The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Harold John
Regimental #:
‘B’ Company, No. 9 Platoon
Place of Birth:
Perth, Western Australia
Father's Name:
James Duff Cowie
Mothers's Name:
Florence Amelia Cowie (Nee Davies)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Truck Driver
Selarang Camp Changi, Thompson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp), River Valley Road, Selarang Barracks Changi
‘F’ Force Thailand
Camps Thailand:
Shimo Sonkurai, Sonkurai, Sime Road Camp, Changi Gaol Camp
3/7415 and 13618
Return Details 1945:
Singapore-Darwin-Sydney, HMT Arawa, Sydney-Melbourne by troop train, Melbourne-Perth, HMT Strathmore

General Description

Harold’s parents James Duff Cowie and Florence Angela Davies married 1913 Perth.  Florence was born Newcastle, NSW 1899.  Her parents moved from Broken Hill to Kalgoorlie prior to 1898.  Her mother Florence Amelia Davies (nee Lambert) died 1912 Kalgoorlie at the young age of 43 years.  Florence’s  father Edward Davies died Kalgoorlie 1922 aged 59 years.
Harold’s father James Duff Cowie joined the Police Force.  He was posted to Broome and in 1943 returned to Metro area. Had served in Kalgoorlie and other locations.  James Duff Cowie died 1968 at Como, he was 83 years old. Florence Cowie died 1974 at Inglewood aged 85 years.
Cowie enlisted AIF Oct 1940, trained at a driver and joined ‘B’ Coy 9 Platoon under CO Lt Lee.
Cowie Parker James Anderton


Anderton Cowie James

Reunion East - Worth, Kemp,Cowie, James and Badock.
Reunion East – Worth, Kemp,Cowie, James and Badock.


Harold Cowie at the Sandakan Service, Boyup Brook.
Harold Cowie at the Sandakan Service, Boyup Brook, 23 August 1991 Original Memorial for Sandakan POWs.  The Service was believed to be held at the property of Ted McLaughlin, who had originally considered the idea of a Sandakan Memorial.  An unexpected large number of former POWs and 2/4th men and their wives attended the first service.  Thereafter, the annual service attracted families, former POWs to attend



Cowie, Castles, McGhee – 1985 Bunbury Re-union



Read Harold’s list of ‘F’ Force

Cowie, Harold’s list of F Force



Whilst in Singapore Harold was selected to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘F’ Force Thailand.  Harold departing by rail about 20 April 1943 to Thailand.
Please read about ‘F’ Force
Harold was in hospital at Sonkurai 24 – 28th Sept 1943, and Shimo Sonkurai Hospital from 28 May to 23rd June 1943.  He was one of the fortunate or lucky men who survived working with F Force on the Burma Thai Railway and returned to Singapore.  He was recovered from Changi Camp on 4 September 1945.

Kalgoorlie Miner, July 1947.

After the war Harold moved to Kalgoorlie where he worked with his brother in a business.
Harold died at end of 1995 and at the time was an active  Committeeman of the 2/4th ex-members Assoc.

Above:  Gorgeous Glad Victoria Cowie has not changed a dot since she married 1947.  9 Sunday Times 21 Sept 1947.
Glad is the daughter of William Arthur Skipper and Emily Matilda Woodward who married 1914, England..  Emily Skipper died in 1979 Scarborough and her father in 1967 aged 75 years.
William Arthur Skipper served WW1 England 1915-1919 with the Royal Navy.
The Skipper with their family of four children emigrated to WA sailing on ‘Hobsons Bay’ departing London 25 March 1924. Gladys was just a few months old. William’s recorded occupation was leather finisher.
Above:  Harold married Gladys Skipper in about 1947.  They had a family of two daughters.
Glad Cowie celebrating her 95th birthday with the 2/4th MGB Committee, November 2018.  Glad enjoys good health and attends most monthly Committee Meetings.We wish Glad our best wishes!


This year, 5 November 2023 Glad celebrated her 100th birthday with a gathering of relatives and friends at Kings Park. Below with daughters Faye and Gail.


Young Gladys Skipper reaches 100 years in 2023!

Congratulations from 2/4th MGB.

She received wishes from King Charles, Australia’s PM Albanese, State Premier Roger Cook and Glad’s local MP Kate Chaney.

Camp Locations:

  • Changi Gaol Camp - Singapore
  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Sime Road Camp - Singapore
  • Thomson Road (Caldecot Hill Estate Camp) - Singapore
  • Songkurai 294k - Thailand
  • Shimo Sonkurai, 288k - Thailand