The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Henry Elvin
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- 'C' Company
- Place of Birth:
- Melbourne, Victoria
- Father's Name:
- Joseph Albert McDonough
- Mothers's Name:
- Maud Mary McDonough
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Collective Grave, Plot 1, Row P, Grave 37-52, Age 28.
- Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
- 'H' Force Thailand, Group No. 3
- Camps Thailand:
- Kanu II, Malayan Hamlet
- Cause of Death:
- Place of Death:
- Kanu II , Malayan Hamlet
- Date of Death:
- In an unmarked cemetery approximately 300 yards North of Kanu IIIa (Tampie North), on Kanu-Hintok Road, Grave No. 18.
Harry enlisted in October 1940 and joined ‘C’ Company. Following capitulation of the Allies at Singapore, the Australian POWs were accommodated mostly at Selarang Camp and Barracks. The POWs participated in work parties around Singapore for the Japanese. Life was relatively relaxed compared to what lay ahead of the men on the railway.
The Japanese then began selecting men for construction of Burma-Thai Railway (the POWs were not aware of their destination). Harry was selected with ‘H’ Force which departed Singapore Railway Station 3 May 1943 to Thailand where the Force was sent to Konyu II, Malayan Hamlet.
Conditions at the camp and working were appalling and on 27 June 1943, Harry unfortunately contracted cholera and died at the age of 28 years. He was buried nearby and then after the war his body moved to Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.
Henry known as Harry was one of three sons and one daughter born to Maud Mary (nee Watters) and Joseph Albert McDonough.
Joseph died in 1956 and Maud in 1964.
Harry became a bootmaker and in 1937 and was working with his brother Albert Ernst. The same year Harry was residing with his parents at Darling Street, South Perth. In the Electoral Roll for 1943 i.e. the year he enlisted, he was residing in Seventh Avenue, East Perth, working as a boot repairer.
Harry’s parents were much involved with the Progressive Spiritualist Church with Reverend Maude McDonough and Emma Milner being instrumental in establishing the church in Highgate in 1934. The McDonoughs weathered controversial years when the Progressive Spiritualist Church was not recognised. The Perth Church was affiliated with Spiritualist Church movement which began in US in about 1840s.
Below: Progressive Spiritualist Church established in 1934 continues to remain active to this day.
Harry obviously followed in his father’s footsteps, and was a talented athlete with Harry’s father at one time, regarded as the best professional runner in the State.
Harry’s athletic talents were broad-based and included cycling, tennis and baseball and was a member of the Mt. Hawthorn Athletic Club where he was excelled at javelin.
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand