The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Cosson
First Name:
Edward James
Nick Name:
Ted
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX10048
Classification:
Signaller
Company:
Headquarters Company, No. 1 Platoon
Enlisted:
13.12.1940
Discharged:
1.02.1946
DOB:
13.03.1910
Place of Birth:
Melbourne, Victoria
Father's Name:
Edward Charles Cosson
Mothers's Name:
Florence 'Mabel' Beatrice Cosson (nee McCulloch)
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Publican (Toodyay)
Singapore:
River Valley Road
Java:
'Blackforce' attached to 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion.
Force:
'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

General Description

 

Aub Hosking, Vern Hoppe, Billy Grundy, Harold Eastwood, Ted Cosson and Harry Picket
Aub Hosking, Vern Hoppe, Billy Grundy, Harold Eastwood, Ted Cosson and Harry Picket

 

Gang of '7' Signals in Adelaide. rear L-R Ron Evans, Kack Kyros, Claude Gault, Merve wilkinson. Fr Vern Hoppe, Bill Grundy & Ted Cosson.
Gang of ‘7’ Signals in Adelaide.
Rear L-R Ron Evans, Jack Kyros, Claude Gault, Merve Wilkinson.
Front –  Vern Hoppe, Bill Grundy & Ted Cosson.

 

Cosson, Ted, Wilkinson, Merv & Rutherford, Rus;ty
Ted Cosson, Merv Wilkinson & Rusty Rutherford who died 13/10/1943 of Cadiac Beri-Beri at Chungkai.

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.

Read further about AWOL at Fremantle.

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.)

Read further about Robertson Force Java Party No. 5A

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 the 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 the Valley of Death).  Read further

At the end of the war, about 18th September, the 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.

Please read further about POW cards received by families in WA

Above:  Ted apppears 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.

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 in 1966.   Mabel was 88 years old and the only surviving member of her family.

 

Camp Locations:

  • 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
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