Thursday, June 13, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Prisoner Of War Shorts Survive And Arrive In Proserpine

The Proserpine Historical Museum have been honoured to accept the donation of a significant artefact; a handmade pair of shorts worn by William Dalziel Rudd from 1942 – 1945.

William Rudd wore these shorts during his years as a prisoner of war (POW).

William preserved the shorts throughout his life and his family has now donated them to the museum.

William Rudd was born at Hughenden 14th April 1914 but later lived in Proserpine and at the age of 26 enlisted in the Australian Army.

Shortly after Singapore fell to the Japanese on 14th February 1942, William became a POW until 5th September 1945.

He served as a slave in brutal conditions on the Thai-Burma railway and the Changi POW camp.

The brutality of the Japanese is well documented, 15,000 Australians were POWs and there were 7000 deaths.

Researcher at Proserpine Historical Museum Ailsa Reinke said some of Williams’ relatives still live in the region and are happy the shorts are at the Proserpine Museum.

“They finally arrived here and we're very privileged to have them and the family are happy to have them here as well,” said Ailsa.

“We just think it's a real privilege to have them because there's such few things that survived all that time.

“It might have been the only shorts he had because, they wouldn't have been issued with clothing.”

In addition to the shorts, Proserpine Historical Museum have included post cards from William to his family back at home.

William Rudd’s Shorts,
William Rudd

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