Historical information

Maxwell Barry Cowden VX19297 enlisted in the 2/nd AIF on 30.5.1940 age 18 years (put his age up to 21) in 2/2 Pioneer Battalion AIF, embarked for the Middle East 8.4.1941, promoted L/Cpl 25.6.1941, promoted Cpl 29.10.1941, took part in the Syrian Campaign. On 31.1.1942 the unit embarked for Australian but were diverted to Java to defend it, disembarked 18.2.1942. Java surrendered and they were taken POW, reported MIA on 30.4.1942 then after as POW. As a POW he worked on the Burma Railway. In December 1944 they were on the Hell Ship AWA Maru and sailed for Japan to work in the Coal Mines arriving mid Jan 1945. He was repatriated back to Australia on the HMS Formidable, discharged on 28.11.1945 with the rank of Cpl.
Refer also Cat No 7077.

Physical description

Brown wood frame with gold edge, contains a photo and medals on a green background re a WW2 soldier/POW.
The medals are a mixture of official and unofficial not in the correct order.
Medals top.
1. Miniature Dutch medal 1942 - 45 official.
2. Prisoner of war medal, commemorative unofficial.
Centre row.
1.Dutch medal 1942 - 45 official.
2. Africa star, official.
3. 1939 - 45 Star, official.
4. Pacific Star, official.
5. Front line service medal, unofficial.
1. Defence medal, official.
2.Australian Service medal 1939 - 45, official.
3. For Combatant duties in active service, unofficial.
4. Foreign service medal, unofficial.
5. British war medal 1939 - 45, official.

Inscriptions & markings

"Max Cowden VX19297 2/2 Pioneer Battalion AIF"