The 4th Anti-Tank Regiment was raised in Victoria in late 1940. It consisted of four batteries firing a range of artillery. One battery, the 14th, deployed to Darwin and aided in the defence of northern Australia for most of the Second World War.
The three remaining batteries – the 13th, 15th and 16th – took part in the fighting on the Malayan peninsula, including at Muar and Gemas. In February 1942 they were in Singapore when the city fell to the Japanese. Most of the 4th Anti-Tank Regiment would spend the next three and a half years as prisoners of war.
They were sent to Changi and worked on the Thai-Burma Railway, while others were forced on the Sandakan Death Marches. Some of those who survived the camps of South East Asia were sent to Japan and were working in the Nagasaki shipyards when the atomic bomb was dropped there on 9 August 1945.
From an original strength of 556 soldiers, the regiment suffered 11 men killed in action, 34 missing and 37 wounded. More than 170 died as prisoners of war.
Reviewed 22 December 2022