The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Charles Newdegate
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- British Empire Medal New Years Honours List 1969
- ‘C’ Company, No. 12 Platoon
- Place of Birth:
- London, England
- Father's Name:
- Charles George Wedge
- Mothers's Name:
- Gertrude Ellen Wedge
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Selarang Camp Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Sime Road Camp, Selarang Barracks Changi.
- ‘D’ Force Thailand, S Battalion
- Camps Thailand:
- Kanu II, Kanu I (escorted approximately 115 sick to Tarsau by barge), Tarsau (2 months), Chungkai (6 months), Kinsaiyok, Rin Tin, Hindato, Tamarkan, Kanu IIa (Tampie North), Kinsaiyok (4 months), Tamarkan, Chungkai, Tamuang, Kanchanaburi, Nakom Nayok, Bangkok.
- 4/4132 & 8713
- Return Details 1945:
- Bangkok‐Rangoon by aircraft, Rangoon-Singapore‐Fremantle, HMT Highland Brigade.
MIck arrived in Western Australia from UK 22 October 1922.
He initially enlisted in the CMF, 28th Battalion in 1936, and was promoted to Sergeant 1938.
He enlisted AIF Nov 1940, later joined 2/4th ‘C’ Coy and became Commanding Officer of No. 12 Platoon. During the short war to save Singapore, Wedge’s 12 Platoon was equipped with 6 Machine Guns and tasked with supplying support fire for 7/8th Punjab Regiment. ‘C’ Coy 2/4th MGB was to support the 44th Indian Brigade in the lower west coast of Singapore. There was a real language problem with the Indian soldiers. Most were new recruits with very little training, did not know why they were in Singapore, nor where Singapore was.
During the Singapore war, ‘Pop’ Heppingstone’s section of 12 Platoon occupied a position on the side of a creek covering a small island offshore. On the way out to their battle station their transport driver told them “We are going to make history, our artillery with their 25 pounders will stop the Jap from landing.” We made history alright!
“we had acquired two extra guns per Platoonnabd a new Ban & Stroud Range Taker and our Section Sgt Jock Whitfield had collected a Tommy Gun. We had taken over a Chinese hut with a cement floor which we cleaned up, Stan Haley made himself very busy by getting a launch in running order and bringing over mattresses and a selection of tinned foodstuff from a deserted Chinese home on the island. We settled in quite comfortably apart from some occasional bombing and the regular flights of a Jap reconnaissance plane which took no notice of Jock’s Tommy Gun bursts.”
As a POW in Singapore he was located at Selarang Changi, Johore Bahru, Adam Park, Sime Road Camps before returning to Selarang.
Mick was selected with ‘D’ Force Thailand S Btn to work on Burma-Thai Railway departing by train for Thailand Mar 1943.
The 4 -5 day train journey saw the men crowded into small carriages which were stinking hot during the day and freezing at night. They were trucked from the Thai railhead to Tarsau the first camp the men worked. The work, clearing land for the rail, did not prepare the men for what lay ahead. They arrived Kanyu II in the Hellfire Pass Cutting where the men slaved long days with little clothing, mostly no shoes cutting into rock in stinking hot conditions. Injuries were often, and ulcers resulted. Cholera killed several men and the Australian Camp Doctor (Millard) had no medical equipment or medicines.
Mick was at following Camps:
Kanu I River Camp – escorted 115 sick to Tarsau by barge
Tarsau 2 months
Chungkai 6 months
Kinsaiyok, Rin Tin Tin, Hindato, Tamarkan, Tampie North, Kinsaiyok 4 months
Tamarkan, Chunkai, Tamuang, Kanchaburi, Nakom Nayok
He was evacuated to Bangkok from Nakom Nayok at the end of war. He few to Rangoon, sailed from Rangoon-Singapore-Fremantle on HMT ‘Highland Brigade’.
Promoted to Captain and posted to 110 as Company Officer in December 1945.
He was commissioned a Justice of the Peace in 1975.
Lieutenant’s Appointment Terminated 21/1/1947.
During his time working at Hollywood Hospital, Mick was a ‘go-to man’ for machine gunners when they needed assistance with pensions, what to do and where to go. He undertook this role for decades, and sometimes found employment at the hospital for some.
Listen to an oral history interview of Mick recorded in Singapore April 2000.
Please read in Stories – Dr Phil Millard Kanu II Camp by Mick Wedge
Above from Joe Beattie Collection. 1) Mick Wedge 2) Joe Beattie.
Mick Wedge passed away February 2008.
Height 5′ 9″
- Adam Park Camp - Singapore
- Johore Bahru, - Malaysia
- Selarang Barracks Changi - Singapore
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Sime Road Camp - Singapore
- Chungkai, 60k - Thailand
- Kanchanaburi, 50k - Thailand
- Kanu 1 151.00k - Thailand
- Kanu II, 152.30k - Thailand
- Kinsaiyok Main, 170.2k - Thailand
- Nakom Nayok, Nakhon Nayok - Thailand
- Rin Tin, Lin Tin 180k - Thailand
- Tamarkan, Tha Makham 56k - Thailand
- Tamuang, Tha Muang 39k - Thailand
- Tarsau, Tha Sao 125k - Thailand