Colin Clinch celebrates 100th birthday

REFLECTING: Colin Clinch on his 100th birthday on May 1. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough
REFLECTING: Colin Clinch on his 100th birthday on May 1. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

A BIRKDALE resident, who was taken prisoner of war in 1942, has celebrated his 100th birthday.

Colin Clinch is one of a handful of surviving soldiers from the 2/10th Field Regiment.

He became a POW when Singapore fell to the Japanese on February 15, 1942.

Mr Clinch spent three-and-a-half years on the Thai Burma railroad and in other POW camps as forced labour of the Japanese.

Born in Sydney, Mr Clinch moved to Queensland when he was 12 and attended Brisbane Boys Grammar School.

He enlisted in the Australian Army in 1941.

Libby Parkinson reads birthday cards from the Queen, governor-general and prime minister to her father Colin Clinch, on his 100th birthday. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

Libby Parkinson reads birthday cards from the Queen, governor-general and prime minister to her father Colin Clinch, on his 100th birthday. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

After returning to Australia, Mr Clinch met Zoe Thompson and they married on October 16, 1948.

He started Thompson Transport and later worked as a customs agent.

Mr Clinch was forced to retire early due to failing eyesight caused by malnutrition when he was a POW.

He loved the ocean, owning two boats, and after he retired the couple travelled Australia in their caravan.

From the time he moved to Queensland, until he relocated to Regis Aged Care, Birkdale four years ago, Mr Clinch lived in Clayfield.

Family members celebrate Colin Clinch's 100th birthday at a party held at Regis Aged Care Birkdale. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

Family members celebrate Colin Clinch's 100th birthday at a party held at Regis Aged Care Birkdale. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

The 100th birthday was celebrated at an afternoon tea organised by his daughter Libby Parkinson.

Ms Parkinson was awarded an OAM last year for the work that she has done for veterans and their families, particularly through the 2/10th Field Regiment Association.

Cards from family members and friends, as well as the Queen, governor-general and prime minister were opened during the occasion and a champagne toast made to the centenarian.

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