Bill Ennis' story
Bill Ennis was 18 years old and working as a clerk when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in June 1940.
Assigned to the infantry, Bill was posted to the 2/30th Infantry Battalion. As a corporal, he arrived in Singapore in the first week of August 1941.
Bill was involved in the heavy fighting experienced by the 2/30th Battalion in Malaya and during the retreat down the Malayan Peninsula towards Singapore. Appointed sergeant on 4 February 1942, he was wounded in action on 11 February.
Bill was in hospital when Singapore surrendered on 15 February. He rejoined his unit at Changi prison in March and remained there for more than a year as a prisoner of war (POW).
In April 1943, Bill was drafted into the notorious ‘F' Force, a group of 7000 British and Australian prisoners who were sent by rail to Non Pluduc in Thailand to work on the Burma-Thailand railway. F Force suffered the highest casualty rate of any of the POW drafts sent from Singapore to Thailand.
Miraculously, Bill survived the ordeal and returned to Australia in October 1945. He was discharged from the AIF in December 1945.