The Soldier's Details

First Name:
Henry Elvin
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
'C' Company, No 11 Platoon.
Place of Birth:
Ascot Vale, Melbourne, Victoria
Father's Name:
Joseph Albert McDonough
Mothers's Name:
Maud Mary McDonough
Pre-war Occupation:
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Collective Grave, Plot 1, Row P, Grave 37-52, Age 28.
Selarang Camp and Barracks Changi
'H' Force Thailand, Group No. 3
Camps Thailand:
Kanu II, Malayan Hamlet
Cause of Death:
Place of Death:
Kanu II , Malayan Hamlet
Date of Death:
In an unmarked cemetery approximately 300 yards North of Kanu IIIa (Tampie North), on Kanu-Hintok Road, Grave No. 18.

General Description

Harry enlisted in October 1940 and joined ‘C’ Company.  Following capitulation of the Allies at Singapore, the Australian POWs were accommodated mostly at Selarang Camp and Barracks.  The POWs participated in work parties around Singapore for the Japanese.  Life was relatively relaxed compared to what lay ahead of the men on the railway.
The Japanese then began selecting men for construction of Burma-Thai Railway (the POWs were not aware of their destination).  Harry was selected with ‘H’ Force which departed Singapore Railway Station 3 May 1943 to Thailand and the Force was sent to Konyu II, Malayan Hamlet.
Conditions at the camp and work on the line was appalling.  Deaths were frequent.   On 27 June 1943, Harry unfortunately contracted cholera and died age  28 years.   He was buried nearby and then after the war his body moved to Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.

Please read about ‘H’ Force Group 3

McDonough Harry


Version 2







Henry known as Harry was youngest of three sons, Albert and Rolf and one daughter Vera  born to  Rev Maud Mary (nee Watters) and Joseph Albert McDonough, both born Victoria.  Maude Watters and Joseph McDonough married Subiaco 1904. First born was son Albert, then daughter Vera was born Boulder 1907.
In 1911 daughter Lorna was born Victoria, and died same year.
The McDonough family remained living in Victoria where Rolf was born in 1912 and ‘Harry’ in 1915 at Ascot Vale.
Joseph initially worked as a stonemason.
The family returned to WA, residing Bassendean area. Other members of 2/4th who lived Bassendean include Archie McIntosh and Roy Maconachie.  These three young men did not return home to their families.
10 June 1917, Horace Watters, brother to Maude was KIA Belgium. He enlisted with 44th Btn, trained Blackboy Hill, and died during the assault on, and occupation of Messines Ridge on the Western Front.

From Kalgoorlie Miner.


During 1939, Maude’s mother, Harry’s grandmother died.



Harry’s brother Albert and sister Vera married sister/brother of the Goold family.
Joseph died in 1956 and Maude in 1964 at Bassendean.  Both buried at Karrakatta.
Harry became a bootmaker and 1937 Electoral Roll was working with his brother Albert Ernst.  The same year Harry was residing with his parents at Darling Street, South Perth.  In the Electoral Roll for 1943 i.e.  year he enlisted, he was residing in Seventh Avenue, East Perth, working as a boot repairer.
Harry’s parents were much involved with the Progressive Spiritualist Church with Reverend Maude McDonough and Emma Milner being instrumental in establishing the church in Highgate in 1934. The McDonoughs weathered controversial years when the Progressive Spiritualist Church was not recognised. The Perth Church was affiliated with  Spiritualist Church movement which  began in US in about 1840s.
Below:  Progressive Spiritualist Church established in 1934 continues to remain active to this day.





Harry obviously followed in his father’s footsteps, and was a talented athlete.   Harry’s father at one time, was regarded as the best professional runner in the State.
Harry’s athletic talents were broad-based and included cycling,  tennis and baseball and was a member of the Mt. Hawthorn Athletic Club where he excelled at javelin.




Camp Locations:

  • Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
  • Malay Hamlet 153.00km - Thailand