The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Davidson
First Name:
Thomas
Nick Name:
Tom
Rank:
Acting Lance Corporal (Promoted 22.1.1943)
Regimental #:
WX7909
Classification:
Signaller
Company:
Headquarters Company, No. 1 Platoon.
Enlisted:
13.08.1940
DOB:
15.01.1910
Place of Birth:
Perth, Western Australia
Father's Name:
William Davidson
Mothers's Name:
Jeanie Davidson (nee Clark)
Religion:
Congregational
Pre-war Occupation:
Miner
Memorial:
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Colective Grave, Plot 10, Row A, Grave 1-4, Age 33
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selarang Barracks Changi.
Force:
'D' Force Thailand, V Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Brankassi, Hindaine, Kuii
POW#:
4/6053 and 2230
Cause of Death:
Acute Enteritis
Place of Death:
Kuii
Date of Death:
18.09.1943
Buried:
Kuii Cemetery, Grave No. 169.

General Description

Tom’s mother Jennie Hepburn Clark (born Scotland about 1891) was recorded living in 1916 Electoral Roll at Collie.    Tom had a sister Mary born 1912 aged then, 6 and 4 years.  Jeannie  married miner, Arthur Donald Griffiths in 1926 and they had two sons William born 1928 and Donald born 1933.

Sister Mary Davidson married Norman Clarke.

Tom’s mother Jeannie Griffiths died at Collie in 1963.  She was buried at Collie.

Tom Davidson married Marjorie Jean (Marge) Rushton in 1938 at St. Brigid’s  Church, Collie.  Tom was 27 and Marge who had been working as domestic was 25 years.   Prior to his enlistment,  they resided in Collie where Tom was employed as a miner.

Marge’s parents Herbert ‘Smiler’ Rushforth, teamster and Alexandrina Mary Callaghan married 1910, Worseley however resided Venn Street, Collie at that time.  Marjorie was born 23 December 1912 Worsley.

Tom was a Collie boy.  Tom’s name is inscribed at the War Memorial Collie.

He enlisted the same day as mates ‘Bluey’ Smith, Tom Finlay, Harry Fuhrmann, ‘Toona’ Simmonds, ‘Bluey’ Quinn, Jack Isaac.

Please read about ‘D’ Force Thailand V Battalion and Kuii Camp

 

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Marjorie Davidson remarried in 1949.  She died in 2011.

 

 

Tom was selected at Singapore to work on Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force V Battalion.  This Force was to suffer the highest death rate of ‘D’ Force, and on the Burma Thai Railway.

100 men from V Battalion were barged from Hindaine to Kuii and commenced work on 1 August 1943 and remained until 18 December 1943.  They were to work on the railway embankment.

The men worked in gangs of 5 men – with 4 carrying a rice bag between them supported by sticks and the 5th man would load soil from the side of the bank up 18 feet high.

The death rate from tropical illnesses especially malaria and dysentery was about 6 per day.  The men were overworked, had very little food and no medical supplies.  The doctors tried hard to keep the men alive by stopping them from working when they were clearly seriously ill, but mostly to no avail.’

He died of acutre enteritis at Kuii aged 33 years.  Tom was one of 17 POWs from 2/4th to die at Kuii .  The camp held about 1700 Dutch POWs who arrived before V Battalion and the Australian POWs were outnumbered.  All administration was undertaken by the Dutch and this meant V Battalion received the last choice of work parties, food, etc.  The conditions were terrible and the Japanese guards brutal.

 

Camp Locations:

  • Adam Park Camp - Singapore
  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Kuii, Kui Yae, 185.6k - Thailand
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