The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Wallace Patrick
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- 'C' Company, 12 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Esperance, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- John Patrick McCudden
- Mothers's Name:
- Emma Ann McCudden (nee Foote)
- Roman Catholic
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Plot 1, Row M, Grave 12, Age 36.
- Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
- 'D' Force Thailand, S Battalion
- Camps Thailand:
- Tarsau, Konyu II, Chungkai
- 3/8859 & 8819
- Cause of Death:
- Cardiac Beri‐Beri and Typhus
- Place of Death:
- Date of Death:
- Grave No. 274, Chungkai
Wally McCudden enlisted AIF 23 Oct 1940. He joined 2/4th MGB’s ‘C’ Company 12 Platoon under Commanding Officer Lt. Mick Wedge. Wally’s mate from Esperance, Potty White was also in ‘C’ Coy, 10 Platoon.
From Singapore, Wally and Potty White were included in ‘D’ Force S Battalion to work on Burma-Thai Railway, departing by train 14 May 1943 for Thailand, to the rail-head and Konma Transit Camp.
They were in ‘good’ company – S Battalion included a large contingency of 2/4th (at least 120) men and Wally would have been amongst mates. They commenced working at Tarsau Camp before moving to Konyu II – where life was more than terrible. Starvation, illness, beatings, no medicine and then cholera. Wally was one of many men to succumb to illness on the line.
He was evacuated to Chunkai Hospital Camp – he died at the age of 36 years of cardiac beri beri and typhus.
With the same background, the following 3 photographs were obviously taken at one location, probably same day. Unfortunately no further information is to hand.
McCudden Kalgoorlie Miner 1947
McCudden’s fatherJohn Patrick died in June 1947. From Kalgoorlie Miner.
Above: Wally’s mother Emma died in 1954.
Wally McCudden’s parents John Patrick and Emma Ann Foote married 1897 in WA. John McCudden was born about 1867 at Wattle Flats, a NSW mining town and Emma Foote was born SA in 1879. She died at Esperance in 1954. Wally was their first born child/son. He was followed by Eileen, Kathleen, Redmond ‘Reddie’ and Clifton who died at 12 months. The McCudden family resided at Norseman, Kalgoorlie and Esperance.
During the war, Wally’s parents received several items of news regarding his welfare:
Above a happy departure from Esperance where best mates Wally and White spent their last leave.
The above worrying news was printed in July 1942.
When Wally’s parents received the above happy news in June 1943 – they were not to know he would die of illness on the Burma-Thai Railway within 2 months.
Above: Finally and tragically the McCudden family are notified in August 1945 of Wally’s death.
Kings Park Honour Avenue
Dedicated by His Loving Family on 16 November 2013
Biography presented during plaque dedication:
‘Private Walter Patrick McCudden was born at Esperance in May 1907. He was one of five boys and four girls born to John and Emma McCudden.
He attended school at Esperance and later worked in the salt processing industry.
Wally taught himself to play the ukulele and gave it to his nephew Andrew before going overseas.
He enlisted at Kalgoorlie in October 1940 and was posted to ‘C’ Company of 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion.
The battalion was formed at Northam as part of 8 Division under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Anketell, who also has a plaque in Kings Park’s honour avenues.
Just before Christmas, they received their distinctive black and gold triangular colour patch. In July 1941, the battalion was considered ready for deployment and moved to Adelaide by ship and rail.
They then moved to Darwin via Alice Springs arriving there in October and spent some time preparing for the defence of Darwin. The battalion then embarked for Singapore, arriving there in January 1942.
After the surrender in February, those that were left were taken prisoner and initially sent to Changi, where they were split up and Walter was sent to Thailand.
Private Walter Patrick McCudden, service number WX8820 of 2/4 Machine Gun Battalion, died as a prisoner of war at Chunkai in Thailand on 21 August 1943. He was 36 years of age.’
There are two men from 2/4th – R Baker who lost his life when his PoW Transport ship was torpedoed by US and sank in South China Sea 12 Sept 1944, and Wally MCudden.
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Chungkai, 60k - Thailand
- Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
- Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand