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Dianne, I have posted your message to our website to see if there is anyone who may have informaton for you. However please note this site is for 2/26th Battalion NOT 2/29th, so feedback may be limited.


Dianne Cowling has posted... I am looking for firsthand accounts of men of 'H' Force as my father went out from Singapore in this group. Pte Gordon (Mouse) Cowling 2/29th AIF. Thank you.

Ray Rafter recently sent some photos of his father and Uncle, both who served with the 2/26bn. His Uncle Tommy reached the rank of Sergeant and was killed in Singapore. While his father Ted was shifted to the 2/25 and was badly injured in New Guinea. He later recovered and died on 7 Oct 2002 in Pomona QLD

There are 3 others in his photos that Ray would like identified. If yoy would like to help you can view these photo's on our "Can You Help" pages Here.

You can contact Ray here

Susan Compton has sent...I'm probably too late to find anyone who might remember my uncle John Winzar Compton who was killed in action in the Solomans, but I thought I'd ask just in case.

Dianne Cowling has posted... My father was 2/29th Battalion, took part in the Battle of Muar and was eventually imprisoned on Singapore, was sent to the Great World working camp and was sent out in 'H' Force to slave on the Thai Burma Railway, finally back at Changi gaol when the war ended. I am looking for any accounts of any who went out in 'H' Force or took part in the battle at Muar as I am researching my father's war history. His name was Gordon (Mouse) Cowling. Thank you.

Thank you Neil for the interesting information below. If others can recognise any others in the photo please email Neil at

You can view the book's photo here


I am the son of QX12197 S/Sgt Frank William Derrington, Quartemaster Sgt 'C' Coy 2/26 Bn. His records are entered in your Nominal Roll as well as a photo of him in your photo gallery.

I don't know if you are aware that a book has just been published by Peter Brune on the 8th Division and the subsequent incarceration of the POW's. It is titled 'Descent into Hell' and very well priced at $35. It is 65mm thick and 800 pages in total and it took Peter Brune nine years to write it.

Why I am writing to you is to let you know that the cover photo has a working party of POW's carrying a large sack of rice amongst other things. My father S/Sgt Derrington is one of the POW's in the photo.

In the last week I have received the reference number for the photo from the Australian War Memorial. The caption that goes with the photo says that it looks as if the photo was taken after hostilities had ended and is titled 'A rice carrying party' at Saraburi approx. 75 klms NE of Bangkok. From my father's sworn testimony to the War Crimes Commission, he says he was transferred to a camp in Nakon Nayok on 1 July 1945. It appears that he was never in Saraburi. Both Nakon Nayok and Saraburi are provinces NE of Bangkok and are adjacent each other.

To address what I see in the photo, I note that four POW's are carrying a large sack of rice, while others in the photo appear to be doing other work around them. To the left in the photo, a saw-horse with a log on it can be seen behind one of the carrying party, with other pieces of logs etc on the ground. As a Quartermaster it would have been my father’s responsibility to see that the POW's were fed?

My interpretation of the photo is the photo depicts a working party carrying a sack of rice into the camp kitchen. The firewood supply would substantiate this. I will be at the War Memorial and intend to talk further with staff of the Memorial.

My father is the POW with the hat bending over and his left hand is on the palm frond basket on the RH side. My father was 42 when he joined up. he put his age down by two years to get under the cut off limit of 40. The other POW’s in the photo would have been about half his age.. My father was in 1 Bn Ramsay Force, part of the larger unit of 'A' Force who started on the Burma end of the Burma-Thai railway. Unlike the other groups such as 'F' and 'H' Forces who returned to Changi on Singapore Island The members of 'A' Force who weren’t sent to Japan, stayed in Thailand for the full period.

Apart from letting you know about the book and the photo, I am wondering if any of the other POW's can be identified as belonging to the 2/26 Bn.

Regards, Neil Derrington

My father Cpt Allan Cooke was in the 2/26th, and died 1995. Col Ron McGarry spoke at his funeral and I gave him my father's uniform top and many photos he had taken in Singapore and Malaya to add to the 2/26th's history museum. I am wondering if anyone remembers him?/p>

Anne Taylor (nee Cooke) Email:

Thank you Cassandra... it's feedback like yours that keeps this site going. Thank you for sharing your family history with us.


Wow, this site is amazing. My relation is Douglas Percy Harstoff QX22382 from Winton in Qld. Can't seem to find much on him, but this site has certainly painted a picture of his ordeal. Thanks so much.

Cassandra Vanham

Update for Victor Rymer Charles Douglas QX13197.

My Grandfather passed away 9th July 1966. He was a very cheerful man but was never in great health since his POW Days as most of the men in this Batt. Thanks for this site.

Lindy Matheson

Thanks Tim for your message... if anyone has any information for Tim please contact him through his email.

There seems to be a growing amount of people askling us to research their relatives. Unfortunately we don't have the time or resources to do this. The only information we have on individuals who served in the battalion is what is contained in this site, mainly on the nominal roll or photo section. If you need more information you can apply to the Dept of Defence in Canberra using the Freedom Of Information Act.


My name is Tim Royal . I have been to your 2/26 Battalion web site and have to say well done . It is a great web site where my children and I have learn a lot from it. My granddad was Francis Michael Sammon and his service number is QX1976. I was wondering if you had any information at all regarding Francis or any photos with him in them. Kind Regards Tim Royal []

My uncle Marshall McMahon is in Krangi any info would be great. He has one surviving sister and I was born 1946. Living in Canada now but want to keep his memories for my kids thanks so much.

John McMahon. []

Hi Muriel, SBS have a programme on the fall of Singapore now showing. Very informative. Lindsay.[]

Hi Tony... we do have a nominal roll with info on your uncle and we will be adding it to this site soon. What info we have is that his work area was at Shimo Sonkurai/Sonkurai. He was part of F Force and returned home on the Largs Bay 10th October 1945. Unfortunately we don't have a grave reference for him as he passed after the war. If you visit our POW Camps page you can see a map of the area.


My uncle Abraham George Irwin service number QX16385 served in Carrier Platoon 2/26 Battalion during World War2. He was taken prisoner of war and sent to work on the Burma Siam Railway. Believing that he was in the Hellfire Pass area of this line I have visited this area in memory of his sufferings. I am now led to believe he may not have been is this area. I will be revisiting Thailand in 2015 during the Anzac Day celebrations and would like to know for sure what section of the line he worked on. Thanks Tony Stapleton

Hi Greg... congrats on being the first message on our new feedback system. You can contact our researcher by this email however this site is more a dedication site than a site with specific information to all 2/26bn members. The info you are looking for may be held with the war memorial (try their website) or from Army records you can access thru freedom of information.


Would there be a contact phone number of someone who could help me with some information concerning my uncle joseph pusch who served and died with the 2/26 thanks

Greg Pusch []

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Welcome to our new feedback page. It's simple but does the job. Now all our messages can be stored on our own website rather than some external webspace where we have no control of our information. Hopefully the code box below will prevent spammers and bots.

So please tells us what you think or any suggestions you have for our site. Just remember your message may take a few days to post as I moderate each one before I publish it.

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