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2/2nd Pioneer Battalion
Kilkeel Ireland 1 May 1918
Arthur Payne, his father. His mother was Christina Payne.
8 May 1941 at Royal Park
4 March 1942, aged 23, in Java, Indonesia
He is buried in the Jakarta War Cemetery Indonesia.
The family arrived in Leongatha from Ireland in 1925 and Tom attended Leongatha State School and Leongatha High School.
When he enlisted on 8 April 1941, he was a butcher working for Wightmans and had three brothers in the services. His father was a tailor and the family lived in McCartin St Leongatha.
His name is on the memorial in Leongatha and at Leongatha Secondary College (formerly Leongatha High).
Tom trained at Puckapunyal and other places in Australia before he embarked on the S S Orcades bound for Singapore. The British forces in Singapore surrendered on 15 February 1942 and the Orcades turned to Indonesia and finally landed at Batavia (Jakarta) later in February. The troops on the Orcades combined with Dutch forces and some other allies to defend Java against the Japanese. The Japanese landed on 28 February and by 8 March the Dutch surrendered. Tom was killed four days before the Dutch surrender. The Australians were reluctantly ordered to lay down their arms. The men in his battalion went on to become prisoners of war in Java, Changi, and the Burma Railway.
Place of Birth:
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Date & Place of Enlistment:
Location on Enlistment
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