transferred to the No.1 Depot Battalion at Northam on 25 Nov 1940. On 4 Dec 1940 he was posted to the 2/4th Australian Machine Gun Battalion. Following training Bill was utilised as a Rangetaker in 'A' Company from 29 Mar 1941. He was granted pre-embarkation leave from 16 - 22 Jun 1941 before boarding HMT Duntroon in Fremantle on 21 July for Adelaide, disembarking on 25 Jul 1941.

On 9 Sep 1941 he was admitted to the Woodside Camp Hospital for investigation of the headaches he suffered with. He was released on 25 Sep 1941 and on 11 Oct 1941 entrained for Darwin where he rejoined the battalion. On 30 Dec 1941 he embarked on SS Marella in Port Darwin for Port Moresby where they transshipped to HMT Aquitania which sailed on 4 Jan 1942 for Singapore via Sydney and Fremantle. Bill was one of those who, denied shore leave in Fremantle, went ashore anyway. He was later charged with being AWOL from the Aquitania from midday on 15 January until 9:20am the next day. For this he was awarded 27 days detention, and forfeited 3 days additional pay. (Bill later was granted 16 days remission of his sentence). Of the hundreds of men who had gone AWOL ashore, 88 including Bill did not rejoin the Aquitania as they had been arrested by Police and taken to the Fremantle Gaol where they spent the night before being sent to the Claremont Details Camp. They remained there until 30 Jan 1942 when they were taken back to Fremantle and boarded SS Marella which sailed for Singapore on 30 Jan 1942. However, by the time they left Australian waters it was clear that Singapore woould be lost and so instead they were landed at Tanjong Priok Java as part of Black Force.

On 7 Mar 1942 he was reported as missing on Java, and on 15 Apr 1942 Japanese Radio reported that he was a Prisoner of War. Bill with POW number 4541 was a member of Java Party No 4 that was sent to Burma as part of 'A' Force and was known to have been in the 131 km, 133 km, and Kanchanaburi Camps (the later on 13 Jan 1944). On 20 Aug 1945 he was recovered and flown to Singapore. There on 15 Oct 1945 he embarked on HMT Moreton Bay disembarking in Fremantle on 24 Oct 1945.

On 4 Dec 1945 Bill was admitted to the 110th Australian Base Hospital, and was released to the 109th Australian Convalescent Depot on 10 Dec 1945. They released him on 4 Jan 1946 to the Western Command Recruit Reception & General Details Depot where he was discharged on 7 Jan 1946.

Post War

After the war, William Gregory returned to live in Armadale. In 1946 he married Canderlaria Halliday (nee Noble). Canderlaria remarried in 1960. Electoral Roll entries: 1949 - 1954 at Seventh road, Armadale, butcher.


Missing 'West Australian' 23 Jul 1942; POW 8 Sep 1943; The Argus, Saturday 22 September 1945, page 8 Captured Java, repatriated from Thailand

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