IVAN FRANK DAY
Service Number: SX11342
Units Served: 8 Divisional Ammunition Sub Park
Personal Details: Ivan Frank Day was born on the 7th of March 1920 in Nairne. His mother was Florence Muriel May and his father was Frank Lester Day, he was the second oldest of eight children.
Enlistment Details: Ivan Enlisted on the 19th of February 1941 in Nairne.
Details about his role in the War: Ivan left Australia with his unit on the 8th of December 1941 and sailed for Singapore. When he arrived, he was stationed and was in charge of a large ammunition dump, supplying shells, bullets, etc to other units. Ivan Got the nickname ‘Batman’ from his mates while in Singapore. Jeff Harris (another soldier from Ivan’s Unit) recalls seeing the Japanese grouping on an island and if given the chance, his unit could have blown the island to pieces, but they were told to hold their fire as it would give away their positions. The next morning they were told that it was over; they marched back to their quarters, and were taken as prisoners of war. After being taken, the Japanese divided them into groups; Ivan became part of the ‘A’ division. While some of the ‘A’ division were selected to travel to Japan “The land of the rising sun” Ivan remained in Moulmein to work on the Burma Railway under extremely harsh conditions. He was part of the P.O.W camp ‘Camp Kilo 105” which was one of the hardest camps on the railway, suffering from high casualties and illness. Many prisoners went without boots, blankets and wore little or no clothing. Ivan fell ill with the disease Beri Beri and soon died on the 27th of August 1943. Ivan was remembered by fellow soldier Jeff Harris as “a soldier who did what ever task was asked of him, had a huge amount of humour, never gave into the Japs and above all was a straight shooter.”
Age of Death: 23
Memorial Details: Ivan Frank Day’s name is on the memorial plaque in Woodside. He is buried at Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery.
Camp kilo 105 consisted of 4000 prisoners housed in 10 huts, of which 2 were used as a hospital. They were constructed of bamboo and had bamboo branches for roofs. The beds were made of split bamboo laced together with crushed bamboo for a mattress. They were usually about 2 inches from the ground.