Amy Johnson Crow introduced the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge on her No Story Too Small blog in 2014. This year she continued the challenge, but also added a weekly theme. This week’s theme is “Military”. This week, the United States will be observing Memorial Day. Do you have any military ancestors? Were any ancestors affected by the military or by war?
Since none of my ancestors came from the United States, the question was – should I use an Australian ancestor, or someone in my family tree who served in the military in the United States? As this challenge is primarily to focus on ancestors, I decided to use an Australian ancestor.
My ex-husband’s grandfather Albert George Casey was a Prisoner of War in the 2nd world war. Albert’s service record shows that he was in the Changi prisoner of war camp. An article about the Changi prisoner of war camp can be found at https://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/pow/changi/.
His eldest son, also named Albert George Casey, also served in World War 2. His service record lists his date of birth as 15 September 1920. He was actually 2 years younger – he was born 15 September 1922. He enlisted on his birthday, 15 September 1941. It appears that the minimum age of enlistment at that time must have been 21, and he lied about his age in order to enlist. His service record shows that he was also a prisoner of war. According to family, he was also in Changi prison with his father. I haven’t yet accessed his full service record to confirm this information.
Albert George Casey (snr) was born 15 March 1901 in 83 Raleigh Street Windsor. He married Lilah Adela Mulder on 26 November 1921, and they had five children.
Albert George Casey enlisted in the Army on 19 June 1940. At the time he enlisted, his next of kin was listed as his mother Mrs. L. A. Casey, 3a Lambert Road Toorak. This was later amended to show L.A. Casey was his wife, not his mother, and there is also an alteration to show that his wife’s address was the P.O. Lake Bolac. The service record includes a Change of Address form dated 17/4/1942.
His service record shows he disembarked at Singapore on 23 August 1941. On the 26 March 1942 he was listed as missing. On 2 September 1942 he was listed as Missing bel P.O.W. On 1 November 1943 he was listed as Prisoner of War. The next entries show that he was in the P.O.W. Camp Changi – these entries were dated 5.5.43, and 30.6.43.
After the war ended, he returned to Victoria on 8 October 1945 and was discharged on 29 November 1945.
Albert George Casey died 7 March 1965 at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, in Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia. He was 64 years old.
These photos are believed to be of Albert George Casey – the first two have the name “Pop Casey” on the back. The third doesn’t have any identification, but I think it is probably also for Albert.