People - Thomas William McLaren
Born: 19 September 1906. Died: 1 July 1942.
Tom was a pastrycook/baker who had gone home to Australia to join up, but was deemed unfit, so returned to Rabaul to fulfil his contract.
His cousin, Ida Manton, who was fourteen in 1942 remembers:-
As far as Tom goes he was 38 years old when he died. There wasn't much I understood at that time. I remember my Aunts talking and saying that they had to keep the news that Tom was a POW from Gran who was probably nearly 83. She died in January 1943. It's only years later you start to discover what went on. I remember Tom visited our family probably late 1937. Apparently he came home again when the war started to join up. For some reason he was unfit, so he returned to Rabaul to fulfil his contract.
- New Guinea Civilians Previously Reported Missing Now Reported Lost at Sea [Government record]
Date: 1946 Source: Series A7030 Item 11; National Archives of Australia, National Office.