Stowaway on-board ‘Aquitania’ – WX16931 OSWALD, Henry Christopher (aka  Hugh) ‘Horse’ or ‘Harry’ 


Oswald was originally assigned as a reinforcement for 2/16th Battalion but whilst on pre-embarkation leave he fell ill and missed his draft.

WX16931 Henry Christopher aka  Hugh Christopher ‘Horse’ Oswald was the stowaway found on ‘Aquitania’.


Fearful he would miss some action, the determined Oswald got himself onboard before ‘Aquitania’ which sailed from Gauge Roads off Fremantle on the afternoon of 16th January 1942.  He was officially transferred to 2/4th on 16 January 1942 from 2/16th Battalion reinforcements.

Sadly Hugh Christopher Oswald died of dysentery at Kanchanaburi Base Hospital on 7 November 1943 aged 21 years. He had enlisted 22 July 1941 and very little else is known of his life.

From Singapore, ‘Horse’ or ‘Harry’ as he was known, was selected  to work on Burma-Thai railway with ‘D’ Force Thailand V Battalion.  As luck would have it ‘V’ Battalion had the highest death rate of ‘D’ Force, 50% of the men did not return from working in Thailand on the railway.