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Number VX30903

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

Military History

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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