The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Clifford Dudley
- Nick Name:
- Cliff or Squashon
- Regimental #:
- ‘E’ Company, Special Reserve Battalion, No. 1 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Round Hill, Moora, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- William Francis Squance
- Mothers's Name:
- Elsie Olive Squance
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Escaped to Sumatra. River Valley Road Camp
- Camps Java:
- Sumatra - Gloe Gloer, Pakan Baroe-Moearo Railway, Sumatra.
- Return Details 1945:
- Sumatra‐Singapore by aircraft (admitted to 2/14th Australian General Hospital), Singapore-Perth, Duke of Gloucester’s aircraft ‘Endeavour ’.
Squance enlisted AIF 6 Oct 1941 and was included in the draft at Northam of new and little experienced reinforcements for 2/4th. They were entrained from Northam to board ‘Aquitania’ which had anchored at Gage Roads off Fremantle for the night of 15 Jan 1942 (unknown to all aboard, bound for Singapore.) The reinforcements joined the 2/4th battalion on board. they had sailed from Darwin having been away from home for some months.
Squance joined ‘E’ Company No, 1 Platoon under Commanding Officer Lt H.F. Green who was one of the 40 ‘E’ Coy men to die in the SW Bukit Timah Ambush on 12 Feb. (The number of dead represents almost 50%)
Cliff Squance was wounded in his left shoulder. He was listed as missing from Bald Hill, South-West Bukit Timah from 11/2/1942.
Squance escaped to Sumatra with others.
They were captured and interned Padang, Gloe Gloer Camp (Medan). Returned to Singapore via Harukiku Maru Party.
Then returned to Sumatra where he worked on the Sumatran Railway until the war ended. This was an appalling experience, so many POWs died of starvation.
Below: Cliff arrives at Guildford on the ‘Duke of Gloucester’ he is one of several very ill and severely emaciated POWs from Sumatra being met by Sir James Mitchell, WA Premier. Please read further
Born at Moora, Cliff he spent much of his formative years his formative years at Collie. His parents moved to Waterman’s Bay when his father retired. Cliff did not return to live in Collie.
Cliff passed away aged 82 yrs, November 3, 2002 his wife Ada died in 2001.
Cliff’s parents William Squance (b.8 October 1884, Penrhiwceiber, Glamorgan, Wales) and Elsie Bishop married 1914 at Moora, they were both from Round Hill.
‘Their father William Francis Squance had emigrated from Wales to WA in 1910 with a large family-related group of 42 people, some of whom had previously been settlers in Patagonia. Included with Wlm aged 25 years was older brother Henry 28 and younger brother John 21 on “Seydlitz” arriving Fremantle 10 Oct 1910. They became known as Welsh Patagonians and in their settlement at Moora they spoke their own language and taught their own children. They were Methodists who were very strongly family-oriented and who loved to sing. William, or Bill as he was known, married Elsie Olive Bishop whose family (her mother from Cornish miners) had moved to WA from Moonta in South Australia during the goldrushes.
Two Squance brothers married two Squance sisters. They moved with their families to Collie sometime after 1922 after coming back from WWI. The oldest Squance brother Harry, also moved to Collie, while the middle brother Jack stayed in Wales and married his childhood sweetheart. Their two married sisters had stayed in Wales when the rest of them emigrated.’ (this invaluable insight into the family is from Joanne Hyland (Family Historian).
The Squance family moved to live in Collie prior to 1925, Cliff’s father was a farmer.
Above: Squance Brothers WW1
Above: the four eldest Squance children, Cliff is front left. Taken about 1924.
Cliff was one of five children.
‘We were told that Uncle Cliff was practically a skeleton on his return home and so close to death that he would not have survived the ship voyage back so was flown instead.
Cliff never lost his rascally sense of humour and was always joking around. You have a photo of him with Roy Simmonds, who we know by the nickname of Toona, they were not only mates but also related by marriage with one of Cliff’s cousins. Roy’s mother-in-law was Rachel Squance, Cliff’s aunt.’ (Joanne Hyland)
Below: William and Elsie announce their thanks for the safe return of Cliff in 1945.
He married Ada Ellis in Perth about 1946. They had two daughters Lorraine and Lesley.
Cliff’s father died in 1948.
Cliff’s mother Elsie died in 1983.
In the 1949 Electoral Roll Cliff and Ada are residing Waterman’s Bay with Cliff’s mother. He was employed as a Labourer.
Cliff and Ada were residing at Joondanna 1954, 1958, 1963, 1968 and 1977. Cliff was a fireman. By 1980 they had retired to Rockingham.
Should any members of the Squance family have knowledge of their family history and can assist us – please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
- Gloe Gloer Camp - Sumatra
- Padang - Sumatra **
- Pakan Baroe-Moearo - Sumatra **