Clarence Stephen Neal
Clarence Neal was born at Grenfell on 27 March 1907, the son of John and Louise Neal. He attended school at Iandra. He grew up and worked in the Greenethorpe District.
On 4 July 1940, Clarence enlisted in the army at Cowra and did his training at Bathurst, Ingleburn and Liverpool. His Army service record states his occupation as a Grazier and his address as Braeside, Greenethorpe. He was married to Ivy Balfour in 1926.
On 2 February 1941, Clarence embarked on Queen Mary from Sydney. His family were not told of his destination, but his service record listed this as Singapore.
Clarence became ill shortly after the ship left Sydney and was operated on. He was first off the ship after arrival in Singapore 18 February 1941 and was admitted to the Australian General Hospital. This illness continued to be problem to his health.
After discharge from hospital, he rejoined his Light Aid Detachment Unit where he was a driver, mechanic and secretary to the Brigadier.
Clarence was classified as missing on 16 February 1942. He was taken as a Prisoner of War. In July 1942 he was transported from Changi to Sandarkan POW Camp North Borneo aboard a tramp ship, Ube Maru. He was one of over 2000 Allied prisoners held in the Sandarkan camp. During his time as a POW he was forced to work on the infamous Burma Railway.
Private Clarence Stephen Neal of the 74th Light Aid Detachment Army Corps, died as a prisoner of the Japanese on 2 October 1944 aged 37 years, of Meningitis and Malaria. He left behind his loving wife Ivy and two young daughters, Aileen and Lorna.
He is buried in the Labuan Cemetery in Borneo. His wife Ivy and daughter Aileen have since passed away. His daughter Mrs. Lorna Close lives at Wirrimah.
ANZAC Day 2009