The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Wood
First Name:
Thomas Ashton
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX5073
Classification:
Driver
Company:
‘D’ Company
Enlisted:
23.07.1940
Discharged:
4.12.1945
DOB:
25.05.1920
Place of Birth:
St Pancras, England
Father's Name:
Thomas Ashton Wood
Mothers's Name:
Ellen Elizabeth Wood
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Farmhand
Singapore:
Listed as missing from 9.2.1942, soldier had escaped to Java.
Return Details 1945:
Recovered at Batavia, Java‐Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Tamaroa.

General Description

Listed as missing from 9.2.1942, soldier had escaped to Java.

 

The 2/4th Committee of April 2000 was advised by Mrs A. Moir that Tom Wood had passed away 1997-1998. (published Borehole Bulletin April 2000)

Tom Wood died 6 January 1995 aged 74 years and buried Karrakatta.

Little is known of his family or when he came to Western Australia from England,  however the Wood family with  son Tom were residing at Mt. Helena in 1946.

 

 

 

After the war Tom married in 1946 to Helen Clair Wroth of Mt Lawley.  They had two sons, however the marriage did not last, and by 1950 the couple had parted. They divorced in 1954.

Tom’s was not the only marriage to break-down and we would have to assume much of the issues would be due to his POW years for which men received virtually no support.  On return after the war the men were told ‘to get on with their lives’ and ‘not to talk about their experiences’ (probably because nobody would believe them) and Australia and the powers-to-be simply wanted to get on with the world.  DVA had no ideas on how to deal with what today is known as ‘stress’.  These men had lived nearly 4 years undernourished, humiliated, bashed, worked as slaves and stood by as mates died with unfamiliar tropical diseases  and/or were bashed because they then were in no condition to work.

 

We know little of Tom Wood’s war experience.  Having got himself to Java he spent the remainder of the war there in POW Camps.   There appear to be no record of the Camps wereTom was incarcerated. He left Singapore without permission and would have spent his POW years with men he was not known to, possibly Dutch and not Australians.

 

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