The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Edgar Joseph
Nick Name:
Sergeant (Promoted on 7.2.1942)
Regimental #:
'A' Company, No. 6 Platoon. Section Commander.
Place of Birth:
Armadale, Western Australia
Father's Name:
George Joseph Howard
Mothers's Name:
Beatrice Victoria Howard (nee George)
Church of England
Pre-war Occupation:
Ticket Inspector, W.A.G.R.
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Collective Grave, Plot 10, Row F, Grave 2-10 L4, Age 31.
Selarang Camp Changi, Mount Pleasant Camp, River Valley Road Camp, Selarang Barracks Camp.
'H' Force Thailand, H Force Group No. 3
Cause of Death:
Place of Death:
Place of Death Kanu II, Malayan Hamlet
Date of Death:
Buried Grave No. 22 Malayan Hamlet (NCO’s body was not cremated)

General Description

Entered Claremont camp on 10 Aug 1940, and six days later was sent to the Melville Training Depot. Transferred to Northam’s No 3 Depot Battalion on 2 Sep 1940 where he was promoted on 1 Oct 1940 to Lance Corporal, and on 2 Nov 1940 to Acting Corporal. On 4 Dec 1940 he was transferred to 2/4th MGB.  Granted 7 day’s pre-embarkation leave from 1 Jul 1941, and on 21 Jul 1941 the unit boarded the HMT ‘Duntroon’ in Fremantle and relocated to Southern Command, Woodside in South Australia  25 Jul 1941.  On 7 Aug 1941 was appointed Acting Lance Sergeant in 6 Platoon, ‘A’ Company. On 1 Oct 1941 the unit entrained for Darwin arriving 20 Oct 1941. Promoted to Acting Sergeant on 31 Oct 1941.
Embarked on the HMT ‘Aquitania’ for overseas on 30 Dec 1941, disembarking at Singapore on 24 Jan 1942. On 29 Jan 1942 his rank of Sergeant was confirmed before he was hospitalised 2/13th Australian General Hospital from 12 – 20 Feb 1942. On 15 Feb 1942 he and the hospital were captured by the Japanese, with Australian sources posting him as Missing in Action on 16 Feb 1942.
On 31 Mar 1942 with POW No. 3/6204 he entered the 2/13th
AGH with dysentery and  released 5 Apr 1942. Readmitted from 26 Feb 1943 until 24 Apr 1943 with neuritis.   On 8 May 1943 entrained for Thailand as part of “H” Force, No. 3 Battalion. Edgar died from Cholera on 1 Jul 1943 in Kanu II, Malaysian Hamlet, but this was not confirmed until 3 Oct 1945.

Sgt Howard suffered shell shock at Ulu Pandan.


A Coy 6 Pln Woodside SA, photo courtesy Tom Limbourn
A Coy. 6 Pln. Woodside SA, photo courtesy Tom Limbourn. Tim crouching.
Whilst at Selarang Barracks Tim Howard was selected for ‘H’ Force Group No, 3.  ‘H’ Force suffered one of the highest death rate of any Railway Force.

Read further about ‘H’ Force No. 3 Battalion

Tim tragically contracted cholera and died 1st July 1943 whilst working at Malayan Hamlet.  He was 31 years of age.  His body was not cremated (as most cholera deaths were) and initially was buried at Malay Hamlet.  Today he rests at Kanchanaburi and is one of 91 men from the 2/4th.



Version 5


Howard E J October 1945

Howard, E




Prior to enlisting Howard resided in Bunbury and worked as a Ticket Inspector for WAGR.
‘Tim’ Howard married Elsie Beryl Pickersgill in 1932.  They had two children.  The youngest, son Peter John Howard born in 1939 tragically died in 1944 aged 5 years.   Peter’s father unknown to the family had already died of cholera in Thailand.


Elsie remarried in 1950 however was again widowed in 1972.  She died at Bunbury in 1992 aged 79 years.

Camp Locations:

  • Mount Pleasant Camp - Singapore
  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand