The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Matheson
First Name:
Donald Angus
Rank:
Private
Regimental #:
WX9296
Classification:
Driver
Company:
‘C’ Company
Enlisted:
30.10.1940
DOB:
27.02.1908
Place of Birth:
Rogart, Scotland
Father's Name:
William Matheson
Mothers's Name:
Esther Matheson (nee McKay)
Religion:
Presbyterian
Pre-war Occupation:
Farmhand
Memorial:
Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Plot A3, Row B, Grave 3, Age 36.
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi
Force:
'A' Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
Camps Burma:
Victoria Point, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw, Augganaung
POW#:
3078
Cause of Death:
Cardiac Beri-Beri
Place of Death:
Aungganaung 105km Camp
Date of Death:
10.03.1944
Buried:
Grave No. 120, Aungganaung

General Description

For this soldier to have died at Aungganaung in March 1944 it is probable that he was attached to Williams Force – when the railway was completed about the end of 1943 the Japanese brought all POWs south to one of about 3 or 4 large camps.  It remains probable, Don went back up the Railway to do maintenance/repairs with Williams Force.

Don died of cardiac beri-beri aged 36 years.  Wally Winter WX10273 was pall bearer at Don’s funeral.  Wally went on to join ‘Rakuyo’ Maru party originally sent to Saigon, then back to Singapore to board their ship to Japan.  An American submarine ‘wolf pack’ attacked the convoy, finally Rakuyo was hit.  38 2/4th men lost their lives starting 12 September, 1944 and Wally was one of those men so fortunate to survive 4 days in the ocean and rescued by USS ‘Pampanito’.

From Singapore Don Matheson was selected to work on Burma end of Burma-Thai Railway with ‘A’ Force Green Force No. 3 Battalion.

Please read the history of this Force.

And read the history of Williams Force

Regretfully there are no records of where POWs worked.  The best we can provide is an outline of where the various Forces travelled.

 

Don was born to parents William Matheson and Esther McKay who married 1902 Rogart, Scotland.

He was husband to Gwladys May Matheson (nee Morgan) of South Perth.  They had married in 1940.

 

 

 

 

We believe Don Matheson migrated to WA from Scotland as a single young man.

He was recorded in Electoral Rolls 1931 to 1943 as residing and working at Kulin as a motor driver.

 

Gwladys was daughter of Thomas and Agnes Morgan of Tammin.  Agnes died in 1941 and Thomas Morgan died May 1945.

 

 

 

 

Above:  Gwladys had already learned of the tragic death of her husband Don, from illness in Burma.

This information would have been confirmed by Wally Winter who was rescued by ‘USS Pampanito’ following 4 days in ocean Sept 1944.  The rescued men returned to WA in about Nov 1944 – but were ordered not to communicate with relatives.  Wally would have reported Don Matheson’s death to AIF who in turn notified Gwladys.  Wally Winter was pall bearer at Don’s funeral March 1944 at Aungganung, Burma.

 

Incrediblly, Don Matheson has his name inscribed on a War Memorial at Pittentrail, Scotland.

This above war memorial site has linked to Don Matheson’s page.

Gwladys remarried to Alfred Russell McGrath.

Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
  • Kendau, Kandaw, 4 Kilo - Burma
  • Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
  • Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma
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