The 2/4th soldier named ‘Sue’

WX5221 Stanley Alfred ‘Sue’ or Stan Currie

Stan Currie was known as ‘Sue’ most of his life.   The Currie family resided in Claremont. At that time the land was sparsely housed.   Very close to the family was an orchard and vegetable garden owned by a Chinese man by the name of ‘Su’.   Stan had a habit of picking apples from Mr. Su’s apple trees and hence the Currie family called young Stan ‘Su’ which somehow and at some time became ‘Sue’.
Chinese and other market gardeners sought wetland areas with a water table.   Market gardens were located on peaty soils on or near lakes, swamps and drained swampland.  The Claremont Lake area was perfect. Originally known as Butlers Swamp – 10 acres was granted to William Burton Butler about 1830-1850 and was used for farming and stock grazing. Around the turn of the century orchards and gardens flourished around Butlers Swamp area. With the changing immigration policy there were few Chinese market gardeners from after 1920’s and 1930’s. There had been chinese market gardens near the Swan River in early Nedlands and South Perth foreshore until 1950.
Sue Currie was in Saigon with Ron Badock – after the war the two men remained close mates.  The Badock’s lived nearby in Floreat.  Ron’s children recall visiting Sue Currie with their Dad – always wondering why he was called ‘Sue’ – decades before Johnny Cash’s song ‘The boy named Sue’.
The song ‘A Boy Named Sue’ is one of Johnny Cash’s most recognisable songs, written in 1969 by Shel Sliverstein, a well known children’s book author.  Cash sang ‘A Boy named Sue’ at San Quentin in 1969 – several decades after ‘Sue’ Currie’ childhood.


Stan Currie was the youngest of four sons and two daughters born to his  parents Thomas Currie and Janet ‘Jessie’ Kilpatrick who married about 1899 England.
The Currie family had been residing in Claremont since about 1899.  Thomas he had worked for the Claremont Municipal Council for the last 15 years prior to his death in 1923 at Fremantle Hospital aged 61 years.   The Currie family resided at 8 Albert Street – most of their children had grown up and lived elsewhere.  ‘Sue’ was one of the last to be living at home he was 21 years of age.
Scottish born Thomas Currie had been an elder at the Claremont Presbyterian Church and the family was much involved in community events and interests including the Soccer Football Club where ‘Sue’ played.    The children were schooled at Claremont Primary School.
The employees of the Claremont Municipal Council ceased work on the afternoon of the funeral to attend, including Mayor Mr. S.C. Marriott,  Town Clerk Mr. E.W.V. Gribble and several employees W.J. Laker, S.T. Rose, H. Walker and T. Atkinson.  Thomas Currie’s coffin was borne to the grave at Karrakatta by Councilllors W. Cherry, T.F. Hughes, T. Wrightman and A. Smith.
Stan Currie married Ena Mary Walsh in Perth 1933.  Previously Stan had resided in Albert Street with his parents Thomas and Jessie Currie.  Stan and Ena resided in Shenton Road, Claremont until he enlisted in 1940.  They had two daughters.  After the war, Stan returned to and remained in Claremont throughout his life.
Stan enlisted AIF Jun 1940.  He later joined 2/4th’s ‘B’ Coy Headquarters, becoming Corporal under Commanding Officer Capt Bunning.
POW Currie left Singapore during 1943 to work on Burma-Thai Railway withD’ Force Thailand ‘S’ Battalion.  During July to October 1943, Stan was at Tarsau Hospital Camp on burial duty he buried many POW including several 2/4th boys :
WX11580 A/Cpl Don McGlinn 16 Jul 43 avitaminosis
WX8777 Sgt J. Sanderson 19 Jul 43 avitaminosis
WX15690 Pte J M Carr 23 Jul 43 malaria
WX8689 Lt/Cpl MacMaster 25 Jul 43 beri beri
WX13553 Pte S Spouse 13 Oct 43 tropical tumour


Currie later was selected with ‘Both’ Party to work in Japan.  The party reached Saigon and remained there until the end of war.
When Stan returned home in 1945, his youngest daughter had never known her father.
Stans’s mother Jessie, died in August 1945.  Jessie did not know her youngest son survived.
Stan died in 1977 aged 74 years and Ena lived a long life until 1995 and died aged 93 years.
If you wish to expand your knowledge of Chinese market gardening in Perth please go to

And from the State Library