Edward Johnathon (Ted) Leadbitter

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Edward Johnathon (Ted) Leadbitter
Leadbitter Edward Johnathon.jpg
Leadbitter Marriage.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 5 December 1918
Place of Birth London, England
Death 10 October 1943
Place of Death Kuii, Thailand
Age at Enlistment 21 years, 11 months
Occupation Gardener
Religion Church of England
Address Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Winifred Leadbitter
Military Information
Reg Number WX8425
Date of Enlistment 18 October 1940
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 15 Platoon, D Company 2/4th Australian Machine Gun Battalion
Post War Details
Fate POW
Died from Cholera
Monument(s) Armadale War Memorial
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
External Monument(s) The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial Ballarat, Victoria
Australian War Memorial Australian War Memorial
Medals Australian Service Medal 1939-45
Pacific Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

Sent out to Australia as an orphan to the Kingsley Fairbridge Farm School near Pinjarra. His father having died in the Battle of Jutland, and his mother when he was 11 years old. In 1935 and 1936 Ted Leadbitter was working at Yandal Station, Leonora. Ted is recorded in ‘Fairbridgian’ magazine as attending the Mandurah summer camp in 1936 an he also managed to spend Christmas Day at Fairbridge. In 1941 Ted Leadbitter married Winifred M. Purcher in Perth.

War Service

A member of 2/4th Australian Machine Gun Battalion's 15 Platoon, D Company, Edward was listed as missing from 8 Feb 1942. He had been captured by the Japanese on the west coast of Singapore, but did escape and later rejoined his unit after the surrender. His Singapore POW Number was 3/8489.

Ted's Platoon, with Ted in the back row, 3rd from left

Subsequently he was a member of 'D' Force, V Battalion in Thailand with POW Number 2266. In Thailand he had been suffering with malaria and was delirious. He was kicked and beaten for 30 minutes by the Japanese Engineer Corporal known as the 'Black Cat'. Ted died of Cholera 14 days later on 10 Oct 1943 at Kuii, Thailand, aged 24.

Grave No. 196 Later at Knchanaburi War Cemetery Collective Grave Plot 3; Row G; Grave 35-39.

Newspaper reports "Missing" - West Aust 23 Jul 1942; "POW" - West Australian 30 Sep 1943; "Previously POW, now Died of illness while POW" - West Australian 2 Oct 1945.

  • Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
  • Edward Leadbitter's grave location
  • Leadbitter_grave_marker.jpg


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