Leslie John Connell WWII Convoy to Singapore

July 09, 2010

Hi Mac Gregory   (???)

I was surfing the net looking for information of embarkation rolls for AIF troops WW II - Singapore and I came across your reply to Jenny McKenzie and presto some of my anxiety disappeared. ( see "Henry Caleb Cameron Martin and HMT Sibajak")

Thank you for taking the time to share your skills with your fellow countrymen and for continuing your interest in the history of the RAN.

I have many questions to ask of you but I will resist at present and settle for a few answers if that is possible.

I had a brother in the Fall of Singapore.  NX43476, Private Leslie John Connell, 4th Reinforcements, "A" Coy - assigned to 2/19th Battalion, 8th Divn AIF.

I believe LJ arrived in Singapore sometime Sept - October, 1941, spent time in Changi and on the Thai - Burma Railway with "S" Bn, D Force, and on repatriation returned to Australia, via the "Highland Brigade" sometime October 1945.

For some time I have been trying to locate embarkation rolls for AIF troops going overseas along with details of the various convoys which conveyed them.

From Unit histories of some Battalions I was able to gather some information and dates of departures and various vessels but I was not able to find a comprehensive listing.

Some of the reply content you have advised Jenny McKenzie may have opened the door for me, but I am still not sure of the actual search formats to follow to obtain the correct information.

I have downloaded "Convoy Routes - WW 1 and WW 2", "Hyper War: Convoy Routing Codes in World War II", "Arnold Hague Convoy Database", details of many individual vessels - but I have not clicked onto the locations to gather the information I am looking for.

I have searched the AWM sites and various sites of the NAA, but have never been able to visit the listings that you have advised to Jenny McKenzie, especially the details of the troops that embarked on Sibajak at Woolloomooloo on 17/09/1941.

Any assistance that you may be able to give would be gladly appreciated as I have been carrying out a private study of the Fall of Singapore, * Divn AIF and associated Units for some time, and recently became involved with the "Battle for Australia" campaigns with a veteran RAAF and veteran RAN lad (87 & 91 yr olds) - which is another story yet to be finalised.

Thanking you in anticipation of a reply

With much respect for the lads who have defended the nation in our hour of need at a time when I was a very young lad.

John Connell


Thank you for your kind comments.

As a starter, here is your brother's Certificate of Service, just in case you have not yet found it.
                  Service Australian Army
                  Date of Birth 5 October 1919
                  Place of Birth SYDNEY, NSW
                  Date of Enlistment 22 August 1941
                  Locality on Enlistment COOTAMUNDRA, NSW
                  Place of Enlistment PADDINGTON, NSW
                  Next of Kin CONNELL, MICHEL
                  Date of Discharge 2 April 1946
                  Posting at Discharge 2/19 Battalion
                  Prisoner of War Yes

More to come,



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