The Soldier's Details

First Name:
John Goode
Nick Name:
Jack or Taddy
Regimental #:
‘B’ Company, No. 8 Platoon (Headquarters Driver)
Place of Birth:
Norseman, Western Australia
Father's Name:
Frances Henry Curtin
Mothers's Name:
Ethel May Curtin (nee Pippin)
Pre-war Occupation:
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi, River Valley Transit Camp
‘D’ Force Thailand, Captain Harris Party
Camps Thailand:
Kanchanaburi, Kinsaiyok, Hindaine, Hindat, Non Pladuk
Return Details 1945:
Saigon‐Bangkok‐Singapore by aircraft, Singapore-Sydney, HMT Highland Chieftan, Sydney-Melbourne-Perth by troop train

General Description

John Curtin was selected in Singapore to work on the Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force leaving during March 1943.    ‘D’ Force was made up of several Battalions, however they all worked on the Thai end of railway mostly around Hellfire Pass Cutting and a little further north.
It is believed also that during this time, John was selected with Capt Harris Party.  There were a number of 2/4th men in this Party of which not a lot of detail is known.
When the railway was completed and POWs were being brought south to several collection camps in Thailand.  It appears John was selected from Non Paduk Camp with ‘Both’ Party which was intended to sail to Japan, but instead went to French Indo China.
Taken back to River Valley Transit Camp, Singapore this was the last group to leave Thailand for overseas. A total of 2,030 POWs mostly British and 200 Australians of which there were 22 men from 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion included departed 2 Feb 1845. These POWs were to spend the last months of the war in and around Saigon with working parties.  Curtin was at Saigon Docks Camp

Read further about Saigon Party.

The party left Singapore 2nd February 1945 for Saigon.
It was from here that John was recovered at the end of the war.
Whilst a POW in Singapore he was a member of Buffaloes, Changi Lodge
John ‘Taddy’ Curtin died 1996.

Please read about the boys from Norseman








John Curtin’s parents Francis Henry Curtin and Ethel Mary Pippin married 19 August 1912 at Coolgardie.  Frank and Ethel had two daughters and two sons and resided at Norseman.


Frank Curtin was born in July 1886 at Prospect, SA.  Prior to marrying Ethel, Frank was recorded in the 1902 Electoral Roll working at Star of WA Mine as a miner and later at other mines.
Frank worked for many years as a hairdresser from about 1917 through to 1931 as well as operating a newsagency and finally working for Norseman Mining.

In the 1936 Electoral Roll Frank, Ethel and Lillian were recorded at White Street, Osborne Park, he was an orchardist.
In 1937 the family were back in Norseman.  In 1937 Frank’s occupation was recorded as Cyanide Hand (Norseman Goldmine).
Frank and Ethel’s daughters Lillian Mary and Esther Dorothy married local Norseman brothers George and Ernest Perkins.
Lillian married George Perkin in August 1937 and Esther married Ernest in December 1937.  The latter remained living in Norseman.
Taddy’s young brother Mervyn was the ‘baby’ of the family and born in 1928, 10 years after Taddy.


During 1940, and not long after John (Taddy) enlisted with the AIF, tragic news came from the town of Norseman.







This family tragedy would have been a very heavy burden for John ‘Taddy’ Curtin to take to war and particularly during his 3 1/2 years as a POW.



Below:  Curtin and Halligan amongst 2/4th to visit Norseman, and then it is back to Perth.

John ‘Taddy’ Curtin married in 1946 to Momant Azile ‘Babs’ Tanner.

He died 20 December 1995 aged 77 years.   His wife Babs died 13 August 1975 at Morley aged 50 years.  They were cremated at Karrakatta.

Camp Locations:

  • River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Chumphon - Thailand
  • Hindato, 198k - Thailand
  • Kanchanaburi, 50k - Thailand
  • Kinsaiyok Main, 170.2k - Thailand
  • Nakom Nayok, Nakhon Nayok - Thailand
  • Saigon - French Indo China