Eric John Fuller (1 Mar 1918 – Apr 1945)

On the February 14th 1945, 12 kilometres west of the Celo River, North Borneo, three Australian prisoners of the Japanese, Private Ken Molde (NX78229), 2/30th Battalion (Infantry), Gunner Eric John Fuller (NX34384), 2/15th Field Regiment and one other, dropped out of Group 7 on the forced march from Sandakan Prisoner of War camp to Ranau. With them were two English soldiers, Gunner Bois Roberts and Leading Air-Craftsman Herbert Beardshaw from Group 6, which had been overtaken by Group 7.

Molde and Fuller fled to the east, and Roberts and Beardshaw towards the Labuk River. The two Australians were seen by the guards, who fired on them hitting Molde in the elbow. They were found by Hussen, a tall Dyak, who after finding the two Englishmen, was searching the jungle looking for them. They were taken to Kemansi from Telupid, Hussen’s home village, where he handed them over to the care of headsman, Orang Tuan Onsi. They were built a small hut in the jungle, where they stayed due to the deteriorating physical condition, which was exacerbated by their diet of tapioca and a small amount of rice. The villagers did all they could with limited resources, Roberts died in early March, Molde at the end of the month, Eric Fuller five days later and Beardshaw in May.

Eric John Fuller is my 1st Cousin once removed.Image from Eric's service paybook.

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