Service Number: NX51474
Enlisted: 27 June 1940, Paddington, New South Wales
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/20th Infantry Battalion
Born: Leicester, England, 8 January 1904
Home Town: Liverpool, Fairfield, New South Wales
Schooling: Belgrave National School, Belgrave, Leicester, England
Occupation: Lidcombe Hospital Employee
Died: Accidental (motorcycle crash), Canterbury District Hospital, New South Wales, Australia, 30 August 1946, aged 42 years
Cemetery: Rookwood Cemetery & Crematorium
Cremation - Forces Memorial Wall, Niche 6sa, Rookwood Crematorium, Rookwood, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Ballarat Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial
Show Relationships

World War 2 Service

27 Jun 1940: Involvement Private, NX51474, 2nd/20th Infantry Battalion, Malaya/Singapore
27 Jun 1940: Enlisted Private, NX51474, Paddington, New South Wales
27 Jun 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, NX51474, 2nd/20th Infantry Battalion
4 Dec 1945: Discharged Private, NX51474, 2nd/20th Infantry Battalion

Prisoners of War info from Horace Bassfords records

The Japanese Army used many POWs as labourers in working parties. On 20 November 1942, allied POWs held at Adam Park in Singapore were moved to the Sime Road camp and issued with heavy uniforms. This POW working party was known as C Force. On 29 November 1942, 1,400 allied POWs, including 550 Australians from the 2/20th Battalion, still under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Robertson, embarked on the Kamakura Maru, a modern 17,000 ton passenger and cargo vessel, and set sail for Japan. On 7 December 1942, the Kamakura Maru docked at Nagasaki and the POWs were unloaded. Of the 550 Australian POWs, 300 were selected in alphabetical order down to the letter 's', and formed a working party that left by train for Naoetsu. The remainder of the Australians were sent to work in a shipyard at Kobe. The men worked in the local stainless steel factory and also at the nearby Shinetsu Chemical Factory. They endured terrible conditions. Frequent beatings and a very poor diet contributed to the rapid decline in health and fitness. Sixty POWs died at Naoetsu between 1943 and March 1944

Source: Australian War Memorial

Showing 1 of 1 story


Horace Robert BASSFORD was born on 8th January, 1904 in Leicester, England

His parents were William BASSFORD and Clara WOODIER who married in 1900 in Leicester, UK.

He enlisted on 27th June 1940 with the Australian Army - His posting on discharge on 4th December, 1945 was with the 2/20 Australian Infantry Battalion - He was a Prisoner of War in Japan

Horace died on 30th August, 1946 in an accident between the motor cycle he was riding & a Military truck in Bankstown, NSW  He was on his way to work at Lidcombe State Hospital but was taken to Canterbury Hospital where he died at 7pm the same day



The Leader, Liverpool - 5th September, 1946

The tragic death occurred on Friday last at Canterbury District Hospital of Mr. Horace Robert Bassford of Glenfield Road, Glenfield

Mr. Bassford who was only 42 years of age and a native of England had served overseas with the A.I.F. having been a prisoner of war in Japanese hands for three &  a half years.  

His death was the result of a collision between the motor cycle he was riding and a military truck at the intersection of Joseph St & Hume Highway, Bankstown.  He was on his way to his work at the Lidcombe State Hospital when the accident occurred.  Taken to hospital by ambulance, he died at 7pm the same day.

It was exactly twelve months since Mrs. Bassford had been notified by the authorities of his recovery from the Japs after his having been missing for a long time

At Glenfield & Crossroads where the Bassford family is well known and respected, news of Mr. Bassfords death came as a great shock.  A large and representative funeral took place at Rookwood Crematorium on Monday after a serivce at St Lukes Church, Liverpool, Rev. R. Walker conducted the service at the church and the crematorium

During the final ceremony, returned soldier comrades of the dead man formed up while a representative recited the solemn

"They shall not grow old, as we who are left grow old.

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.  Lest we forget"

All the returned soldiers then responded, "Lest we forget" and a sprig of Rosemary was placed on the Bier