People - Thomas Edward Joseph Cogan
Born: 3 September 1918 Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Died: 1 July 1942.
Son of Michael Patrick and Maria Ann Cogan of North Perth, Western Australia.
Thomas (Tom) Cogan was born in Perth on the 3rd September 1918. He had two older brothers, both of whom were in the war and survived, and an older sister. He was the youngest child, a happy, outgoing boy with a great sense of humour. At school he was involved in all sports, especially rowing, in which he was coxon for many years.
Tom travelled to Melbourne and was working there in a department store when he decided to enlist. He wrote to his parents on the 31st July 1939 from Caulfield Military Camp, Victoria:-
He was then sent to Bathurst and writes home from there in 1940, 'The camp here is quite good apart from the freezing cold'. Then on leave in Sydney:-
He was finally posted to Rabaul, New Guinea, and he writes how excited the boys were to at last be seeing 'action'.
Flo, his sister, must have asked about the air raid shelter, because also in this letter he writes 'in answer to your query of Air Raid shelter, put it near the Jack [Jacaranda] tree and you'll be safe sis.' Not long after this letter he was captured and of course on the 1st July 1942 it is presumed that the worst happened.
Tom's parents received a letter on the 26th October 1945 from Major G. Matheson expressing his profound sympathy on the death of their son.
It was two years before his parents received a telegram saying that Tom was almost certainly dead. It must have been an incredibly sad time as for so long they had still been writing, praying and hoping.
R.I.P. Dear Tom.
© Elizabeth Huggett 2003
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