The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Colin Keith
- Nick Name:
- Black Mac or Keith
- Lance Corporal
- Regimental #:
- 'C' Company, No, 10 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Kojonup, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Richard McDonald
- Mothers's Name:
- Alice 'Rose' Halden
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Truck Driver
- Selarang Camp Changi
- 'A' Force Burma, Green Force, No. 3 Battalion
- Camps Thailand:
- Kanchanaburi, 114km 3.12.1943 (attached to Williams Force), Ratburi, Nacompaton
- Camps Burma:
- Victoria Point, Tavoy, Ye, Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw 14km, Meiloe 75km, Angganaung 105km,
- Return Details 1945:
- Thailand-Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Fremantle, HMT Circassia.
Keith was the son of Richard McDonald and Janet Ross who married 1885 Nairne, South Australia. He was youngest of five children most of whom were born in South Australia.
Keith married Alice ‘Rose’ Halden in 1923. They had five children, Len, Audrey, Gloria, Malcolm and Ross.
Keith enlisted AIF July 1940, later joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘C’ Coy as a Driver.
Rose’s father died in 1934.
Keith was a talented footballer.
Keith returned to truck driving after the war and the family continued residing at Kojonup.
A happy family event below.
Keith continues with his interest in local football.
Keith was employed as Manager of Works for the Kojonup Roads Board.
Colin Keith McDonald passed away 14/8/1973 aged 71 years. Rose who was born London died in 1989 aged 84 years. They are both buried at Kojonup cemetery.
Keith’s sons Leonard ‘Len’ McDonald
As POW in Singapore Keith was selected to work on Burma Thai Railway with ‘A’ Force Burma, Green Force No. 3 Battalion (others from Kojonup region in this work force with 2/4th included Bob Ritchie and Bert Struthoff). The 3,000 POWs departed Singapore on 3 ships for south west coast of Burma. Keith was part of Green Force, which included a large number of 2/4th men. They were dropped at Victoria Point, and the remaining sailed onto Tavoy and Ye. The POWs were to repair and enlarge the aerodromes before making their way to the northern most tip of the Burma Thai Railway. They commenced work on 1st October at Kendau 4.8km.
They would remain working on the railway until towards end of 1943.
McDonald was at the three aerodromes, and it appears was hospitalised at Ye and discharged Tavoy.
He worked at Kendau 4.8km, Thetkaw 14km, at Meiloe 75 km 20 March 1943, and marched out to Thanbyuzyat 10 May 1943.
On 3 December 1943 Keith was moved from Thanbyuzyat 105 km to a Camp Kanchanaburi, Thailand probably No. 3 Camp.
It is believed Keith was selected in May 1944 to join Williams Mobile Force for maintenance, and moved back up the railway line. Please read further.
(Unfortunately it is not possible to confirm which camps Keith may have been, we estimate based on where the work force was sent)
McDonald was with a work party sent to Ratburi Camp from 1 March 1945 to 20 August 1945 – making his way to Nacompaton Hospital Camp where Allied POWs gathered (as a holding camp) for recuperation home. Then onto Bangkok and Singapore and ‘Circassia’ home.
Below: news from POW Keith, and he mentions Struthoff and Bob Ritchie. Struthoff and McDonald have a connection from Kojonup. (Struthoff later died of illness in French Indo China)
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Kanchanaburi, 50k - Thailand
- Nacompaton, Nakom Pathom Hospital - Thailand
- Ratburi, Ratchaburi- Thailand
- Aungganaung,105Kilo - Burma
- Beketaung, 40Kilo, 374k - Burma
- Tavoy (Dawei) - river port - Burma
- Ye - Burma
- Victoria Point, Kawthoung - Burma. \'A\' Force, Green Force No. 3 Btn
- Thetkaw 14 Kilo - Burma