The Soldier's Details

Surname:
MacMaster
First Name:
Hector Cecil Stanley
Nick Name:
Jock or Scotty
Rank:
Corporal (Promoted on 11.2.1942)
Regimental #:
WX8689
Company:
‘B’ Company
Enlisted:
23.10.1940
DOB:
22.11.1908
Place of Birth:
Leslie, Scotland
Father's Name:
John Cameron MacMaster
Mothers's Name:
Catherine MacMaster (nee Bain)
Religion:
Presbyterian
Pre-war Occupation:
Carpenter
Memorial:
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Plot 1, Row J, Grave 53, Age 37.
Singapore:
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
Force:
‘D’ Force Thailand, S Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Tarsau, Kanu II, Tarsau
POW#:
8741
Cause of Death:
Beri‐Beri
Place of Death:
Tarsau
Date of Death:
25.07.1943
Buried:
Cemetery No. 2, Grave No. 146, Tarsau on 26.7.1943.

General Description

MacMaster played the bag pipes.  When asked to play he would usually reply with his Scottish accent “Fook the pipes”.  (Information relayed to Cheryl Mellor with a twinkle in his eyes, and a smile by Veteran Ron Badock, formerly Coolgardie and 2/4th)

I had no comprehension how committed MacMaster was with his bagpipes, until I came across this photo!  He was a professional.

MacMaster is Pipe Sgt. Middle Row Left side.

 

Son of John Cameron MacMaster and Catherine Bain. Hector emigrated to Australia in the 1930’s where he married Mary Beatrice Menagh. He enlisted in the 2/4 A I F Machine Gun Battalion and was taken prisoner at the fall of Singapore in 1942. He was imprisoned in Changi and worked on the Death Railway, dying of Beri-Beri on July 25 1943 in Tarsau. He is buried in Kanchanaburi Cemetery.

 

 

 

He had managed to chop off one of his big toes whilst timber cutting.

Whille in Singapore he was selected with ‘D’ Force S Battalion to work on the Burma-Thai Railway.  He departed by train from Singapore Station on 14 March 1943.  On 25 July 1943, MacMaster was evacuated from Konyu II Camp and
died of beri-beri at Tarsau Camp,Thailand.  He was 37 years old.

 

Read further about ‘D’ Force S Battalion 

Today he rests at the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery with 91 mates from the 2/4th.

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.

 

 

 

 

The above plaque is found at the Kalgoorlie Regional Hospital with a small number of memorial plaques honouring those killed in WW2 from the region.

 

Hector was born in Leslie, Scotland to parents John MacMaster and Catherine Bain.  He was one of a large family 7 sons and one daughter.     Hector came to West Australia departing Southampton, England on ‘Moreton Bay’ on 23 December 1929 aged 22 years.  He recorded his occupation as labourer and home address as Cheyton Cottage, Leslie, Scotland.

 

“The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 – 1950) Saturday 18 January 1930 p 8 Article
NEW SETTLERS
The officer in charge of immigration advises that the following is the list of new settlers due to arrive at Fremantle by the s.s. Moreton Bay on or about January 21: —Nominated: Cawsey, Miss Ruby E.; Craigie, David; D’Arcy, Bert, wife and child; Drust, Geo. E.; Drust, Clarence G.; Macmaster, Hector C. S.; Mason, Alfred W. B.; Prince, Miss Ellen L.; Taylor, James; White, Mrs. Rebecca. Selected Civilians: Gibson, James S.; Hannaford, Reginald O. Farmers requiring farm workers or married couples for both branches of work — domestic and farm — should apply at once to the officer in charge of immigration, 306-308 Murray-street, Perth, or the general secretary, New Settlers’ League, St. George’s-terrace, Perth.”

 

It appears from records, Hector returned to Scotland, because in 1935 he was recorded arriving in Fremantle from England on ‘Moolah’, his home address again being Cheyton Cottage, Leslie, Scotland.

MacMaster’s older brother Donald Bain MacMaster also moved to WA from Scotland (date unknown) he married in 1935 at East Murchison to Violet Jenkin.  Donald  MacMaster was residing and working as a miner in Wiluna when he enlisted in 1942 at the age of 45 years 11months!  Donald born 30 April 1896 served WW1 in France with 2nd Battalion, Argyle SutherlandHighlanders.  He would have been very young.

Donald MacMaster died in 1986.

 

 

Above this is the Militia Platoon he was with for 4 years in Scotland.

 

In the last electoral roll prior to his enlistment Hector MacMaster was residing in Kalgoorlie and working as a miner.

About 1941 he married Mary Beatrice Menagh at East Coolgardie.

Mary was born in 1913, Subiaco.

Mary MacMaster’s address was West Brunswick and Subiaco on  MacMaster’s enlistment details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It appears Mary MacMaster did not remarry.  She was recorded in Electoral Rolls 1949 through to 1980 living in various addresses at Subiaco, Yokine and Claremont with her occupation as home duties.  Ir is quite possible she had employment as a house keeper throughout this time.

We are unable to confirm her death details.

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
  • Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand
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