HALBERT, Francis

Service Number: WX8250
Enlisted: 16 August 1940
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/4th Machine Gun Battalion
Born: Menzies, Western Australia, 16 June 1907
Home Town: Menzies, Menzies, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Died of Illness (POW of Japan - cholera), Thailand, 4 June 1943, aged 35 years
Cemetery: Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery
Grave Reference: A6. B. 7., Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Thanbyuzayat, Mon State, Myanmar
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Ballarat Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial, Menzies War Memorial
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World War 2 Service

16 Aug 1940: Enlisted Private, WX8250, Claremont, Western Australia
16 Aug 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, WX8250
4 Jun 1943: Involvement Private, WX8250, 2nd/4th Machine Gun Battalion, Prisoners of War


Frank Halbert was selected with 'F' Force to work on Burma-Thailand RaiIway.  The 3,600 British and Australian workforce departed Singapore April 1943.  'F' Force was to work on the central stretch of the railway up to Pagoda Pass.  Their HQ was at Neike.
1,060 Australians died and 2,037 British.  A shockingly high death tally.
One of the purposes of Sonkarai camp was because the POWs were building a very big bridge across the river.  There was a large camp where the men were accommodated and a smaller 'hospital' camp further away for the very sick where the doctors and orderlies tried beyond their best to assist and provide care and comfort with little or no medical equipment or medicines.  Frank died of cholera.

Please read further about 'F' Force Thailand



Francis(Frank) was youngest child born to Joseph Dudley Halbart and Jane Shelley.  Joseph and Jane married in 1898 at Menzies and the family continued to live in the area with Joseph working as a miner.  It is believed both Joseph and Jane originally came from around Eaglehawk, Victoria.
Frank's older brother Ernst born about 1898 and 9 years older, enlisted in WW1 in 1916. He survived several times with influenza and a GSW to left shoulder.  In the West Australian Newspaper October 1918, his name was included in a long list of wounded. Ernst returned to WA.  Frank had 3 sisters Clarice, Bernice and Kathleen known as Kitty. Ernst an Clarice were twins.
In November 1925 Frank was a pillion passenger riding with his brother Ernst.  Ernst, who had married since returning from WW1 and Europe, died instantly when the bike crashed.  This experience would have been shocking for 18 year old Frank.

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