Thomas Henry Herket Private 3309 53rd Battalion AIF

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Posted on 27 July 2022

Currently the Office of Australian War Graves is in the process of installing an official commemorative plaque in the NSW Garden of Remembrance to commemorated the WW1 war service of Thomas Henry Herket Private 3309 53rd Battalion AIF.

Private Thomas Herket was one of the Australian soldiers who was captured by the Germans during the Battle of Fromelles in the First World War. He survived the war. More details about his WW1 service is in his war service file which has now been digitalized and freely available on the National Archives of Australia's  Discovering Anzacs website.    

In 1939 Thomas Herket was working on the New Guinea island of New Britain as an Australian agricultural official. After Rabaul fell on 23 January 1942 he was captured by the Japanese armed forces and became a civilian internee. Records on the National Archives of Australia's Montevideo Maru website show that he was one of the civilians who died when the Japanese prisoner of war transportation ship, the Montevideo Maru, was sunk by an American submarine on 1st July 1942. 

I am not aware of any Australian soldier who was a POW during WW1 and later died as a civilian internee during WW2. 

As well as now having his WW1 war service commemorated with a commemorative plaque in the NSW Garden of Remembrance, Thomas Herket's name is also included in the Books of Remembrance in Westminster Abbey , London, that commemorate the Commonwealth civilians who died during WW2 due to the war.