Philip Mowbray Frank BESSELL


BESSELL, Philip Mowbray Frank

Service Number: WX7639
Enlisted: 10 August 1940
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/3rd Machine Gun Battalion
Born: Thames Ditton England, 27 November 1914
Home Town: Margaret River, Augusta-Margaret River Shire, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Not yet discovered
Died: Prisoner of War - Executed, Java East Indies, 30 April 1942, aged 27 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Singapore Kranji War Memorial Column 135
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Margaret River War Memorial, Singapore Memorial Kranji War Cemetery
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World War 2 Service

10 Aug 1940: Enlisted 2nd AIF WW 2, Private, SN WX7639, Army Training Units
28 Feb 1942: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Private, SN WX7639, 2nd/3rd Machine Gun Battalion, Australia's Northern Periphery
25 Mar 1942: Involvement 2nd AIF WW 2, Private, SN WX7639, 2nd/3rd Machine Gun Battalion, Prisoners of War

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Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

Private Philip Bessell was awarded the Commendation for Gallantry for actions following capture by the Imperial Japanese Army in March 1942 until his execution as a result of an escape attempt in about April 1942. PTE Bessell and five other men escaped, making for the coast of Java by hiding among Royal Air Force POWs. The group continued their escape from Djokjakarta but were recaptured by Japanese forces, interrogated and taken away to Taskimalaja. PTE Bessell and the five others are reported to have been executed near Taskimalaja about April 1942. - Courtesy Defence Honours and Awards