Ronald David SOUTHAM was born Private. Doreen Maud KNIBBS, daughter of Thomas KNIBBS and Maude E CLACK , was born Private.

Children of Ronald David SOUTHAM and Doreen Maud KNIBBS are:
1. Peter SOUTHAM, b. Private
2. Nigel SOUTHAM, b. 16 September 1966
3. Colin SOUTHAM, b. Private
4. Helen SOUTHAM, b. Private
5. Paula SOUTHAM, b. Private

Marriage/Union Events for Ronald David SOUTHAM\Doreen Maud KNIBBS:

Notes for Ronald David SOUTHAM:

Notes for Doreen Maud KNIBBS:

Notes for Peter SOUTHAM:

Notes for Nigel SOUTHAM:

Nigel was born to Doreen and Ron on Friday 16 September 1966 at Hillingdon Hospital, just outside of London, joining Colin, Helen and Peter, and the only one then to be born in a hospital. He was a little fighter when he came into this world and was a little terror as a small boy always up to mischief. Nevertheless, he was a lovable child.
Nigel and his family came to Australia on 8 October 1974 and settled in Western Australia. Nigel always hated being the youngest, so was delighted when baby sister Paula arrived in 1976.
From the age of 14 Nigel knew what he wanted and worked hard all of his life to achieve his goals. He left school early to get a job. He first worked in a deli. He did so well the owners left him to open up very early each day and get everything prepared. His next job was as a truckies' offsider for Boans, which he loved. His favourite habit was to ask family members for some change for the bus because "he did not want to change a note". Hence he was the one with all the money in the bank!
It was a surprise when he joined the Army at 18 (following in the footsteps of Colin and Peter), but he was the one who achieved so much, ending up a Warrant Office Class 2. He loved the Army and all it entailed. He was a very proud soldier and served for 20 years. He started in Artillery, went on to become a Military Policeman and was seconded to Kapooka to train recruits and trainers.
During his career Nigel was awarded the DFSM and ASM with the Bougainville Bar. While in Bougainville Nigel discovered a WW2 US battleground while on patrol in Torokina.
Nigel relocated to Perth in May 2004 following a divorce and in readiness to leave the Army. He quickly bought a house so that his 2 beloved daughters, Tjana and Bekki, could come to visit him. Being a Daddy was the most important thing in the world to him.
Sadly and tragically, Nigel was killed in a car accident on Friday 2 July 2004. He was given a Military Funeral at Fremantle Cemetery on Friday 9 July 2004 (a fact that would have made him immensely proud and which he richly deserved). He was a life-long fan of Elvis Presley, and was well known for Elvis impersonations at functions. It was therefore fitting that The King's music was used to farewell him.
Nigel is survived by his parents, siblings and his 2 daughters. Anyone who knew Nigel loved him and his sense of humour. He will be sadly missed but always in our hearts.


Chance sighting leads to WW2 battleground - July 5, 2001
A Chance sighting during a recent routine patrol to Torokina may have helped to uncover some of the thousands of missing US and Japanese servicemen from WW2.
A small patrol from MT-Tonu noticed a Bougainvillean with an Australian WW2 Rising Sun badge on a chain around his neck shortly after they stepped onto the beach.
TSM Tonu WO2 Nigel Southam said the same Bougainvillean reappeared at the community aid post later in the afternoon and he was able to question him about the badge.
"To my surprise he said he had taken the badge from a dead soldier whose body was uncovered in a torrential downpour," WO2 Southam said. "He then explained that one of his mates had a set of dog tags from the grave and another friend had a rifle. "He also said there was a pair of boots on the skeleton but they were buggerim up."
Locals indicated the grave was on a small feature about 8km inland from Torokina. Unfortunately, the day passed quickly for the patrol and they were unable to gain more information but they promised to return.
"We asked if the man with the dog tags could meet us at the beach but unfortunately he lives further inland and word never made it to him in time."
On return the following week, the patrol was guided directly to the site when they returned and was handed a single US dog tag as well as the name of another serviceman on an additional set of tags held by the local
WO2 Southam said the battleground was easily identifiable with the remnants of US military equipment and ammunition littering the area, lines of trenches following the contours of the remains of large bunkers dug into the surface.
"The locals showed us where they believed the body found with the dog tags to be located but a quick search failed to uncover anything except more ammunition and equipment."


From the Army - Soldiers Newspaper, September 3, 2009:
Nigel Southam
16 SEP 1966 - 02 JUL 2004
"It is now over 5 years since my dear son Nigel died on 2 July 2004 in the most tragic circumstances. To those who knew Nigel, and particularly the ones who volunteered to be pall-bearers at his funeral on 9 July 2004 in Fremantle, WA, I want to say thank you (I did not get your names, sorry). He loved the Army as much as he did his lovely girls. I am hoping you still think of him - perhaps even have a drink for him sometimes? 'f anyone has memories of him they would like to share with me (even the risque ones) I would really appreciate it." Doreen Southam


From the Army - Soldiers Newspaper, July 3 2014:
"Our son, Warrant Officer Class Two Nigel Southam, died on 2 July 2004. Even after 10 years, he is obviously still in our hearts and minds every day. He loved his 20 years in the Army and I know he had many friends there, as evidenced by the number of people who offered to be pall-bearers in Perth (some of whom contacted me after the notice in this newspaper 5 years ago). I hope there are still those of you who remember him, and will have a drink in his memory."
Doreen Southam (Mother)

Sources for Nigel SOUTHAM:

  1. GRO England & Wales,
  2. Obituary,

Notes for Colin SOUTHAM:

Notes for Helen SOUTHAM:

Notes for Paula SOUTHAM: