The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Gibson
First Name:
Thomas Crosby
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX8900
Classification:
Driver
Company:
‘C’ Company
Enlisted:
25.10.1940
Discharged:
14.01.1946
DOB:
30.03.1911
Place of Birth:
Cranbrook, Western Australia
Father's Name:
George Crosby Gibson
Mothers's Name:
Mary Gibson
Religion:
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Bus Driver
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selarang Barracks Changi
Force:
‘D’ Force Thailand S Battalion
Camps Thailand:
Kanu II, Tamuang
Camps Japan:
Yamane & Niihama
POW#:
4/6156 , 1615 & 445
Japan:
Rashin Maru Party
Return Details 1945:
Wakayama-Okinawa, USS Sanctuary, Okinawa-Manila, USS Bingham, Manila-Sydney, HMS Speaker, Sydney-Fremantle, HMT Dominion Monarch

General Description

Back L-R: Thomas Gibson, Bert Norton, Fred "Cowboy" Matthews, Ralph Hadfield, Front: George Chatfield, Norm Thompson, Claude Dow, Andrew "Mick" Lambie
Back L-R: Thomas Gibson, Bert Norton, Fred “Cowboy” Matthews, Ralph Hadfield,
Front: George Chatfield, Norm Thompson, Claude Dow, Andrew “Mick” Lambie

 

Tom was selected to work on Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand S Battalion which left Singapore Railway Station 14 March 1943. The POWs were crammed into small rail trucks for the 4-5 day journey.  S Battalion included a large number of 2/4th men.

They were delivered to Bampong and stayed overnight at the nearby Konma Transit Camp.  They left following day in trucks heading north.

Their first work camp was Tarsau, which would become Japanese HQ for ‘D’ Force and hospital.  Their work here was not too exacting and did not prepare them for the horror which lay ahead at Konyu !! Camp in the Hellfire Pass cutting.

Please read further about ‘D’ Force Thailand, S Battalion

From Konyu the POWs were split into smaller parties and sent to other camps such as Hintok, or for some to Hospital Camps if they were sick such as Chungkai.

By the end of the 1943 the railway was completed – except there were continuing maintenance work parties working up and down the railway.  Many were too ill and the hospitals at Tamarkan, Chungkai and Tarsau were filled with sick men.

Tom was at Tamuang Camp when he was selected fit to work in Japan.  Once again he was fortunate as this group to known as ‘Rashin Maru’ party and were entrained to Singapore to wait for a ship.  Here they were accommodated at River Valley Road Camp and sent on work parties in Singapore.

 

 

 

Tom Gibson died 1995.

From Borehole Bulletin July 1995.

There was a strong turnout at Tom’s funeral and his daughter, Mary Gibson wrote from Jindalee, Queensland to thank the Battalion for their support and presence.  Mary and the Gibson family were deeply moved by the playing and delivery of the “Ode” by Ted.

Mary Gibson wrote ‘My father was a proud member of 2/4th and displayed all the character of the true digger in his fight against an illness that mercifully did not cause him undue suffering.’

Lyndal ‘Mary’ Gibson was born December 1941 when Tom was with 2/4th at Darwin.  We cannot be sure Tom was one of the hundreds of men who jumped ‘Aquitania’ when it anchored off Fremantle for one night only, heading for Singapore.  If he was successful, then he would have see his family, new baby daughter and successfully boarded ship before it sailed next day at midday.

 

 

 

 

Tom’s parents George Crosby Gibson and Mary Jackman married 1910 Plantagenet.

When George who was born York enlisted WW1 16 April 917 aged 30 years, with 29th Reinforcements 10th Light Horse, he was residing Tenterden, married with four children including Thomas (according to his records).

George saw service in the middle east, however became seriously ill was hospitalised Port Said AGH before being repatriated to Australia departing Suez 1 January 1919.

He was discharged 18 March 1919.

Tom’s father George died in 1950.

 

 

When Tom returned from war, he and Lily resided in Bicton, later in 1954 Hilton.

 

Camp Locations:

  • Adam Park Camp - Singapore
  • Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
  • Nihama, Hiroshima #2-B- Japan
  • Yamane, Hiroshima #3-D - Japan
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