James (Jimmy) DARLINGTON


Service Number: NX40325
Enlisted: 19 June 1940
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/18th Infantry Battalion
Born: Barraba, New South Wales, 26 October 1914
Home Town: Barraba, Tamworth Municipality, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Concreter
Died: Accidental (house fire), Barraba, New South Wales, 27 June 1976, aged 61 years
Cemetery: Barraba Cemetery, NSW
Memorials: Ballarat Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial
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World War 2 Service

19 Jun 1940: Enlisted Private, NX40325, 2nd/18th Infantry Battalion
19 Jun 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, NX40325, 2nd/18th Infantry Battalion
2 Feb 1941: Embarked Private, NX40325, 2nd/18th Infantry Battalion
16 Feb 1942: Imprisoned
15 Dec 1945: Discharged Private, NX40325, 2nd/18th Infantry Battalion
15 Dec 1945: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, NX40325, 2nd/18th Infantry Battalion

Help us honour James Darlington's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Julianne Ryan

Father Job Darlington (b.1891 in Warialda NSW - d. 15/3/1956 in Barraba, NSW)
8/8/1914 married  Ruby Ruedina Natty in Barraba NSW
Mother Ruby Ruedina Darlington (nee Natty) - b. 4/11/1899 - 30/4/1980 Barraba, NSW 

James was the eldest of 14 children (b. 26/10/1914)

Myra Dawn DARLINGTON    b. 1915 - d. 25/11/1928, Barraba, NSW
Charles DARLINGTON   b. 1917 - d. 10/3/1972, Barraba, NSW
Jean DARLINGTON   b. 1919 in Barraba, NSW
Jack DARLINGTON   b. 5/7/1921 in Barraba, NSW
Doreen DARLINGTON   b. 11/12/1923 in Barraba, NSW
May DARLINGTON   b. 1926 in Barraba, NSW
Myra Dawn DARLINGTON   b. Sept 1927 in Barraba, NSW
Patricia DARLINGTON   b. 1931 in Barraba, NSW
Ruby DARLINGTON   b. 1934 in Barraba, NSW
Charles DARLINGTON   b. 18/6/1937 in Barraba, NSW
Mervyn Edward DARLINGTON   b. 1937 - d. 30/9/1953, Barraba, NSW
Frank DARLINGTON   b. 28/10/1939 in Barraba, NSW

NOK:  Molly May Madigan, unmarried wife, lived at Henley Street, Barraba, NSW.

James was known as a fine heavy weight boxer, and won the 8th Division’s
heavyweight title in Singapore while on service.

Described on enlisting as 25 years 7 months old; unmarried wife with 2 children;
part aboriginal; blue eyes;  dark complexion; brown hair; Church of England

19/6/1940    enlisted into WWII at Barraba, New South Wales
                    place of enlisting Tamworth, NSW

28/7/1940     transferred as a Private to 2/18th Battalion, 8th division

2/2/1941      embarked from Australia for Malaya onboard HMT Q M
18/2/1941    disembarked into Singapore

16/2/1942    MISSING in Malaya

19/3/1943    Advised Pte Darlington is a POW in Borneo

James became a POW at the Sandakan POW Camp.

A fellow POW Billy Young recounted a brutal treatment from the Japanese of Pte Darlington:

"One such victim was a young Aboriginal soldier Jimmy Darlington, who had dared to strike a
 Japanese soldier for washing his clothes in the prisoners' cooking pot. He was bound and tied
 to sharp stakes of wood and left to suffer.
 'One of the Japs grabbed a bucket of water', Mr Young says.
 'Another was grabbing ropes and he put it in the water, and knelt him on the platform and tied
  him down with ropes, or wet ropes.
 'The sun started to shine and dried the ropes. And the ropes tightened up, right up, and cut
  right into his wrists and his legs."
  Only after Mr Young and his mates created a diversion to distract the Japanese could another
  Australian soldier — an ambulance officer — move in to cut the ropes. Without it, Mr Young
  says Darlington would have died."

5/9/1945       recovered POW from Changi Prison

19/9/1945     embarked onboard HMT Darawa, ex Singapore
6/10/1945     disembarked into Australia

15/12/1945   requested a discharge - on compassionate grounds

1976             tragically died in a fire with his wife
buried in:      Barraba Cemetery, Barraba, New South Wales

2013             James' name and service history will be the third plaque to stand sentry on one of
                    the corners of the famous town clock centre median in Barraba’s main street.

Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  2/10/2016.  Lest we forget.