Kent, Eric Jefferis (Signalman, b.1917 - d.1945)

Accession Number PR04605
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 1.5 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Letter
Maker Australian Military Forces
Kent, Eric Jefferis
Place made Australia, Borneo, Malaya
Date made 1941-1946
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Copying Provisions Copyright expired. Copying permitted subject to physical condition. Permission for reproduction not required.

Collection relating to the Second World War service of NX72857 Signalman Eric Jefferis Kent, 8 Division Signals, Second Australian Imperial Force, Australia, Malaya and Borneo, 1941-1946.

Wallet 1 of 1 – Contains two folders of correspondence relating to Signalman Eric Jefferis Kent.

Folder 1 of 2 consists of 17 letters [including associated envelopes] and two postcards from Signalman Kent to his mother, Mrs Winifred Irene Kent, dated between 9 September 1941 and c December 1944. The correspondence covers the periods of Signalman Kent’s training in Australia, embarkation, service in Malaya, and time as a prisoner of war. In his letters, Signalman Kent writes about being issued his tropical kit, getting his truck and machine gun licences, doing marches and manoeuvres, embarkation, feeling sea sick, the hot weather, arriving in Malaya, camp living arrangements, playing football, being busy with work, transferring to a signalling company, having a mild skin disease, his feelings after the Japanese entered the war, being on guard duty on Christmas day, receiving mail from home, having a new year party, working behind the lines, nearby bombing, and being safe and well as a prisoner of war.

Folder 2 of 2 consists of:
1x Letter from the Australian Military Forces to Signalman Kent’s father, Mr Harold Frederick Kent, Sydney, 17 November 1945. This letter informs Mr Kent that his son’s survival is unlikely, and that he is officially presumed missing, believed deceased, [includes copy of letter].
1x Telegram from the Minister for the Army to Mr Kent, Sydney, 24 November 1945. This telegram confirms Signalman Kent’s date of death.
1x letter from the Australian Military Forces to Mr Kent, Sydney, 22 January 1946. This letter informs Mr Kent that Signalman Kent’s death was due to malaria.
1x Certificate of Death of Signalman Kent, issued 4 March 1946.

History / Summary

Signalman Eric Jefferis Kent enlisted to the Second Australian Imperial force on 16 April 1941, after previously serving in the militia. After a period of training, he was assigned to 2/19 Australian Infantry Battalion as a reinforcement, and joined his unit in Malaya in September 1941. The following month, Kent transferred to 8 Division Signals and continued to serve in Malaya. In early 1942, he was taken as a prisoner of war of the Japanese. Signalman Kent was initially interned at Changi Prisoner of War Camp in Singapore, but was transferred to Sandakan Prisoner of War Camp, Borneo, as part of B Force in July 1942. On 24 April 1945, Signalman Kent died of malaria while a prisoner. He is commemorated at the Labuan Memorial, Malaysia.