The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Fidge
First Name:
Hurtle Stanley
Nick Name:
Bert
Rank:
Sergeant
Regimental #:
WX7663
Company:
‘C’ Company, No 10 Platoon.
Enlisted:
10.08.1940
Discharged:
25.05.1947
DOB:
29.12.1915
Place of Birth:
Bute, South Australia
Father's Name:
Herbert Hall Fidge
Mothers's Name:
Matilda Shannan Fidge
Religion:
Methodist
Pre-war Occupation:
Farmhand
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi; River Valley Road (Jeep Island, dry dock); Changi Gaol Camp Hospital (ulcer in left eye, removed from Japan draft); Transferred to Changi Administration on 28.1.1945; X10 Party
Force:
‘ A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion
Camps Burma:
Victoria Point, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw, Meiloe, Augganaung.
POW#:
1332
Japan:
Rakuyo Maru Party, Kumi No. 35
Return Details 1945:
Singapore-Darwin‐Sydney, HMT Arawa; Sydney-Melbourne by troop train; Melbourne-Fremantle, HMT Strathmore

General Description

Some of C Coy (mostly No 9 Pln) in transit Rear L-R Kev Moir, Clarrie Henderson, Fred Webb Front Taffy Jones, Cyril Anderson, Jock Leith, Chris Mc Lennan, Les Marriot, Ern Ricketts, Paddy Byrne, S Morris, Bert Fidge. Kneeling Harry Norris
Some of C Coy (mostly No 9 Pln) in transit
Rear L-R Kev Moir, Clarrie Henderson, Fred Webb
Front Taffy Jones, Cyril Anderson, Jock Leith, Chris Mc Lennan, Les Marriot, Ern Ricketts, Paddy Byrne, S Morris, Bert Fidge.
Kneeling Harry Norris

 

Bert was selected with ‘A’ Force Burma, No. 3 Battalion to work on the Burma end of the Railway, departing Singapore to sail to Burma on 14 May 1942.

Please read further

This group of men first arrived at Victoria Point, before moving to Tavoy, Ye, Thanbyuzat, Kendau, Thetkaw, Meiloe, Augganaung before moving south to Thailand when the railway was completed.

He was probably accommodated at Tamarkan.

It was here Bert was considered fit by the Japanese and selected to work in Japan with Kumi 35 to supposedly sail on ‘Rakuyo Maru’. They were transported through Bangkok to Phom Penh and to Saigon.  It was here the Japanese now realised the Allied blockade was too efficient and they were no longer able to sail safely out of Saigon to Japan. The POWs were to be sent back by rail to Singapore to be shipped to Japan!

Arriving back in Singapore the men were accommodated at River Valley Road Camp where they were to work on dry docks awaiting their sailing ship.

In September 1944 Bert was found to have a cornea ulcer in his left eye and soon after in his right eye. He was removed from the Japan draft because he was almost blind and remained in Changi.  Bert was lucky, had he been well enough to sail with ‘Rakuyo Maru’ there is every possibility he would have drowned in South China Sea when the ship was hit by American submarines.  Many of Bert’s mates lost their lives.

When his sight sufficiently recovered he worked with the X10 Party. Read further.

He was transferred to Changi Administration 28 Jan 1945.

He was recovered at the end of the war from Changi on 4 September 1945.

 

 

Bert was the second of four boys born to parents Herbert Hall Fidge and Matilda Sharman who married in March 1913 at Bute, SA.  Matilda died in 1919 Bute, SA soon after the birth of her youngest son  Arthur Allan Fidge and  when Hurtle was about 4 years of age.

 

 

Herbert Hall Fidge remarried to Harriet Jane Troeth and there followed 2 daughters and a son.

The family were to endure the deaths of two children: Half sister Brenda Joyce Fidge born in 1922 died in 1923 and Hurtle Stanley’s eldest brother William Rex died in 1924 aged 10 years.

When Bert enlisted in 1940 he had been working as farm labourer at ‘Von Vue’ Emu Hill, near Beverley.

 

 

On returning to Australia at the end of the war, Bert was found to be living in NSW in 1949 at Fairfield, with his wife Maisie Pearl (nee Waters) where he was working as a plaster caster.

In 1958 Bert and Maisie were living at Fairfield, NSW where Bert had joined the Police Force.  He remained with the Police Department throughout years 1963 and 1968 living with Maisie at Woy Woy.

Bert moved to Terang Victoria about 1970s, his father died at Terang 1973.

We believe, according to Electoral Rolls, Bert returned to live in WA late 1970s, because in 1977 and 1980 he was recorded residing at Lansdowne Street, Kensington, WA.

Maisie died January 1981.

Bert passed away aged 85yrs, November 3 2001, at Alstone, NSW.

Camp Locations:

  • Changi Gaol Camp - Singapore
  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
  • Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
  • Meilo, 75 Kilo, 340k - Burma
  • Saigon - French Indo China
  • Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
  • Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma
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