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Engraved Japanese Water Bottle

1942
Overview

Second World War Imperial Japanese Navy aluminum water bottle with cork lid attached by a leather cord. It has engraved markings on all sides.

Historical information

The water bottle has been decorated with hand engravings done by Private Robert George Staunton RENNIE WX7492 who enlisted in Claremont, Western Australia on 6th August 1940 and was part of the 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion. He saw action throughout New Guinea and Java being part of “Blackforce” D’ Force Thailand, Java Party No. 6, P Platoon, where he became a Prisoner of War (POW) in March 1942 with number 12210. Whilst a POW he decorated this water bottle with thoughts of home and scenes of Java; this became a common past time with prisoners at night.
Whilst at Tamarkan Camp, Rennie had his right leg amputated at the thigh due to a tropical ulcer. He died post operation on the 4th October 1943 and is buried at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand. He was 37 years old and was survived by wife Rita and five children.

Details

Details

Registration number
cwa-org-12-2019.1.45
Item type
Material
Height or length
240 mm
Width
145 mm
Depth
75 mm
Inscriptions and markings

Depicted on the front is "AIF Java 1942" along with the Australian crest featuring Kangaroo and Emu with "Advance Australia" below. There is also the “R.G.S. RENNIE WX7493” located below the crest. On reverse is depicted a Batik dancer on stage with open curtains whilst on each side of the bottle there are palm trees and birds in the sky.

Contextual Information

A superb object showing creativity whilst in times of hardship as a Prisoner of War (POW). This object is part of the RSL Albany Sub-branch collection which is now housed at the museum.

Keywords
Second World War
Engraving
Prisoner of War
Changi
Country
Indonesia
Year
1942
Primary significance criteria
Historic significance
Social or spiritual significance
Comparative significance criteria
Interpretive capacity
Rare or representative
Princess Royal Fortress Military Museum

Princess Royal Fortress Military Museum

Organisation Details
View Collection