The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Leadbitter
First Name:
Edward Johnathan
Nick Name:
Ted
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX8425
Company:
‘D’ Company
Enlisted:
18.10.1940
DOB:
5.12.1918
Place of Birth:
London, England
Father's Name:
George Leadbitter
Mothers's Name:
Maud Leadbitter
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Gardener
Memorial:
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Collective Grave, Plot 3, Row G, Grave 35-39, Age 24.
Singapore:
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
Force:
‘D’ Force Thailand, V Battalion
POW#:
3/8489 & 2266
Cause of Death:
Cholera
Place of Death:
Kuii
Date of Death:
10.10.1943
Buried:
Kuii, Grave No. 196

General Description

This soldier had been sent out to Australia as an orphan to Kingsley Fairbridge Farm School.  Edward Leadbitter arrived in Australia on 23/8/1932 on ‘Oronsay’ aged 14 years.
His father had died in the Battle of Jutland and his mother had passed away when he was 11 years old.

In 1935 and 1936 Ted Leadbitter was working at Yandal Station, Leonora.  Ted is also recorded in ‘Fairbridgian’  magazine as attending the Mandurah summer camp in 1936 (holidays from work no doubt).  Ted also managed to spend Christmas Day at Fairbridge.  Other 2/4th blokes who were present at Christmas 1935 included Harry Scadden (also Mandurah summer camp) and Percy Westlake.

Soldier was listed as missing from 8.2.1942. He had been captured by the Japanese on the west coast of Singapore but had escaped and rejoined his unit after the surrender.

In Thailand Ted Leadbitter was suffering from malaria and delirious. He was kicked and beaten for 30 minutes by the Japanese Engineer Corporal known as ‘Black Cat’. Soldier died of cholera 14 days later.

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

In 1941 Ted Leadbitter married Winifred M. Purcher.

E-J-Leadbitter--Wedding-Pic

Edward Leadbitter and his wife Winifred on their wedding day.

Leadbitter wedding
Leadbitter wedding – other men believed to be drivers from Don Coy.

 

Leadbitter Headstone

 

Winifred Leadbitter remarried in 1948.

Leadbitter 1Leadbitter - 2

 

Leadbitter

 

Ted’s name is inscribed on the Byford War Memorial.

 

 

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Kuii, Kui Yae, 185.6k - Thailand
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