The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Claude Leonard
Nick Name:
Pills or Doc
Captain (R.M.O.)
Regimental #:
Mentioned in Despatches
Attached 2/4th A.A.M.C., Battalion Headquarters
Place of Birth:
Curramulka, South Australia
Father's Name:
Ernest James Anderson
Mothers's Name:
Edith Alice Anderson
Pre-war Occupation:
General Practitioner
Selarang Camp Changi
‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion.
Camps Thailand:
Tamarkan, Lopburi
Camps Burma:
Khonkan 55km (1.9.1943-19.10.1943)
Return Details 1945:
Bangkok-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Moreton Bay.

General Description

Claude Anderson’s Appointment was terminated 4/1/1946.

Claude Anderson – ‘The Man’

Claude Leonard Anderson was born 26/12/1909 at Curramulka on the Yorke Peninsula, South Australia.  He was schooled at Prince Alfred College before taking up 6 years medical training at Adelaide University.  On graduation he attained a position at Royal Perth Hospital.  After 27 months at Royal Perth, Claude was appointed 2nd in-charge.  When the second Word War erupted in 1939 Claude was a practicing GP with his own rooms in Nedlands.  He decided to enlist with the 2nd AIF where he was acting as Medical Officer at Northam Camp Recruit Training Depot.  It was at Northam where Claude accepted the position of Regimental Medical Officer with  2/4th MG Battalion.  He moved to No. 2 Camp Northam where the Battalion was being formed by Lieutenant-Colonel M.J. Anketell.  If asked to describe himself, Claude would probably have said he was just an ordinary bloke.  But in reality Claude could have been described as a quiet, softly spoken man, a true gentleman in every sense of the word.  He just got on and did the job without complaint.  His services during the action on Singapore Island and of course as POW Medico were recognised by his being Mentioned in Despatches.  Beyond reward however, Claude never failed to command the respect and admiration from all who served with this battalion.


Claude Anderson
Claude Anderson
Anderson Claude, St Peters College Student, SA.
Anderson Claude, St Peters College Student, SA.


Follow the link below to read Peter Winstanley’s article on Captain Claude L Anderson WX3464 Medical Officer 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion


View Peter Winstanley’s video interview of Claude Anderson WX3464.

Also read Captain Claude Anderson.

Claude Anderson was selected with ‘A’ Force to go to Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion.  Sailing from Singapore Green Force No. 3 Battalion arrived at Victoria Point where the POWs were to work at the wharves or repairing the aerodrome.

Read further about Green Force No. 3 Battalion.

Claude Anderson assissted Albert Coates with about 60 amputations, some of which were men of the 2/4th.

‘The Japanese sent trained Surgeon Dr. Albert Coates from 105 kilo to 55 kilo camp, Kohn Kuhn to establish a 1800 bed hospital camp for men up the line who were too sick to work.

Coates was very ill a the time with scrub-typhus and had to be assisted to stand.

Bamboo huts were constructed. A small operating theatre was built to the side furnished with a bamboo table for surgery. The floors were dirt and the roof made of thatched palm.

There was no equipment, supplies nor beds. With no proper instruments Coates and his team improvised with a few artery forceps, scalpels and sharpened table knives for amputations. They used bent forks for retractors, a kitchen saw and darning needles. The Japanese jokingly gave them a curette. Coates had a spinal needle which he used to give anaesthetics. There was no general anaesthesia for small procedures such as small amputations (toes) nor cleaning of ulcers (3 men would hold down the patient to clean the wound with spoon, knife, etc).

As soon as Coates was sufficiently well he commenced work; performing a wide range of surgery including tracheostomy for diphtheria, ileostomy for toxic amoebic dysentery, strangulated hernia reduction and complications of the ever present tropical ulcer. Coates performed 120 amputations for gangrenous lower limbs and sometimes more than 50 men a day would have ulcers curetted.

Dr John Gibbon was initially the only doctor to assisting Coates until Claude Anderson arrived. Claude Anderson assisted with 60 amputations.’

Claude was recovered from Nakhon Nayok when Japan surrendered  in 1945.

Read further about Claude Anderson



Anderson Claude

Listen to interview IWM with Claude

Claude died in 2008.


Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Lopburi - Thailand
  • Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
  • Khonkan, 55Kilo Hospital 360k - Burma