The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Edward James
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- Headquarters Company, No. 1 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Melbourne, Victoria
- Father's Name:
- Edward Charles Cosson
- Mothers's Name:
- Florence 'Mabel' Beatrice Cosson (nee McCulloch)
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Publican (Toodyay)
- River Valley Road
- 'Blackforce' attached to 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion.
- 'A' Force Burma, Java Party 5a, Robertson Force
- Camps Thailand:
- Joined Williams No. 1 Mobile Force and moved as far as 133km Camp; Kanchanaburi (No. 3 Camp) 12.1.1944) Nacompaton, Prachuab Kirikhan-Mergui Escape Road, Kachu Mountain Camp
- Camps Burma:
- Alepauk 18 km, Lawa 85 km, Apalaine 80 km, Lawa 85 (Ted sustained knee injury from Japanese rifle) Anganan 100 km
- Return Details 1945:
- Flown out to Kachu Mountain Camp by aircraft, Kachu Mountain Camp-Singapore by aircraft, to 2/14th Australian General Hospital for two weeks, Singapore - Fremantle, HMT Moreton Bay
Cosson and Wilkinson were close friends from early childhood.
When the ‘Aquitania’ sailed from Sydney on its journey to Singapore anchoring in Gauge Roads, Fremantle for the night of 15th January 1942, Ted was one of the 90 odd men from 2/4th who was AWOL, however not able to re-board his ship before it sailed. Ted sailed with a smaller convoy a few weeks later, these men did not go to Singapore as planned, Singapore was about to fall to the Japanese, and they were landed in Java.
It was here Ted was part of ‘Blackforce’ and joined the Allied Forces, later becoming a POW.
Ted Cosson was selected in Java to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with Robertson Force Java Party No. 5A. There were 3 other 2/4th men travelling with Cosson – his closest mate, Merve Wilkinson, Cyril Vidler and Les Lee. (Lee was in fact selected with Java Party No. 4 but became ill during transit from Java to Singapore and joined Party No. 5A when they were in Singapore.)
In April 1945 the Japanese requested a work force of 1000 POWs for light duties in Malaya. They took 500 men from Nacompaton Hospital Camp. Ted was one of eight 2/4th POWs probably glad to be leaving Nacompaton referred to by POWs as a death camp. Of course the men were lied to. There were no light duties for them as the Japanese promised.
In addition to a large number of Asians were sent to the mountainous region in southern Burma to construct what was to become known as Mergui Escape Road (known as Valley of Death). Read further
At the end of the war, about 18th September, POWs were airlifted to Singapore. One in four POWs had perished on this project. The Asian loss of life was far greater.
Ted was recovered in Thailand at the end of the war.
Above was included in Kelmscott local news at end of 1943.
Above: Ted appears much aged and gaunt.
Ted married Roma G McAdam in Perth in 1945.
Ted took over running the Kelmscott Hotel when his older brother Roy Alexander died unexpectedly in September 1936. Roy was 28 years old, a talented sportsman, and it appears was recognised for his business acumen. There was no cause provided for his young death.
Edward Cosson (Snr) and his wife Mabel had moved from Victoria to WA with their young sons Roy and Ted (Jnr). However another son died in Perth in August 1907. Roy and Ted were born in 1908 and 1910.
Mabel Cosson manages Kelmscott.
On 15 November 1940 Edward Cosson (Snr) died at the age of 64 years. He had suffered injuries from being hit by a car some years earlier, however it is not known if there were lasting injuries.
In 1931 Ted (Jnr) had married. Unfortunately his marriage ended in divorce in about 1941. Because newspapers in earlier days printed ‘all’, the court proceedings for the divorce would have been distressing for Ted and his mother.
He became engaged to Roma Gwenda McAdam prior to leaving Perth and going to Singapore.
Ted was publican at several locations including Northam and possibly Toodyay, Chidlow, and other suburban hotels.
Ted and Roma managed the Chidlow Railway Refreshment Rooms 1948-1950. Photo Right taken bout 1950. The railway line closed 1966.
In 1954 Ted was residing with his mother Mabel at Coghlan Street, Mt Lawley, it is believed he and Roma had separated. He was working as a Publican.
In 1963 he was a clerk, living in Fitzgerald St, North Perth.
Sadly when Ted died in Mt Lawley in March 1965 aged 55 years he was living alone as his second marriage had failed.
His mother Mabel died the following year in 1966. Mabel was 88 years old and the only surviving member of her family.
- Kanchanaburi, 50k - Thailand
- Mergui (Myiek) Escape Road - Thailand
- Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand
- Tonchan South, 131k - Thailand
- Alepauk, Rabao, 18 Kilo - Burma
- Apalon, Apalaine, 80 Kilo, 337k - Burma
- Kachau Mountain Camp - Thailand