The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Fletcher
First Name:
Charles Henry
Nick Name:
Charlie
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX17745
Company:
Battalion Headquarters, No. 3 Platoon (possibly as Cook)
Enlisted:
24.11.1941
DOB:
28.12.1901
Place of Birth:
Cork, Ireland
Father's Name:
Samuel Fletcher
Mothers's Name:
Laura Fletcher
Religion:
Church of England, converted to R.C. at Non Pladuk
Pre-war Occupation:
Pastry Cook and Orderly at Fremantle Hospital
Memorial:
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Plot 1, Row F, Grave 44, Age 43.
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selarang Barracks Changi
Force:
'D' Force Thailand V Battalion
POW#:
4/6125 & 2242
Cause of Death:
Colitis
Place of Death:
Non Pladuk
Date of Death:
22.02.1944
Buried:
Non Pladuk Cemetery, Grave No. 87

General Description

 

Soldier acted as a cook although not trade grouped as such.

At Singapore Charlie was selected to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force ‘V’ Battalion which left by train on 17 March 1943 to Bampong.

Please read about ‘D’ Force V Battalion

 

EPSON MFP image
Charles Fletcher with wife Bridget, daughter Pat and son Michael.

 

It is believed Charlie Fletcher was born in 1901 and not 1903 as the year provided on his enlistment information.  He was one of a large family of seven in County Cork, Ireland.

(NB.   To ensure successful enlistment and not rejected by the age barriers of the time, men either put their ages up or down).

He arrived in Australia in 1915 on the “Orontes”.

He married Bridget Horgan and they had two children, Patricia and Michael.

His trade was mostly that of a ‘pasty cook’ however Charles had a number of trades including ships seaman employed on several interstate-shipping lines.

In 1931, due to the depression Charles and Bridget with their 2-year-old daughter Bridget returned to Fremantle from Sydney.  He began employment at the Fremantle Hospital on 10 October 1931 and later became ‘head-orderly’ where he remained until enlisting in late 1941.

According to family members, Charles had not long been out of hospital suffering from severe pneumonia prior to enlistment; and were surprised he was accepted by AIF.

Charles had an older brother George born in 1894 who also worked at Fremantle Hospital as an orderly.  George served with the British Army in WW1 and came to Australia in the 1920s.

George Fletcher ran a RAP post in the Fremantle area.

Charles converted to Catholicism whilst at Non Pladuk. Tom Cough was with Charles when he died. They had endured working together on the railway with ‘D’ Force V Battalion except for 3 months.

After the war Cough visited Bridget. He brought with him a Mass Book and rosary beads marked with soil having been buried from time to time to conceal from the guards.

(The above information was provided to Murray Ewen by a family member.)

 

Fletcher Charles Henry

Fletcher Charles Henry
Fletcher Charles Henry
FLETCHER CHARLES HENRY

 

Photograph January 2018.  C. Mellor

Camp Locations:

  • Adam Park Camp - Singapore
  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Non Pladuk, 0k - Thailand
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