Old Boy, Dr Robert ‘Bob’ Molesworth Goodwin OAM (1937) was born on Friday 25 February 1921. On this same day, Georgia again lost its newly gained independence after an invasion by Russia’s Red Army, whilst at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia defeated England by nine wickets in the fifth match of the 1920-1921 Ashes Test Series to win the series 5-0.
Bob was an insurance clerk in Brisbane before he enlisted in July 1940. Following his training in Brisbane, he served in Malaya and Singapore. Bob was taken prisoner when the garrison surrendered on Sunday 15 February 1942, in what is now referred to as the Fall of Singapore. At the time of his capture Bob was a young Lieutenant and Regimental Survey officer for the 2/10th Field Regiment. In Thailand, he worked on the Burma-Thailand Railway, including at Hellfire Pass. In December 1943, when work on the railway was finished, he was sent back to Singapore and spent the remainder of the war in Changi. He was liberated in September 1945 and discharged in December 1945.
Following the war, Bob completed grade 12 (senior) in 1946, later graduating as a Doctor from the University of Queensland in 1952. He practiced as a GP in Brisbane from 1952 to 1959 and then in Warwick until 1970, before returning to Brisbane as Specialist Physician (Cardiologist). He was Medical Director of the Queensland National Heart Foundation for 25 years and in 1993 was awarded an OAM for his services to medicine.
In 2013, at the age of 92, Bob joined three Australian Second World War veterans on a return journey to Thailand for Anzac Day. The visit coincided with the 70th anniversary of work starting on Hellfire Pass, a notorious part of the Burma-Thailand railway. As prisoners of war, enduring sickness and starvation under appalling conditions, they cut a railway pass through the Tenasserim Hills by pick, shovel and dynamite.
The Anzac Day march in Brisbane is an occasion Bob rarely missed. In 1996, he was proud to be invited to Churchie as the Reviewing Officer for the school’s annual commemoration service.
Bob and his wife Marie, who married in 1947, had three sons (George, Chris and Jim) and one daughter (Lois). George attended Churchie in 1968. Bob and Marie retired to Highfields in 2004.
Bob passed away on Friday 31 August 2018 and will be dearly missed.
Featured Image: Bob being interviewed by Churchie students in May 2015.
L-R:- Sam Goldberg, Alex Rowe, Mac Trimmer, Jamie Richardson, Archie Allen
Pictured Above Left: Bob as a young bombardier during his training at Redbank Camp circa 1940. He is pictured (left) with his good friend and future brother in law Jack Boyd. Jack sadly died at the very young age of 37, so Bob was like a second father to Jack’s three sons who all attended Churchie – John (1966), Don (1967) and Geoffrey (1968). George, one of Bob’s three sons and another four nephews who also attended Churchie are David Brand (1967), John Brand (1970), Graham Brand (1971) and Ross Brand (1971).
Pictured Above Right: Bob (superimposed) in front of “Hellfire Pass” where he and many other POW’s were forced to work on the infamous Burma / Thai railway during his 3½ years of captivity during World War II.
Pictured below at Bobs funeral (L-R): Chris Goodwin, Jim Goodwin, John Boyd, Graham Brand, Ross Brand, Lois Speed, Don Boyd, George Goodwin and John Brand