Toyer, James Frederick (Warrant Officer, b.1900 - d.1998)

Accession Number AWM2017.983.1
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 3.5 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Book
Maker Toyer, James Frederick
Place made At sea
Date made 1948
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copying Provisions Copying is permitted for the purposes of research and study, subject to physical condition

Collection relating to the Second World War service of 245180 (NX65926) Warrant Officer Class 1 James Frederick Toyer, British Commonwealth Occupation Force, Japan, 1948.

The collection consists of a copy of 'The Second Holiday Book' by Enid Blyton. The book was purchased by WO1 Toyer's wife Nellie for their daughter Margaret to take on a sea voyage to Japan. Mrs Toyer and her three children travelled from Sydney to Kure Japan on the HMAS Westralia in February 1948 arriving in Kure 22nd February.
Warrant Officer Toyer went ahead of his family to set up workshops in Kure. The family travelled to join their husband and father, an Army Engineer, who was serving with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan.
The Toyer's lived in the Hiro District in Njimuira Village built especially for BCOF servicemen and their dependants. The children attended a RAAF school for a year.

The book contains the names and signatures of some of the passengers and crew on board the Westralia. Most of the names are of servicemen going to serve with BCOF. These men are destined for RAAF Stores Depot, Dental Units, 130 Australian General Hospital, Hygiene Unit, Anti Aircraft Regiment and so on.

Chips Rafferty, the famous Australian screen actor serving with the RAAF has also signed the book. Some have included their cabin number on the Westralia. In the back of the book are several names and addresses of English people collected while in Japan.

HMAS Westralia (I) was acquired by the RAN in 1939 and commissioned as an Armed Merchant Cruiser on 17 January 1940. The vessel armed with seven 6 inch guns, patrolled the sea lanes and escorted convoys of merchant ships in Australian waters, the East Indies and the Pacific. Westralia (I) was recommissioned as a Landing Ship Infantry (LSI) on 31 May 1943; the first Australian LSI to see action with the US Seventh Fleet at Arawe New Britain on 15 December 1943. Westralia played a vital role in the landings at Hollandia, Leyte and Lingayen Gulf with men of the US Sixth Army and the landings at Tarakan, Brunei and Balikpapan with men of the Australian Seventh and Ninth Divisions, AIF. Post war Westralia (I) was engaged in the repatriation of troops from the island areas north of Australia to the mainland. She paid off at Sydney on 19 September 1946 after steaming 120,978 miles in naval service. After work on restoring the ship to her peacetime condition had been in progress for some months a requirement arose for Westralia (I) to maintain a service between Sydney and Kure, Japan, for the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces. This occupied her from December 1947 until April 1949. She did not recommission as an HMA Ship and was manned by a Merchant Navy crew.