Vic. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of VX21158 Private Desmond Charles Keays, 2/9th ...

Unit 2/9 Field Ambulance
Accession Number P02468.305
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Film copy negative
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Description

Vic. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of VX21158 Private Desmond Charles Keays, 2/9th Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corps. He was one of over 2000 Allied prisoners of war (POW) held in the Sandakan POW camp in north Borneo, having been transferred there from Singapore as a part of E Force. The 500 Australian and 500 British POW's who made up E Force, left Changi on 28 March 1943, on board the S.S. DeKlerk arriving at Berhala Island (adjacent to Sandakan Harbour) on 15 April 1943. The POW's were held there until 5 June, when they were taken by barge to Sandakan. The next day they were transferred to the 8 Mile Camp, which was about half a mile from the B Force compound. Private Keays, aged 22, died as a prisoner of the Japanese on 19 March 1945. He was the son of Frederick William and Bernice Keays, of North Fitzroy, Vic. He is commemorated on the Labuan Memorial Panel 26. (Photograph copied from AWM232, items 4 and 5. Personal information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database.)