Friday, 14 September 2018

W C Costin QX14502

The following entry is from They Answered The CallClick here for the contents page.

William Charles COSTIN 

Service number: QX14502.  Age: 35 years 10 months.  Enlisted: 11 Jul 1940.
Occupation: Barman.  Next of kin: (father) Mr Charles Arthur Costin.
Address on enlistment: Bribie Island.
 Private William Costin, formerly of Bribie Island.[1]

Service Summary:
11 Jul 1940: 2 reinforcement 26 Infantry Battalion.

30 Jul 1941: Embarked on HMT E E for Singapore.

15 Feb 1942: POW (Fall of Singapore).

8 Sep 1945: Recovered from Japanese at Changi POW Camp.

“The battalion left Bathurst on 29 July bound for Singapore, via Melbourne, arriving on 15 August.

In Singapore the 2/26th was camped near Changi village on the north-eastern tip of the island. With war against Japan increasingly likely, at the start of October the battalion began deploying to Malaya where it continued its training and prepared defences. It was split between the area around Kota Tingi, on the south-eastern tip of the Malayan peninsula, and Jasin in the west-coast sultanate of Malacca. On the night of 6 December 1941, the battalion stood to arms and was concentrated north of Kota Tinggi. It saw no action for the ensuing month and on 10 January 1942 moved to Johore, on the western side of the peninsula.

The 27th Brigade formed part of Westforce and fought alongside British and Indian troops. The Australians was (sic) deployed around the Segamat sector. The 2/30th was in the foremost position at Gemas, where it was to act as a "shock-absorber" against the initial Japanese attack. The 2/26th was deployed in the Paya Lang Estate, while the 2/29th was deployed at Buloh Kasap but it was later sent to Muar to reinforce the Indian brigade.

Following the 2/30th's successful ambush at Gemas on 14 January, the 2/26th conducted a fighting withdrawal to Yong Peng, Ayer Hitam, and a number of other locations, as Westforce withdrew towards Singapore Island. Between 26 and 27 January the 2/26th held the Simpang Rengam crossroads at 46-mile post, where they were shelled by Japanese artillery and strafed by Japanese aircraft. By 28 January the 2/29th was involved in the heavy fighting at the Namazie Estate rubber plantation. That day and the next the battalion inflicted heavy casualties on the Japanese. The 2/26th proved to be particularly successful in fighting these rearguard actions and its morale was high.

With Indian troops protecting the final withdraw, the brigade entered Johore Bahru on 30 January and crossed the Causeway into "fortress" Singapore. When the Japanese attacked Singapore on 8 February the brigade defended the Causeway sector. They could not stop the Japanese, however, and on 15 February the British commander on Singapore surrendered. The 2/26th spent the next three-and-a-half years as prisoners of war.

After the surrender the battalion was concentrated in Changi gaol, where they were used as labour for work parties, first in Singapore and then in other parts of Japan's Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere. Men were sent to Burma and Thailand to work on the railway, while others were sent to Borneo and Japan.”[2]

Singapore 13 Sep 1945. Prisoners of War released from Changi Prison Camp were
evacuated from Singapore by the Australian Hospital Ship Manunda, the first
Australian ship to arrive at Singapore after the surrender of the Japanese.

13 Sep 1945: Embarked from Singapore on HS Manunda.

William Costin was one of 154 Queensland released prisoners of war from the Far East who arrived in Brisbane on 15 Oct 1945.[4]

16 Oct 1945: Returned to Australia.

7 Jan 1946: Discharged.

Life Summary:
William Charles Costin (1901-1958) born 11 Sep 1904 the eldest son of Charles Arthur Costin and Ethel Mary Bolger. During his overseas service, his father, Charles Costin, died 11 Mar 1942.

After his military service, he took up fishing at Bribie Island and in 1950 he married Irene Magdalen Rodgers. They moved to Cribb Island where William Costin, aged 56, died 3 Mar 1958.

There is a memorial plaque for William Charles Costin at Mt Thompson Memorial Garden.

 Memorial plaque at Mt Thompson Memorial Garden.[5]

[1] Source: Prisoners of War. The Telegraph Fri 24 Sep 1943 p. 2
[2] Australian War Memorial 2/26th Australian Infantry Battalion
[3] Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial 116057
[4] Source: Queensland Ex-Prisoners Due Here To-day. The Courier Mail Mon 15 Oct 1945 p. 3

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