The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Maurice William
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
Battalion Headquarters
Place of Birth:
Subiaco, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Maurice William Caldwell
Mothers's Name:
Mary Ann Gordon Caldwell (nee Palmer)
Roman Catholic
Pre-war Occupation:
'Blackforce', attached to 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion
Camps Java:
Bandoeng, Soekamiskin Prison, Tjimahi Camp No. 4
Return Details 1945:
Not Known

General Description

Caldwell was listed as missing in action in Java.  He had been sent to Bandoeng by Captain Albrecht to collect supplies but collapsed with dengue fever and admitted to hospital by the Dutch, becoming separated from 2/2nd Pioneers with whom he was fighting with.  He was captured by Japanese on 15/4/1942 placed Soek….Camp.
Read about ‘Blackforce’ and Java.
Maurice spent from 15 April 1942 to 5 February 1944 interned at Soekamiskin Prison.  This location was for Dutch, British, American, Ambonese and Mendaonese POWs and Indonesian convicts.

Read further about Java

Maurice William Caldwell (Right) with brother Arnold and Mother, Mary Ann
Maurice William Caldwell (Right) with brother Arnold and Mother, Mary Ann


Morrie Caldwell & Ken Lessels Adelaide 1941
Morrie Caldwell & Ken Lessels Adelaide 1941


Morrie was the eldest of a large family.  In 1928 the Caldwell family was residing in East Fremantle when  his younger brother Lyle, aged 15 was killed whilst cycling in High Street, Fremantle when he collided with a truck.  Maurice William (Snr) and Mary Caldwell and their children Morrie, George, Alick, Arnold, Maisie and Olive were plunged into grief.  The Caldwell family relocated to live in Victoria Park.
Tragedy was again to strike the Caldwell family when in 1937, Maisie aged 18 years died of illness in hospital. She had been 9 years old when her brother Lyle died in the cycle accident.

Above:  Morrie had premises at Aherns.



Morrie married 1932. He and his wife Mary lived in Northam where Morrie worked as a hairdresser.
Maurice returned home after the war to learn their son Kevin Alexander Caldwell who was born in 1937 had died 1943, while Morrie was POW in Java.  Kevin was killed when he was hit by a goods train in Northam.  He was 6 years old.
Morrie’s  mother died in 1942.



A typical ‘tantalising’ and awful headline from the Mirror Newspaper.
He and his wife divorced in 1946.  Morrie remarried Olive Myrtle Marshall.  They resided in Belmont through the years of 1949 to after 1958 before moving to live in North Beach.


Morrie’s father did not recover.



(It is believed Maurice Caldwell went back into the Army during the mid 50’s.)
Maurice Caldwell died 7 July 1978 Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.  He was cremated at Karrakatta Cemetery.  He was 72 years old.

Camp Locations:

  • Bandoeng - Java ***
  • Soekamiskin Prison - Java ***
  • Tjimahi, Cimahi- Java ***