The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Thomas Crosby
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- ‘C’ Company, 11 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- Cranbrook, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- George Crosby Gibson
- Mothers's Name:
- Mary Gibson (nee Jackman)
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Bus Driver
- Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Selarang Barracks Changi, River Valley Transit Camp
- ‘D’ Force Thailand S Battalion
- Camps Thailand:
- Tarsau, Kanu II, Tamuang
- Camps Japan:
- Yamane & Niihama
- 4/6156 , 1615 & 445
- Rashin Maru Party
- Return Details 1945:
- Wakayama-Okinawa, USS Sanctuary, Okinawa-Manila, USS Bingham, Manila-Sydney, HMS Speaker, Sydney-Fremantle, HMT Dominion Monarch
Back L-R: Thomas Gibson, Bert Norton, Fred “Cowboy” Matthews, Ralph Hadfield,
Front: George Chatfield, Norm Thompson, Claude Dow, Andrew ‘Mick’ Lambie
Tom was selected to work on Burma-Thai Railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand S Battalion which left Singapore Railway Station 14 March 1943. The POWs were crammed into small rail trucks for the 4-5 day journey. S Battalion included a large number of 2/4th men.
They were delivered to Bampong and stayed overnight at the nearby Konma Transit Camp. They left following day in trucks heading north.
Their first work camp was Tarsau, which would become Japanese HQ for ‘D’ Force and hospital. Their work here was not too exacting and did not prepare them for the horror which lay ahead at Konyu !! Camp in the Hellfire Pass cutting.
From Konyu the POWs were split into smaller parties and sent to other camps such as Hintok, or for some to Hospital Camps if they were sick such as Chungkai.
By the end of the 1943 the railway was completed – except there were continuing maintenance work parties working up and down the railway. Many were too ill and the hospitals at Tamarkan, Chungkai and Tarsau were filled with sick men.
Tom was at Tamuang Camp when he was selected fit to work in Japan. Once again he was fortunate as this group to known as ‘Rashin Maru’ party and were entrained to Singapore to wait for a ship. Here they were accommodated at River Valley Road Camp and sent on work parties in Singapore.
Camps in Thailand & Japan:
Tarsau 25 Mar to 24 Apr 1943
Kanyu II 25 Apr to 20 June 1943
Tamuang 22 Apri to 22 June 1944
River Valley River Transit Camp, Singapore
Yamine Japan 11 Sep to l8 May 1944
Niihama Japan 18 May 44 to 15 Sep 1945
Tom Gibson died 1995.
From Borehole Bulletin July 1995.
There was a strong turnout at Tom’s funeral and his daughter, Mary Gibson wrote from Jindalee, Queensland to thank the Battalion for their support and presence. Mary and the Gibson family were deeply moved by the playing and delivery of the “Ode” by Ted.
Mary Gibson wrote ‘My father was a proud member of 2/4th and displayed all the character of the true digger in his fight against an illness that mercifully did not cause him undue suffering.’
Lyndal ‘Mary’ Gibson was born December 1941 when Tom was with 2/4th at Darwin. We cannot be sure Tom was one of the hundreds of men who jumped ‘Aquitania’ when it anchored off Fremantle for one night only, heading for Singapore. If he was successful, then he would have see his family, new baby daughter and successfully boarded ship before it sailed next day at midday.
Tom’s parents George Crosby Gibson and Mary Jackman married 1910 Plantagenet.
When George who was born York enlisted WW1 16 April 917 aged 30 years, with 29th Reinforcements 10th Light Horse, he was residing Tenterden, married with four children including Thomas (according to his records).
George saw service in the middle east, however became seriously ill was hospitalised Port Said AGH before being repatriated to Australia departing Suez 1 January 1919.
He was discharged 18 March 1919.
Tom’s father George died in 1950.
When Tom returned from war, he and Lily resided in Bicton, later in 1954 Hilton.
- Adam Park Camp - Singapore
- Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
- River Valley Road Camp - Singapore
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
- Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand
- Nihama, Hiroshima #2-B- Japan
- Yamane, Hiroshima #3-D - Japan