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Battalion 2/2 Pioneer Battalion
Place of Birth South Melbourne 27 July 1917
Next of Kin Johanna Richardson, his mother. His father was Henry Richardson.
Date and place of enlistment
11 June 1940 at Royal Park
Location on enlistment Meeniyan
Date and place of death
4 December 1943 on the Thai Burma Railway Burma section in present day Myanmar.
Location of grave or memorial
He is buried in Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery Myanmar (formerly Burma). He is remembered on memorials in Meeniyan and Leongatha.
Relationship to Woorayl Shire
He and his family lived in Meeniyan
The 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion was raised in May 1940 at Puckapunual. The battalion
travelled onboard the Queen Mary to the Middle East in April 1941. They served in Syria and Palestine then as garrison troops in Damour, Tripoli, Fort Legout and Catana. On the way home they were deployed to the defence of Java. The 2/2nd went into action against the Japanese with Dutch and Indonesian troops on 28 February. Faced by such overwhelming forces the Dutch decided to surrender on 8 March. This meant that the Australians reluctantly surrendered as well. The men became POWs initially imprisoned in Java. Eventually the troops were sent to work on the Thai Burma Railway. Willian Richardson suffered from brutal treatment and malnutrition and passed away on 4 December 1943.
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