The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Clarence John
- Nick Name:
- Lance Corporal
- Regimental #:
- 'A' Company
- Place of Birth:
- Geraldton, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- William Donald McDonald
- Mothers's Name:
- Beatrice Maude McDonald
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Railway Porter
- Selarang Camp & Barracks Changi
- 'D' Force Thalland, S Battalion
- Camps Thailand:
- Kanu II, Hintok Road Camp, Hintok River Camp, Kinsaiyok, Konkoita, Tarsau (hospital), Tamuang, Tamarkan, Chungkai, Petchaburi, Kachu Mountain Camp, Lopburi, Nakom Nayok, Bangkok.
- 4/4536, 8470
- Return Details 1945:
- Thailand-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Tamaroa.
Nakom Nayok Back: L-R Clarrie McDonald, Joe Pearce, George Neville, R. Anderson, ?, Ralph Williams, ?
Front: L-R Clive (Potty) White, Charles Fielder, Jim Basell, Reg Stewart, Roy Matthews, Pommie Para, Sid Webb, N. Simmonds
The above photograph was taken in Thailand after the war had finished. They had been freed, clothed and fed and waiting to return to Australia! They all look happy but several appear to be quite gaunt and probably unwell. Note several blokes are wearing Jap shoes/boots with separated toes. However none of them would have had shoes such as they are wearing whilst POWs and working for Japanese – most had no footwear.
Clarrie’s older brother Keith Kitchener known as KK and Geoff together enlisted 18 October 1940. Keith was WX8621 and Clarrie WX8620. Jim Dore was WX8617, Jim Elliott was WX8619, John Gilmour WX8622 and brother Jim Gilmour WX8623. The six mates were in ‘A’ Coy. (Jim Dore’s brother was probably WX8618 – however he was not selected to continue with the 2/4th whilst at Woodside, SA)
The mates remained together going to Thailand to the railway (except John Gilmour who had been ill and hospitalised at Changi and then went to Japan with ‘J’ Force) with ‘D’ Force S Battalion where KK McDonald died of Cholera at Kanyu 2 in November 1943 aged 25. KK was working hammer and tap with Cowboy Matthews WX17000 when he collapsed and was diagnosed immediately with cholera and taken to hospital camp and later died.
The sudden death of his brother KK would have been terrible for the close group of mates and quite unbearable for Clarrie and returning home without his brother would have been difficult.
In about 1946 Clarrie married Ailsa Meston and the couple had a family of 3 or 4 children.
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Chungkai, 60k - Thailand
- Hintok, 154k - Thailand
- Hintok River Camp, 158k - Thailand
- Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
- Kinsaiyok Main, 170.2k - Thailand
- Lopburi - Thailand
- Nakom Nayok, Nakhon Nayok - Thailand
- Petchaburi - Thailand
- Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
- Tamuang, Tha Muang 39k - Thailand
- Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand
- Kachau Mountain Camp - Thailand