The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Curtin
First Name:
John Goode
Nick Name:
Jack or Taddy
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX8735
Classification:
Driver
Company:
‘B’ Company, No. 8 Platoon (Headquarters Driver)
Enlisted:
23.10.1940
Discharged:
11.04.1946
DOB:
8.06.1918
Place of Birth:
Norseman, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Frances Henry Curtin
Mothers's Name:
Ethel May Curtin (nee Pippin)
Religion:
Methodist
Pre-war Occupation:
Driver
Singapore:
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
Force:
‘D’ Force Thailand, Captain Harris Party
POW#:
4/6043
Return Details 1945:
Saigon‐Bangkok‐Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Sydney, HMT Highland Chieftan, Sydney-Melbourne-Perth by troop train

General Description

John Curtin was selected in Singapore to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force leaving during March 1943.    ‘D’ Force was made up of many Battalions, however they all worked on the Thai end of railway.

It is believed also that during this time, John was selected with Capt Harris Party.  There were a number of 2/4th men in this Party of which not a lot of detail is known.

When the railway was completed and POWs were being brought south to several collection camps, it appears John was selected from Non Paduk Camp with Both Party which was intended to sail to Japan, but instead went to French Indo China.

Taken back to Singapore this was the last group to leave Thailand for overseas. A total of 2,030 POWs mostly British and 200 Australians of which there were 22 men from 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion included.  These POWs were to spend the last months of the war in and around Saigon.

Read further about Saigon Party.

The party left Singapore 2nd February 1945 for Saigon.

It was from here that John was recovered at the end of the war.

 

 

Curtin
Curtin

 

Read about Capt. Fred Harris Party

 

 

John Curtin’s parents Franics Henry Curtin and Ethel Mary Pippin married 19 August 1912 at Coolgardie.  Frank and Ethel had two daughters and two sons and resided at Norseman.

 

Frank Curtin was born in July 1886 at Prospect, SA.  Prior to marrying Ethel, Frank was recorded in the 1902 Electoral Roll working at Star of WA Mine as a miner and later at other mines.

Frank worked for many years as a hairdresser from about 1917 through to 1931 as well as operating a newsagency and finally working for Norseman Mining.

In the 1936 Electoral Roll Frank, Ethel and Lillian were recorded at White Street, Osborne Park, he was an orchardist.

In 1937 the family were back in Norseman.  In 1937 Frank’s occupation was recorded as Cyanide Hand (Norseman Goldmine).

Frank and Ethel’s daughters Lillian Mary and Esther Dorothy married local Norseman brothers George and Ernest Perkins.

Lillian married George Perkin in August 1937 and Esther married Ernest in December 1937.  The latter remained living in Norseman.

Taddy’s young brother Mervyn was the ‘baby’ of the family and born in 1928, 10 years after Taddy.

 

 

 

During 1940, and not long after John (Taddy) enlisted with the AIF, tragic news came from the town of Norseman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This family tragedy would have been a very heavy burden for John ‘Taddy’ Curtin to take to war and particularly during his years as a POW.

 

 

 

John ‘Taddy’ Curtin married in 1946 to Momant Azile ‘Babs’ Tanner.

He died 20 December 1995 aged 77 years.   His wife Babs died 13 August 1975 at Morley aged 50 years.  They were cremated at Karakatta.

 

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Saigon - French Indo China
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