The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Leslie Gordon
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- ‘D’ Section, 4th Reserve Motor Transport Company
- Place of Birth:
- Broken Hill, New South Wales
- Father's Name:
- Henry James Riches
- Mothers's Name:
- Caroline Riches
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Selarang Barracks Changi; Thomson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp); Selarang Barracks Changi
- ‘D’ Force Thailand, V Battalion
- Camps Thailand:
- Kinsaiyok, Brankassi, Kuii (evacuated sick), Nacompaton
- Return Details 1945:
- Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Tamaroa
Major Alf Cough wrote of Les ‘So off went my right hand man. I will miss him, his high morale and rough wit which could nearly always raise a smile from the boys, he also used effectively on me the same bulldust.’
Riches enlisted Western Australia in 11th Battalion WW1. He was at Gallipoli and then France. As you can see below he was awarded the Military Cross.
Leslie Gordon Riches MC and Mary Smith Riches (nee Berliner) 10th December 1919
Below: Les Riches playing cricket.
Below: Molly (nee Berliner’s) brother marries in 1922
Below: Les Riches plays with Subiaco
Below: Molly’s father stages concert.
Below: About this time – Len Riches move to Merredin.
Les Riches was born 1892, and not 1896 he recorded on his WW2 Enlistment. He was so keen to play his part in WW2, enlisted 4th Motor Reserve Transport Company and was attached to 2/4th.
As a POW in Singapore Les went with ‘D’ Force Thailand V Battalion to work on Burma-Thai Railway under the command of Major Cough. There is no doubt Pard’s experience and maturity was an asset to Cough and V Battalion who suffered terribly.
Please read about V Battalion which endured some of the highest death rates on the railway. Pard was evacuated sick out of Kuii Camp. He was recovered from Nacompaton at the end of the war.
Born in Broken Hill, NSW (although alternative sources suggest he was born in Mt Barker) to Henry James Riches and Caroline Riches.
We believe the Riches moved to Kalgoorlie. His father died 1918 aged 57 years. His mother Caroline died Mt Barker in 1943 aged 73 years.
After the end of WW1 Les was residing Mt Barker, farming. In 1925 he and Mary had moved to Cottesloe and he was working as a labourer.
We know Les and Molly were in Merredin in about 1929.
After the end of WW2 we find Les and Mary (known as Molly) residing Delaney, Bright in Victoria.
Les died during 1954 at Bright.
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Thomson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp) - Singapore
- Brankassi, Prang Kasi, 208k - Thailand
- Kinsaiyok Main, 170.2k - Thailand
- Kuii, Kui Yae, 185.6k - Thailand
- Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand