Corporal John Charles Troedel

Corporal John Charles Troedel[1, 2, 3]

Male 1917 - 2010  (92 years)

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  • Name John Charles Troedel 
    Title Corporal 
    Nickname Jack 
    Born 8 Oct 1917  Inkerman Road,Caulfield,Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • John Charles Troedel's birth date has been kindly sent by David Troedel
    Gender Male 
    Engagement 10 Aug 1940  The Argus, Melbourne, Victoria Find all individuals with events at this location 
    WESTON-TROEDEL.-The engagement is announced of Beryl Gwendoline, only daughter of and Mrs. G. H. Weston, Burke road, East Malvern, to John Charles Troedel, 2nd. A.I.F. younger son of Mr. and. Mrs R. A, Troedel Rleigh street. Malvern.
    Transcribed from "The Argus, Melbourne, Victoria", Saturday, 10 Aug 1940
    Military Service 15 Jun 1943  The Argus, Melbourne, Victoria Find all individuals with events at this location 
    [Photo: Pte J. C. Troedel]
    Mr and Mrs R. Troedel. of 230 Mont Albert rd, Surrey Hills, have been officially notified that their son, Pte J. C. Troedel, missing since the fall of Singapore, is a prisoner of war in Malaya. He left for service overseas in February, 1941. He was previously employed at McPherson's Pty Ltd, Collins st.
    Transcribed from "The Argus, Melbourne, Victoria", Tuesday 15 June 1943
    Returning to Australia 21 Sep 1945  The Argus Melbourne, Victoria Find all individuals with events at this location 
    On Hospital Ship
    The following recovered Victorian personnel from Singapore are aboard the hospital ship Oranje due at Darwin today;
    Troedel. J. C.
    Transcribed from "The Argus Melbourne, Victoria", Friday 21 September 1945
    Military Service WW2 1 Jul 1940-17 May 1946  Australian Army Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Service Australian Army
    Date of Birth 8 November 1917
    Place of birth CAULFIELD, VIC
    Date of Enlistment 1 July 1940
    Locality on Enlistment MALVERN, VIC
    Place of Enlistment CAULFIELD, VIC
    Next of Kin TROEDEL, RUDOLPH
    Date of Discharge 17 May 1946
    Posting at Discharge 2/4 AUST ARMY FIELD WORKSHOP
    Prisoner of war YES 
    Birth Notice. 24 Aug 1949  The Argus, Melbourne, Victoria Find all individuals with events at this location 
    TROEDEL (nee Weston).?On August
    20, at St Andrew's, to Beryl and Jack-a son (John Weston). (Brother for Dianne.)
    The Argus, Melbourne, Victoria, Wednesday 24 August 1949  
    Died 23 Sep 2010  Sea Views Manor, Ocean Grove, Victoria Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Sea Views Manor
      77-83 Tareeda Way, Ocean Grove VICTORIA
    Death Notice 1 Oct 2010  The Age , Melbourne Find all individuals with events at this location 
    TROEDEL John Charles (Jack)
    On September 23rd, 2010 at Sea Views Manor, Ocean Grove. Loved husband of Beryl (dec.). Loved father of Dianne and Jim, John and Jane, Linda and Peter and grandfather of six grandsons.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.
    (This Tribute was published in the The Age on Oct 01, 2010).
    Buried 8 Oct 2010  Queenscliff Cemetery, Point Lonsdale, Greater Geelong City, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Name John Troedel
      Event Type Burial
      Event Date 2010
      Event Place Point Lonsdale, Greater Geelong City, Victoria, Australia
      Photograph Included N
      Birth Date 08 Nov 1917
      Death Date 23 Sep 2010
      Affiliate Record Identifier 156568991
      Cemetery Queenscliff cemetery
      Find A Grave Index," database, FamilySearch
    • Prisoners of War of the Japanese 1942-1945
      Research & Articles by Lt. Col. Peter Winstanley OAM RFD (Retired), JP

      John Charles (Jack ) Troedel Corporal VX 42196 2/4 Australian Army Field Workshop

      Jack Troedel was born in the family home at Caulfield, Victoria on 8 October 1917. He was educated at Caulfield North and Hampton High School. In those days he rode a bike to school. In 1932 he started work at a company called McPhersons. He was interviewed by a couple of senior staff which included the Managing Director. He progressed from Office Boy to the Sales Department with a starting wage of 13 shillings per week. He met Beryl, his future wife in 1937. In 1939 the war in Europe started.

      Jack tried to enlist in the Air Force. Subsequently, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 1 July 1940. In January 1941, he was on the Queen Mary which sailed for an unknown destination. The Queen Mary, as part of a convoy, sailed to Singapore via Fremantle. Conditions were very congested and at times some men slept on the deck.

      On arrival in Singapore they were initially accommodated at a Naval Barracks. Later they were moved to Port Dickson and Malacca on the Malayan mainland and underwent jungle training. He was with fellow unit member Colin (Nugget) Coombs SX10134.

      Whilst they were in Malacca the Japs invaded Kota Bahru on 8 December 1941. The Allies were driven south down the Malayan peninsular and crossed back onto Singapore island. The Allies capitulated on 15 February 1942. The Japs had planned to capture Singapore in 100 days, but had achieved their aim in 70 days

      Jack commented on the lack of defensive facilities on the north coast of Singapore and that the air defence resources were totally inadequate. Jack also mentioned the inadequate breeching of the Causeway which joined Malaya to Singapore Island.

      Jack was forced to work on a memorial to the Japanese who had died during the invasion of Malaya and the attack on Singapore. The memorial was at the Royal Singapore Golf Club near the Mac Ritchie Reservoir.

      In April 1943 he was sent to Thailand (Siam) as a member of ?F? Force. This Force was of 7,000 POWs of which 3,600 were Aussies and 3.400 were Brits. The initial journey was by train, travelling in steel wagons about 18 feet by 7 feet with around 30 men in each wagon. Jack travelled in train No 6. The journey was over 5 days including 4 nights. The Force arrived at a place called Banpong in Thailand and were then forced to march around 300km to their work stations near the border with Burma. The first 50 km was on a sealed road and they were then forced to trudge the remainder of the journey through the jungle over a period of around two and a half weeks. These marches were at night, to avoid the day time temperature which was in the mid forties. Jack recounted that during the march they experienced electrical storms. An advantage of these storms was that when there was a lighting flash they could, at least, see where they were going.

      His group marched up to the Songkurai area. During the march he was associated with an Australian Medical Officer Major Bruce Hunt. Jack expressed admiration of Hunt, who was beaten by the Japs when trying to stop the Japs taking unfit men to work on the railway project. It is well known, that Hunt managed to have the men kept from working on the railway for a few days so the camp could be made more habitable. This was a rare occurrence. Other Aussie doctors in this area were Captains Lloyd Cahill from New South Wales, Frank Cahill from Victoria and John Taylor (who was one of two doctors awarded Military Crosses for their action in the battle for Malaya and Singapore). Whilst in the camp area of Shimo Songkurai Jack was working felling trees. An accident occurred when a tree fell on Jack?s left leg. This injury became infected and a tropical ulcer developed, which spread up his leg beyond his knee. This resulted in the need for an amputation.

      The date of the accident is not known. However, a rough date can be calculated. It seems likely that the operation took place after a large party of around 2,000 desperately sick men were shifted to a supposedly better hospital Camp in Burma called Tanbaya (located 50 km from the start of the railway at the Burma end). The Australian Medical Officers who accompanied this party were Major Bruce Hunt (as the senior MO) and Captain Frank Cahill (the only Australian Surgeon in the party). If Frank Cahill had been in Shimo Songkurai he would have done the amputation (whilst in the Tanbaya Hospital Camp he did 40 amputations).

      Some confirmation of this can be made by reference to the following extract from the book ?Heroes of ?F? Force? by Don Wall ISBN 0 646 16047 8. I am delighted to quote from the book with the permission of Richard Wall the son of Don Wall.

      Shimo Songkurai

      "My Dear Bruce,
      A few hurried lines, scribbled during Col. Huston?s flying visit to No. 1 Camp. Conditions here, at your old background, are now relatively pleasant; a small family of 266 of us, 200 being the Burma residue ? no one at present dangerously ill or like(sic) to die ? only one really bad ulcer, who, unfortunately may yet require amputation. The general health of the troops improving quite markedly. You would not recognise some of the men whom you worked as Burma C3. They have filled out extraordinarily, on the life of ease and large amounts of rice. Lloyd and I are still here living quite a tranquil existence; our pleasant association however looks like coming to an end, for Col. Huston wants Lloyd to go to No. 2 and self to No. 3. At the latter camp things are pretty bloody if we can believe Major Stevens? last epistle. In any case I think the days of ?F? Force in Thailand are numbered as the railway track has reached No. 5 in the north and Takanun in the south is proceeding apace.
      Lloyd has explained the situation instruments- your personal books, papers and etc. I assure you Bruce, that until such time as these latter can be delivered into your hands, they will not pass out of Lloyd?s and my sight.
      I want to thank you very sincerely for your splendid gift of your R & McG. My heart was just a bit too full at the time of your departure from here to express my feelings and gratitude adequately and in any case I always find such expressions easier to write than to say. It shall ever remain my most treasured possession- a souvenir."

      From the above extract it is clear that Captain John Taylor, who had remained in Shimo Songkurai was writing to Major Bruce Hunt. This was after the Tanbaya group had moved and was clearly around mid September 1943. Accordingly there was no Australian surgeon with those remaining in Shimo Songkurai. However, in the area was Lt Col Huston, who was the Senior Medical Officer of ?F? Force. Huston had been unwell himself on the march up to the work stations and was almost certainly located at the Songkurai Camp about 6 km further north (this was a predominately British Camp). Earlier during the battle for Singapore Huston was the Commanding Officer of a British Field Ambulance. Jack said that Huston told him (in rather formal Harley Street fashion-You will have to have your leg off. The amputation was high on his thigh.

      The operation was carried out on a bamboo operating table, with old fuel drums used for boiling water. The saw was borrowed from the work parties. The chloroform lasted a short time and Jack said that he experienced great pain. Notwithstanding the above, the operation was a success and there was no infection of the wound. Jack paid tribute to the care he received from the Medical Orderlies who with constant attention kept the healing wound clean. He had bamboo crutches made and existed in this camp until the Railway was finished and he, and others, were moved down to the Kanchanaburi area probably in November 1943.

      In Kanchanaburi he was reacquainted with a British soldier Norman Hunter, who had been a great help when at Shimo Songkurai. Here Hunter contributed to his care. Jack as part of ?F? Force was returned to Singapore late 1943 or early 1944.

      Amongst other groups there were two groups (Forces), "F" and "H" Force, which were sent to slave on the Burma Thailand Railway in 1943. These two groups were never transferred to the Japanese Thailand Command. They were only on loan and had to be returned to Singapore when the task was finished. This made communication with the owning Head Quarters very difficult. This was a further complicating factor in ensuring that "F" Force probably suffered more than the other groups. The other factors were the remote area they were deployed to and to the arduous march to the border area. 3,000 of the total force of 7,000 died in something like 8 months.

      Once back in Singapore, Jack was cared for by mates. He had a new pair of crutches made and showed a great deal of independence. He worked in a workshop operating a Singer sewing machine with his one leg. His work involved, amongst other things, patching old and worn clothing. In Singapore, he was with Nugget Coombs who was a blacksmith. Nugget using scrap metal and other salvaged material made cut-throat razors. See the following picture of the razor which was made for Jack. It was complete with his name etched or engraved on the blade.

      When the war ended he returned to Australia on the Hospital ship Oranje and upon arrival in Melbourne he was taken to Heidelberg Hospital where he refused to be retained overnight. At the hospital he was reunited with his girl friend from pre war days Beryl

      Whilst Jack had been a Prisoner of the Japanese, his girl friend Beryl had enlisted in the Australian Army. She enlisted in May 1942 and rose to the rank of sergeant VF346894 and at the end of the war was on a Headquarters working in the Military Secretary?s branch.

      Jack and Beryl were married 24 November 1945 and had 3 children. Jack returned to his pre-war employment at McPhersons and had total service with the company of 46 years. In fact, he still has his business card showing his position at McPhersons?s as Production Manager.

      In 2008 Jack and Beryl reside in a comfortable Retirement Facility at Point Lonsdale, Victoria.

      Article written by Lt Col (Retired) Peter Winstanley OAM RFD JP. In September 2008 Winstanley held a personal interview with Jack and Beryl at Point Lonsdale, Victoria. Audio tapes, recorded by his grand son Alister Forbes, were also provided by family and information extracted from them. The assistance of his daughter Mrs Dianne Forbes is acknowledged and appreciated. Gordon Newton, himself an ex POW, willingly provided transport to enable the writer to visit Jack (Gordon and Jack had been members of the same Bowling Club).
    Person ID I5724  Hickey, List, Bundesen, Thomsen, Jensen, Jessen
    Last Modified 3 Jun 2017 

    Father Rudolph August Troedel,   b. 8 Aug 1875, Toorak Road.South Yarra, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Apr 1958, Boxhill, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Mother Marie Julie Blampied,   b. 19 Sep 1880, Great Western, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Apr 1971, Malvern, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    Married 2 Mar 1908  St Matthew's Church, High Street, Prahran, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Marriage Registration
      Surname: BLAMPIED: Given Names: Marie Julie : Event: Marrige: Spouse Surname: TRODEL: Given Name: Rudolph August: Birth Place Gt Western. Year: 1908. Reg No 5321R [Edwardian Index 1902 -1913]

      August Rudolph Troedel's correct marriage date and place was kindly sent by David Troedel.
    Family ID F1854  Group Sheet

    Family Beryl Gwendoline Weston,   b. 11 Jan 1919, Melbourne, Victoria Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Feb 2010, Sea Views Manor, Ocean Grove, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 91 years) 
    Marriage Notice 21 Nov 1945  The Argus, Melbourne, Victoria Find all individuals with events at this location 
    WESTON-TROEDEL. - The marriage of Beryl Gwendoline, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G. H. Weston, of East Malvern, to John Charles (ex P.O.W.), younger son of Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Troedel, of Surrey Hills, will take place at 7 p.m. at St. John's Church of England, East Malvern, on Saturday, November 24.
    Transcribed from "The Argus, Melbourne, Victoria", Wednesday, 21 November 1945
    Married 24 Nov 1945  Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 4 May 2014 
    Family ID F2859  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    J. C. Troedel
    J. C. Troedel
    John Charles Troedell
    Died 23.9.2010
    Springvale Botanical Cemetery, Springvale, Victoria, Australia


  • Sources 
    1. [S66] Mrs Laurina Collins.

    2. [S91] Information kindly supplied by David Troedel .

    3. [S17] Ryerson Index,to Contemporary Death Notices and Obituaries in Australian Newspapers.

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