Name: Michael Laurence Barry
Service No: SX14541
Units Served: 8th Divisional Ammunition Sub Park.
Personal Details: Michael Laurence Barry was born on the 5th June 1914 to Michael Lawrence and Catherine (nee Corry) Barry at Davenport, South Australia. He was the third of seven children.
Enlistment Details: He enlisted in Adelaide on 15th September 1941.
Details about his role in the War: On the 2nd of November 1941 he embarked on HMAT ‘Zealandia’ for overseas. He disembarked in Singapore on the 20th November 1941. On the 16th of February 1942 he was reported missing after the British Empire Forces were forced to surrender to the Japanese on the 15th December 1942. He was transferred to a POW camp on the Thai/Burma border called Songkurai according to a Japanese order on 23rd April 1943. On 16th August 1943 he was reported to be a Prisoner of War by Japanese Radio, and on the 29th of September 1945 it was reported that he had died on 12th October 1943 of malaria and ulcers in Songkurai POW camp. His family was informed in August 1949 that his body had been recovered from Songkurai and reburied in Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery
Age at Death: 29 years
Memorial Details: Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery
Interesting Material: HMAT ‘Zealandia’ was escorted from Fremantle by the HMAS Sydney. It was on her return from this voyage that she was sunk by the German raider ‘Kormoran’ which was disguised as a Dutch merchant vessel.
The Japanese continued to send postcards from Michael saying “ Dear Mother, I am in the best of health, love to all the family, Laurie” for a very long time after he had died. Apparently the prisoners were required to write these in bulk when they arrived in the camp.