Digger

Member for
3 years 17 days
Find a Grave ID
50072026

Bio

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Profile Photo~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The souls of heroes die not in the land that they adored".
" Lest we Forget"
Digger of the Day :---Trooper Victor Francis Rule
"Tranquil you lie your memory hallowed in the land you loved"
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The term 'digger' is generally accepted as slang for an Australian soldier, and the myth is that it came from Australians digging trenches at Gallipoli. ... "It was a term awarded by the British high command to the exploits really of our engineers because they were bloody good diggers,"
~~~~~~~~~~~~DO's and DO NOT's~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I DO NOT connect to burials unknown. Please find the grave before asking me to connect anyone to an unknown grave memorial.
I DO NOT estimate birth years. The relatives of the dearly departed not only could get the date of death wrong on the monument but the age at death. Too many people take anything they find on the Internet as gospel, and I will not contribute to that bad habit.
I DO NOT accept memorial edits regarding deletion of parents/ spouses/siblings or children without valid proof which will verify the need for deletion.
It is not a Find a Grave requirement to accept memorial edits. If I decline, it is because I cannot verify the information.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cenotaph Formula~~~~~~~~~
Cenotaph here
Actual burial here
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"Genealogy without documentation is mythology"
~~~~~~~~~~~Photographs Added disclaimer~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You may freely use any of the grave photos which I have added for any legal purpose. However other items such as personal photos, obituaries, documents and so forth, may have copyright restrictions of which I am unaware, so use your own best judgement on those.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Quotes and Poems~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.
-Unknown
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Oh for the touch of a vanished hand and the sound of a voice that is still.
Though the warrior's sun has set its light shall linger round us yet
"FIGHTING FOR GOD AND RIGHT AND LIBERTY SUCH A DEATH IS IMMORTALITY"
"Silent grave to thee we trust this precious part of earthly dust. Guard it safely sacred tomb. Til we, his children ask for room.
DEEPLY MOURNED"
"To have to love than to part is the saddest thing in a human heart."
"Arise, shine ; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."
"No thought of glory to be won there was his duty to be done and he did it. "
"SWEET JESUS HAVE MERCY ON HIS SOUL, MAY HE REST IN PEACE. AMEN"
"I HAVE FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT I HAVE FINISHED THE COURSE"
The shock was great, the blow severe. To part with one we loved so dear. Only those who have lost are able to tell. The pain of the heart at not saying farewell.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Known unto God" "Their glory shall not be blotted out."
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The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living" Marcus Tulliuis Cicaro. (We remember those that have left a memory in our hearts). To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
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If you could see your ancestors
All standing in a row,
There might be some of them, perhaps,
You wouldn't want to know.
But, here's another question, which
Requires another view,
If you could meet your ancestors,
Would they be proud of you?
********************************
Life is real. Life is earnest!
And the grave is not it's goal.
Dust thou art to dust returnest
Was not spoken of the Soul.
***********************************************
"If we do not record accurately either their life or their death, we dishonour them"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Duty called him, he was there.
To do his bit and take his share.
His heart was good, his spirit brave.
His resting place, a hero's grave.
~~~
Do not ask us if we miss him,
There is such a vacant place;
Can we e'er forget his footsteps
And his dear, familiar face?
Time has passed, and still we miss him,
Words would fain our love to tell,
But in heaven we hope to meet him,
Jesus doeth all things well.
~~
'Rest well, brave heart." we softly say;
Ye who for us your life laid down;
The angels know your grave to-day;
And weave for you the victor's crown'
~~
DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on the ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush of quiet
birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there, I did not die.
-Mary Frye
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Son, thou hast done thy duty well
No cowards blood pulsed through thy veins
Hero on the field you fell, that England reigns
For your Country and your King
Your life was freely given
Lord let your praises ring
And rest your soul in Heaven"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Call not back the dear departed
Anchored safe where storms are o'er
On the borderland we left her
Soon to meet and part no more

Far beyond this world of changes
Far beyond this world of care
We shall find our missing loved ones
In our father's mansions fair
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~For the fallen~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
('Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori' is a latin phrase that translates to 'It is sweet and fitting to die for the homeland'.)

For the fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children
England mourns for her dead across the sea,
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow,
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again,
They sit no more at familiar tables of home,
They have no lot in our labour of the daytime,
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires and hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the night.

As the stars shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
- Written by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

Greater love hath no man than this,
That he lay down his life for his friends.
In the ranks he was only a private,
But he sleeps in a hero's grave.

"Only a grave of a hero
Only a mould of earth
Far from the land of wattle
The place that gave him birth
Somewhere in France he is lying.
He answered his country's call.
He died an Australian hero.
Fighting to save us all.

Only a bundle of letters.
All that is left to me.
But the boy who died for his country.
Will live in my memory.
Only some line from the trenches.
But the hand of the writer is cold.
And all that is left in remembrance.
Is his picture on the wall.

"Yes again we hope to meet him,
when the day of life has fled
thou in heaven once more to greet him
where no farewell tears are shed"

"Gone to his rest through the pathway of duty,
giving his life that others might live
such are the words on the tablet of beauty
in letters immortal, in honour to live"

"Sleep on dear son, in a far off land
in a grave we'll never see,
as long as life and memory last
we will remember thee"

LEST WE FORGET
Stand fast and salute an Australian son
Who in peace and war was always ready to give
Now it's time to lower our flag and fire his trusty guns
While bugles, here, there and everywhere sob a farewell call.

Brother in Arms
But I got no such compensation for my hardest triumph
The day I lost you to battle, my brother in arms.
They told me the pain would ease with time
But I didn't want it to, because it reminded me
Of what you was to me. My Brother in Arms
'brothers in childhood, brothers in arms and brothers beyond'.

We tarry yet, we are toiling still,
He is gone yet he fares the best,
He fought fearful odds, he struggled uphill,
He has fairly earned his season of rest;
No tears are needed – pour out the wine,
Let the goblets clash, and the grape juice flow,
Ho! Pledge we a death-drink, comrades fine,
To a brave man gone where we all must go.

Somewhere in France he is sleeping,
Away from Australia's shore;
May his soul find rest in heaven,
In peace for evermore.
His King and country called him,
The call was not in vain;
For on our roll of honour,
You will find our hero's name
~~~~~~~~An Irish Airman foresees his Death~~~~~~~~~~~
BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A prayer of thanks~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The night is dark and dank and drear,
I toss upon my fevered bed
And softly comes on soundless feet
An earthly angel to my head;
And over my burning brow her hand
So soft and cool in sweet caress,
A healing touch that soothes my pain
With loving care and tenderness.
God bless "The Rose of No Man's Land",
Who guides me through my night of pain,
And keep her safe throughout the storm.
Anonymous
AWM PR 00526
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Smilin' thru'~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Though fate has been unkind to us with sickness and in pain,
It takes the kindness of the nurse to bring us health again;
Her smiling face so cheerful, with radiance aglow,
I'll praise her work unending wherever I may go.
No words that I can utter with justice half express
The gratitude I'll always feel, the depths you cannot guess.
The kindness and devotion bestowed in Mercy's cause,
Deserves the highest praise of all – a round of loud applause!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Unknown Author~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We tried our best to keep him
We pleaded for him to remain
But he said, my country is calling
Let me go or I will die in shame.
We remember the day you left us
We remember the last goodbye
Little we thought when you left us
You were going away to die.
Your loss we cannot realize
Nor feel that you have gone
But we know our grief we will have to bear
When your mates come back and you not there.
A faithful brother, so true and kind
No friend on earth like him we find
Twelve months have passed and none can tell
The loss of our brother we loved so well.
Far away from all who loved him
Soldiers gently laid him to rest
In a far away grave he is sleeping
One of God's bravest and best.
No matter how we long, dear Ernie
No matter how we call
There is nothing left to answer
But your photo on the wall.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Far away from all who loved him
They gently laid him down to rest
In a far away grave he is sleeping
One of God's bravest and best.
All is sad within our memories
Lonely are our hearts today
For one we loved so dearly
Has forever passed away
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Unknown Ode~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Somewhere in France he is lying, an Anzac brave & true
He died an Australian hero, fighting to save us all
Somewhere by a lonely hillside, in a lonely grave in France
There lies my darling Nelson, Resting in peace with his God
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Unknown Ode~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
'Loved by all who knew him.
We shall not stand beside his grave,
And none shall point us where he lies;
We only know that he was brave,
And faced the foe with smiling eyes.
By whispering ball or crushing shell,
No tidings comes of how he died,
But we who loved him know full well
He did not swerve or turn aside.'
~~~~~~~~~~~~~Others~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The blow was hard, the shock severe
To part with two lads we loved so dear
We loved them then, we love them still
Forget them?, no we never will"
"Too dearly loved to be forgotten"
Inserted by his loving parents & sisters
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"Our brothers are sleeping their last long sleep and their graves we may never see
But some gentle hand in that distant land may scatter some flowers for me"
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"They marched away so bravely, their young heads proudly held
Their footsteps never faltered and their courage never failed
Their king and country called them, the call was not in vain
On Britains roll of honor, you will find our heroes names"
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"In soldiers graves they are sleeping, the dearest and the best
In our hearts we will miss them forever, though we know they are only at rest"
"They sleep not in their native land, but 'neath the foreign skies
Far from those that loved them best, in heroes graves they lie"
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"He sleeps beside his comrades, in a hallowed grave unknown
But his name is written in letters of love, in the hearts he left at home"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~Mother's Lament~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If I could have my dearest wish,
And all earth's treasures too;
And pick from Heaven what I may,
Dear Jean, I would ask for you
Many a lonely heartache, many a silent tear,
But always a beautiful memory,
Of a daughter I loved so dear.
I keep forever in my heart. Mother"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Lark Force~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This service remembers the men of Australia's 2/22nd Battalion and Lark Force.
The 2/22nd Australian Infantry Battalion was raised in July 1940 for service in the Second World War. In 1941 they deployed to Rabaul, New Britain, where they combined with several other units to form Lark Force. They were responsible for protecting the vulnerable airbases at Lakunai and Vunakanau, New Britain.
Already under-equipped, Japanese bombings in January 1942 destroyed most of Lark Force's assets. They withdrew from Rabaul and awaited the inevitable Japanese landings. The superior numbers of the Japanese soon overwhelmed their defences, and the order was given to retreat. Lark Force disintegrated and tried to escape.
A small number of men would escape via boats they found in the New Guinea area. Approximately 160 Australians were captured and then massacred at Tol Plantation. 836 men - the majority of Lark Force - were either captured or surrendered to the Japanese.
Many of these men would go on to die in the sinking of the Montevideo Maru transport ship. Unmarked, there was no way to know it was carrying 1,053 prisoners and civilian internees to Hainan Island. On 1 July 1942, the Montevideo Maru was sighted and torpedoed by the submarine USS Sturgeon. It sank in 11 minutes, killing all prisoners on board.
~~~~~~~~~~Sinking of HMAS Sydney (II) - D48 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The battle between the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney and the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran was a single-ship action that occurred on 19 November 1941, off the coast of Western Australia. Sydney, with Captain Joseph Burnett commanding, and Kormoran, under Fregattenkapitän Theodor Detmers, encountered each other approximately 106 nautical miles (196 km; 122 mi) off Dirk Hartog Island. Both ships were destroyed in the half-hour engagement.
From 24th November, after Sydney failed to return to port, air and sea searches were conducted. Boats and rafts carrying survivors from Kormoran were recovered at sea, while others made landfall north of Carnarvon: 318 of the 399 personnel on Kormoran survived. While debris from Sydney was found, there were no survivors from the 645-strong complement. It was the largest loss of life in the history of the Royal Australian Navy, the largest Allied warship lost with all hands during World War II, and a major blow to Australian wartime morale. Australian authorities learned of Sydney's fate from the surviving Kormoran personnel, who were held in prisoner of war camps until the end of the war. The exact location of the two wrecks remained unverified until 2008.
According to German accounts—which were assessed as truthful and generally accurate by Australian interrogators during the war, as well as most subsequent analyses—Sydney approached so close to Kormoran that the Australian cruiser lost the advantages of heavier armour and superior gun range.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~Rats of Tobruk~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Rats of Tobruk were soldiers of the Australian-led Allied garrison that held the Libyan port of Tobruk against the Afrika Corps, during the Siege of Tobruk in World War II. The siege started on 11 April 1941 and was relieved on 10 December.[1] The port continued to be held by the Allies until its surrender on 21 June 1942.
Between April and August 1941, some 35,000 allies, including around 14,000 Australian soldiers, were besieged in Tobruk by a German–Italian army commanded by General Erwin Rommel. The garrison, commanded by Lieutenant General Leslie Morshead, included the 9th Australian Division (20th, 24th, and 26th Brigades), the 18th Brigade of the 7th Australian Division, four regiments of British artillery, and the 3rd Indian Motor Brigade. Between August and October, most of the original garrison was replaced by British, Czechoslovakian and Polish troops.
~~~~~~Sinking of HMAS Armidale~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
At 13:00,1st December 1942, five approaching Japanese dive-bombers were sighted by Armidale. Two aircraft were damaged by the corvette's guns, while the other three missed while attempting to evade fire.[14] A second air attack occurred at 14:00; five Zero fighters distracted the corvette's weapons while nine torpedo bombers made attack runs. At one point, a late-released torpedo passed over the bridge before hitting the water. At 15:10, the ship was hit in the port side by two torpedoes in quick succession: the first into the mess deck, killing many of the soldiers there, the second into the engine room.
As the soldiers and sailors began to evacuate into the water, the Zeroes stopped attacking the sinking corvette and began strafing runs on those in the water. Ordinary Seaman Edward "Teddy" Sheean, who had been wounded in the initial attack, strapped himself into one of Armidale's 20 mm Oerlikons and opened fire on the aircraft. Sheean forced one Zero to crash into the sea and damaged at least two others; continuing to fire until he went down with Armidale. In 2020, he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia for his actions. Low on fuel, the Japanese aircraft headed for home. The survivors found that the two ship's boats survived the sinking, and were able to fashion a raft from debris.
This raft of Armidale survivors were not seen again after this photo was taken on 8th December 1942
The survivors remained together until midday on 2 December, when one of the boats, with the commanding officer aboard, set out for Darwin in an effort to find rescuers. At 10:15 on 5 December, they were spotted by a reconnaissance aircraft, and the 22 aboard were rescued by Kalgoorlie. On learning that more men were still at sea, an air search was organised, and the auxiliary patrol boat Vigilant was to stand by off Melville Island. That same day, the other boat, with 29 aboard, headed for Darwin, leaving the raft, with 49 aboard, behind. At 16:00 on 8 December, a PBY Catalina flying boat sighted the raft, now with about 20 aboard, and the second boat. The aircraft was unable to land to assist either group of survivors because of rough seas, but directed Kalgoorlie to the boat. However, the raft could not be located again, and the search effort was called off on 13 December. 40 personnel from Armidale and 60 embarked men of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army were killed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sinking of Montevideo Maru~~~~~~~~
On 22nd June 1942, some weeks after the fall of Rabaul to the Japanese, a large number of Australian prisoners were embarked from Rabaul's port on the SS Montevideo Maru. Unmarked as a POW ship, she was proceeding without escort to the Chinese island of Hainan, when she was sighted by the American submarine USS Sturgeon near the northern Philippine coast on 30 June. The Sturgeon pursued, but was unable to fire, as the target was traveling at 17 knots. However, it slowed to about 12 knots at midnight; according to crewman Yoshiaki Yamaji, it was to rendezvous with an escort of two destroyers. Unaware that it was carrying Allied prisoners of war and civilians, the Sturgeon fired four torpedoes at the Montevideo Maru before dawn of 1 July, causing the vessel to sink in only 11 minutes. According to Yamaji, Australians in the water sang "Auld Lang Syne" to their trapped mates as the ship sank beneath the waves.
There were more POWs in the water than crew members. The POWs were holding pieces of wood and using bigger pieces as rafts. They were in groups of 20 to 30 people, probably 100 people in all. They were singing songs. I was particularly impressed when they began singing Auld Lang Syne as a tribute to their dead colleagues. Watching that, I learnt that Australians have big hearts. Eyewitness Yoshiaki Yamaji, interviewed Oct. 2003 .The sinking is considered the worst maritime disaster in Australia's history. A nominal list made available by the Japanese government in 2012 revealed that a total of 1054 prisoners (178 non-commissioned officers, 667 soldiers and 209 civilians) died on the Montevideo Maru. Of the ship's total complement, approximately twenty Japanese crew survived, out of an original 88 guards and crew. Among the missing prisoners was Reverend Syd Beazley of the Methodist Mission, the uncle of former Australian Labour Party opposition leader Kim Beazley. Another was Tom Vernon Garrett, the grandfather of former Midnight Oil lead singer and former Australian Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett. Another individual, Richard Kingsmill Pennefather Moore, had served in the Imperial Camel Corps as a Lieutenant and was awarded a Military Cross. His son, William Richard Moore, married Nora Wish Garrett, aunt of Peter Garrett. Also amongst those lost were 22 Salvation Army bandsmen, the majority being members of the Brunswick Citadel band. The bandsmen had enlisted together and comprised the majority of the band of the 2/22nd Battalion

~~~~The Sinking of the Tamahoko Maru 24th June 1944~~~~~
The Tamahoko Maru sailed on 20th June 1944, with 772 POWs (197 British, 42 American, 258 Australian and 281 Dutch) from Takao for Moji in convoy HO-02. There were also some 500 Japanese soldiers aboard. On 24th June 1944 at 11:50 pm, in the Koshiki Straits 40 miles SW of Nagasaki, the Tamahoko Maru was torpedoed by USS Tang and sank in less than 2 minutes at 32-24N, 129-38E.
An escort picked up the Japanese survivors and left the POWs in the water, to be picked up the next morning by a small whaling ship, which brought 212 survivors to Nagasaki. They spent the rest of the war in the Fukuoka 14 prison camp. The other 560 POWs, 35 crewmen and an unknown number of Japanese soldiers were lost.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Sinking of HMAT Warilda~~~~~~~~~~~
On 3 August 1918 the HMAT Warilda, an Australian hospital ship, was struck and sunk by a torpedo from a German U-boat. The vessel had been transporting sick and wounded Allied soldiers across the English Channel and was clearly marked with a Red Cross. At the time of the attack there were 801 people aboard. Sadly, 123 lost their lives, including Private XXXX.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Sinking of the Rakuyō Maru~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Rakuyō Maru (with 1,318 Australian and British prisoners of war aboard) and Kachidoki Maru (900 British prisoners of war) were part of a convoy carrying mostly raw materials that left Singapore for Japan on 6 September 1944. The prisoners were all survivors of the Burma-Thailand Railway who had only recently returned to Singapore.
On the morning of 12 September 1944 the convoy was attacked by American submarines in the South China Sea. Rakuyō Maru was sunk by USS Sealion II and Kachidoki Maru by USS Pampanito. Prisoners able to evacuate the ships spent the following days in life rafts or clinging to wreckage in open water. About 150 Australian and British survivors were rescued by American submarines. A further 500 were picked up by Japanese destroyers and continued the journey to Japan. Those not rescued perished at sea. A total of 1,559 Australian and British prisoners of war were killed in the incident, all missing at sea (1,159 from Rakuyō Maru, 400 from Kachidoki Maru). The total number of Australians killed was 543 (503 AIF, 33 RAN, 7 RAAF).
~~~~~~~USAAF B24 Liberator bomber B-24D 42-40682, Disaster~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The aircraft crashed on take off. The accident was believed to have been caused by pilot disorientation in the darkness. The B-24 struck trees and crashed directly into a convoy of trucks occupied by over 130 soldiers of D Company, 2/33 Australian Infantry Battalion, Australian Army. The soldiers were waiting to emplane in C-47 transport planes for travel to the forward area. The bomber's 500-pound bombs and 2,800 gallons of gasoline ignited killing 15 of the Australian troops immediately and inflicting severe injuries upon a further 47 who died as a result. Ninety soldiers were injured but survived. All 11 occupants of the bomber died.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Gull Force~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gull Force was sent to Ambon to defend the strategic island's harbour and air strip. When an overwhelmingly larger Japanese force of approximately 20.000, landed on the Island in January 1942 Gull Force numbered 1131 men, most of them Victorians. They were split into two groups: 292 were sent to defend the air strip at Laha on the western side of the magnificent bay that almost splits Ambon in half. 47 men were killed in action, 11 escaped, 5 managed to join the rest of the force on the other side of the Island, and 229 were massacred after surrendering.
During the conflict on the other side of the Island, 7 members of Gull Force were killed in action, 804 became Prisoners of War. Of that number 267 were subsequently taken to the Chinese Island of Hainan, where 86 died as prisoners.
Of the 528 men who stayed on Ambon only 119 survived, the rest died of starvation, overwork, disease and brutality.
October 25th 1942 the Taiko Maru was used to transport 267 Australian and Dutch prisoners through the South China Sea to Hainan Island, a small (approx 160miles long) island 15 miles south of the Luichow Peninsula off mainland China. The ship anchored at Bakli Bay on the southern end of the island on 5th November 1942.
The men were to find the Hashio prison camp set in desolate, desert like terrain. During their imprisonment the men had to endure harsh treatment, less than adequate rations, inadequate basic medical supplies and brutal treatment at the hands of the Japanese guards. It seemed to all that the plan was to eliminate the prisoners by a combination of overwork, ill treatment and starvation.
On August 30th 1945 prisoners were officially told that they were finally free. American soldiers had parachuted on to the island bringing food, medicines, drugs and some clothing and also the news as to how the war had ended with the dropping of the atomic bomb. All the men capable of travel were sent to Samah, 110 miles from Bakli Bay, by train where Scott and a party of 30 Australians and 30 Dutch left for Hong Kong aboard HMS Queensborough. Macrae and the rest of the men were taken to Hong Kong aboard HMS Glenearn. Major Macrae and his men joined the advance party on HMS Vindex and sailed for Australia - arriving in Sydney on October 3rd. Some of the infirmed men were brought to Australia aboard the hospital ship Jerusalemme.
Surviving Gull Force P.O.W's on Ambon were told of the end of the war and given their freedom on 10th September 1945. Four corvettes, The Junee, Glenelg, Cootamundra and Latrobe were sent to Ambon to rescue the remaining men and they were taken to Morotai to recuperate before returning to Australia.
~~~~~~~The Sinking of HMAS Yarra~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
On 27 February orders were given to clear all remaining British auxiliary craft from Batavia (now Jakarta). About midnight Yarra and the Indian sloop HMIS Jumna sailed escorting a convoy to Tjilatjap. Arriving off Tjilatjap at 11 am on 2 March, the ships were warned not to enter harbour. The Yarra was ordered to take the convoy, which consisted of the depot ship Anking, the tanker Francol and the motor minesweeper MMS 51, to Fremantle while the Jumna sailed for Colombo. No time was to be lost, as powerful Japanese forces were known to be operating in the waters south of Java.
Steaming steadily south east at an average speed of 8.5 knots, the Yarra and her convoy made steady progress during the night of 2-3 March. Except for a faintly discerned shadowing aircraft sighted in the evening, there was no sign of the enemy. On the morning of the third two lifeboats were sighted. From these, Yarra picked up a number of exhausted survivors of the Dutch merchant ship Parigi, sunk by the Japanese two days earlier.
At 6.30 am on 4 March, as the sun rose the lookout in Yarra sighted the unmistakable topmasts of a Japanese heavy cruiser squadron to the north-east. The squadron consisted of Atago, Takao and Maya, each armed with ten 8-inch guns, and two destroyers. Immediately Lieutenant Commander Rankin made a sighting report, ordered the ships of convoy to scatter and, placing his ship between them and the enemy, laid smoke and prepared to engage. Yarra was outgunned and out-ranged, and the enemy ships were faster. Against such odds her task was hopeless, yet she kept fighting even as her convoy was overwhelmed and sunk, ship by ship.
Anking, which was carrying many RAN personnel was sunk first. Overwhelmed by many hits she was despatched in ten minutes. By then Yarra was on fire and listing heavily to port but still shooting. MMS 51 was on fire and was put down shortly after by a hail of close range automatic gunfire from one of the cruisers. The Francol took more punishment and still remained afloat, finally succumbing at about 7.30. Yarra, shattered by numerous hits, was the last to go. Soon after 8.00 am, Rankin ordered that the ship be abandoned. Minutes later he was killed when an 8-inch salvo hit the bridge. Leading Seaman R. Taylor, manning the last remaining gun, kept on firing until he too was killed, and the Yarra's guns fell silent. Her end, which came after close-range shelling by the two Japanese destroyers, was witnessed by 34 survivors on two rafts. All, except the Dutch captain of Parigi, were naval ratings.
When Yarra sank, the Japanese made off to the north-east after picking up one boatload of survivors from Francol. A collection of boats, rafts and floats was left scattered over a wide area of sea. Towards evening, a passing Dutch vessel, Tawali, rescued 57 officers and men from Anking. However, in spite of frantic signals, she failed to sight two Carley floats, which held 14 men from MMS 51. For the next two and a half days they drifted about until picked up by the Dutch steamer Tjimanjoek on 7 March. Meanwhile Yarra's men, their numbers sadly reduced by wounds, exposure, and thirst, continued to drift helplessly. On 9 March 13 of the sloop's ratings were picked up by the Dutch submarine KlL. Of the complement of 151, 138 (including the captain and all officers) were killed in the action or died subsequently on the raft.
~~~~Sinking of HMAS Canberra~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the darkness of the early hours of the morning of 9 August 1942 the RAN heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra was severely damaged off Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands) in a surprise attack by a powerful Japanese naval force in an action that became known as the Battle of Savo Island. Canberra was hit 24 times in less than two minutes and 84 of her crew were killed including Captain Frank Getting. Following an order to abandon ship the Canberra was sunk the next day by a torpedo from a US destroyer.
At the time of the action the Canberra had formed part of a US Navy-RAN force screening American transports during the landing operations of US marines at Guadalcanal, which begun on 7 August 1942.
A failure of Allied intelligence and vigilance resulted in this screening force being surprised by a determined group of seven Japanese cruisers and a destroyer near Savo Island just before 2am on the morning of the 9 August 1942. The Canberra as the lead ship of the screening force was the first to be attacked and received the full force of the Japanese barrage. In the darkness and confusion the rampaging Japanese attackers wreaked havoc with other Allied vessels before withdrawing. However, despite this significant setback landing operations at Guadalcanal continued.
Personnel:---the RAN suffered 193 casualties (including 84 killed or died of wounds).
~~~~~~~~Sinking of HMAS Goorangai~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
On the night of 20th November, HMAS Goorangai was crossing the mouth of Port Phillip Bay to anchor at Portsea for the night. The minesweeper was sailing under 'brownout' conditions, with minimal lighting. At 20:37, MV Duntroon, en route to Sydney, emerged from Port Phillip Bay and cut Goorangai in two. The small auxiliary sank within a minute, taking all 24 personnel aboard with her. Only six bodies were recovered, one of which couldn't be identified.HMAS Goorangai and her ship's company were the RAN's first loss in World War II, and the first RAN surface ship ever to be sunk while in service.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~General Format~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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~Transcript of Military Service, Australian Military Forces, World War Two
~Military Service, Australian Imperial Force, AIF, World War One~
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Religion:---
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Age on enlistment:---
Next of kin:---
Attested into AIF:---
Final Rank:---
Final Unit:---
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Medals:---
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Profile Photo~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The souls of heroes die not in the land that they adored".
" Lest we Forget"
Digger of the Day :---Trooper Victor Francis Rule
"Tranquil you lie your memory hallowed in the land you loved"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The term 'digger' is generally accepted as slang for an Australian soldier, and the myth is that it came from Australians digging trenches at Gallipoli. ... "It was a term awarded by the British high command to the exploits really of our engineers because they were bloody good diggers,"
~~~~~~~~~~~~DO's and DO NOT's~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I DO NOT connect to burials unknown. Please find the grave before asking me to connect anyone to an unknown grave memorial.
I DO NOT estimate birth years. The relatives of the dearly departed not only could get the date of death wrong on the monument but the age at death. Too many people take anything they find on the Internet as gospel, and I will not contribute to that bad habit.
I DO NOT accept memorial edits regarding deletion of parents/ spouses/siblings or children without valid proof which will verify the need for deletion.
It is not a Find a Grave requirement to accept memorial edits. If I decline, it is because I cannot verify the information.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Cenotaph Formula~~~~~~~~~
Cenotaph here
Actual burial here
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Genealogy without documentation is mythology"
~~~~~~~~~~~Photographs Added disclaimer~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You may freely use any of the grave photos which I have added for any legal purpose. However other items such as personal photos, obituaries, documents and so forth, may have copyright restrictions of which I am unaware, so use your own best judgement on those.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Quotes and Poems~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.
-Unknown
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Oh for the touch of a vanished hand and the sound of a voice that is still.
Though the warrior's sun has set its light shall linger round us yet
"FIGHTING FOR GOD AND RIGHT AND LIBERTY SUCH A DEATH IS IMMORTALITY"
"Silent grave to thee we trust this precious part of earthly dust. Guard it safely sacred tomb. Til we, his children ask for room.
DEEPLY MOURNED"
"To have to love than to part is the saddest thing in a human heart."
"Arise, shine ; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."
"No thought of glory to be won there was his duty to be done and he did it. "
"SWEET JESUS HAVE MERCY ON HIS SOUL, MAY HE REST IN PEACE. AMEN"
"I HAVE FOUGHT THE GOOD FIGHT I HAVE FINISHED THE COURSE"
The shock was great, the blow severe. To part with one we loved so dear. Only those who have lost are able to tell. The pain of the heart at not saying farewell.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Known unto God" "Their glory shall not be blotted out."
**********************************************************
The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living" Marcus Tulliuis Cicaro. (We remember those that have left a memory in our hearts). To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
**********************************************
If you could see your ancestors
All standing in a row,
There might be some of them, perhaps,
You wouldn't want to know.
But, here's another question, which
Requires another view,
If you could meet your ancestors,
Would they be proud of you?
********************************
Life is real. Life is earnest!
And the grave is not it's goal.
Dust thou art to dust returnest
Was not spoken of the Soul.
***********************************************
"If we do not record accurately either their life or their death, we dishonour them"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Duty called him, he was there.
To do his bit and take his share.
His heart was good, his spirit brave.
His resting place, a hero's grave.
~~~
Do not ask us if we miss him,
There is such a vacant place;
Can we e'er forget his footsteps
And his dear, familiar face?
Time has passed, and still we miss him,
Words would fain our love to tell,
But in heaven we hope to meet him,
Jesus doeth all things well.
~~
'Rest well, brave heart." we softly say;
Ye who for us your life laid down;
The angels know your grave to-day;
And weave for you the victor's crown'
~~
DO NOT STAND AT MY GRAVE
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on the ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush of quiet
birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there, I did not die.
-Mary Frye
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Son, thou hast done thy duty well
No cowards blood pulsed through thy veins
Hero on the field you fell, that England reigns
For your Country and your King
Your life was freely given
Lord let your praises ring
And rest your soul in Heaven"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Call not back the dear departed
Anchored safe where storms are o'er
On the borderland we left her
Soon to meet and part no more

Far beyond this world of changes
Far beyond this world of care
We shall find our missing loved ones
In our father's mansions fair
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~For the fallen~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
('Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori' is a latin phrase that translates to 'It is sweet and fitting to die for the homeland'.)

For the fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children
England mourns for her dead across the sea,
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow,
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again,
They sit no more at familiar tables of home,
They have no lot in our labour of the daytime,
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires and hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the night.

As the stars shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
- Written by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

Greater love hath no man than this,
That he lay down his life for his friends.
In the ranks he was only a private,
But he sleeps in a hero's grave.

"Only a grave of a hero
Only a mould of earth
Far from the land of wattle
The place that gave him birth
Somewhere in France he is lying.
He answered his country's call.
He died an Australian hero.
Fighting to save us all.

Only a bundle of letters.
All that is left to me.
But the boy who died for his country.
Will live in my memory.
Only some line from the trenches.
But the hand of the writer is cold.
And all that is left in remembrance.
Is his picture on the wall.

"Yes again we hope to meet him,
when the day of life has fled
thou in heaven once more to greet him
where no farewell tears are shed"

"Gone to his rest through the pathway of duty,
giving his life that others might live
such are the words on the tablet of beauty
in letters immortal, in honour to live"

"Sleep on dear son, in a far off land
in a grave we'll never see,
as long as life and memory last
we will remember thee"

LEST WE FORGET
Stand fast and salute an Australian son
Who in peace and war was always ready to give
Now it's time to lower our flag and fire his trusty guns
While bugles, here, there and everywhere sob a farewell call.

Brother in Arms
But I got no such compensation for my hardest triumph
The day I lost you to battle, my brother in arms.
They told me the pain would ease with time
But I didn't want it to, because it reminded me
Of what you was to me. My Brother in Arms
'brothers in childhood, brothers in arms and brothers beyond'.

We tarry yet, we are toiling still,
He is gone yet he fares the best,
He fought fearful odds, he struggled uphill,
He has fairly earned his season of rest;
No tears are needed – pour out the wine,
Let the goblets clash, and the grape juice flow,
Ho! Pledge we a death-drink, comrades fine,
To a brave man gone where we all must go.

Somewhere in France he is sleeping,
Away from Australia's shore;
May his soul find rest in heaven,
In peace for evermore.
His King and country called him,
The call was not in vain;
For on our roll of honour,
You will find our hero's name
~~~~~~~~An Irish Airman foresees his Death~~~~~~~~~~~
BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
***********************************************************
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A prayer of thanks~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The night is dark and dank and drear,
I toss upon my fevered bed
And softly comes on soundless feet
An earthly angel to my head;
And over my burning brow her hand
So soft and cool in sweet caress,
A healing touch that soothes my pain
With loving care and tenderness.
God bless "The Rose of No Man's Land",
Who guides me through my night of pain,
And keep her safe throughout the storm.
Anonymous
AWM PR 00526
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Smilin' thru'~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Though fate has been unkind to us with sickness and in pain,
It takes the kindness of the nurse to bring us health again;
Her smiling face so cheerful, with radiance aglow,
I'll praise her work unending wherever I may go.
No words that I can utter with justice half express
The gratitude I'll always feel, the depths you cannot guess.
The kindness and devotion bestowed in Mercy's cause,
Deserves the highest praise of all – a round of loud applause!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Unknown Author~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We tried our best to keep him
We pleaded for him to remain
But he said, my country is calling
Let me go or I will die in shame.
We remember the day you left us
We remember the last goodbye
Little we thought when you left us
You were going away to die.
Your loss we cannot realize
Nor feel that you have gone
But we know our grief we will have to bear
When your mates come back and you not there.
A faithful brother, so true and kind
No friend on earth like him we find
Twelve months have passed and none can tell
The loss of our brother we loved so well.
Far away from all who loved him
Soldiers gently laid him to rest
In a far away grave he is sleeping
One of God's bravest and best.
No matter how we long, dear Ernie
No matter how we call
There is nothing left to answer
But your photo on the wall.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Far away from all who loved him
They gently laid him down to rest
In a far away grave he is sleeping
One of God's bravest and best.
All is sad within our memories
Lonely are our hearts today
For one we loved so dearly
Has forever passed away
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Unknown Ode~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Somewhere in France he is lying, an Anzac brave & true
He died an Australian hero, fighting to save us all
Somewhere by a lonely hillside, in a lonely grave in France
There lies my darling Nelson, Resting in peace with his God
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Unknown Ode~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
'Loved by all who knew him.
We shall not stand beside his grave,
And none shall point us where he lies;
We only know that he was brave,
And faced the foe with smiling eyes.
By whispering ball or crushing shell,
No tidings comes of how he died,
But we who loved him know full well
He did not swerve or turn aside.'
~~~~~~~~~~~~~Others~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The blow was hard, the shock severe
To part with two lads we loved so dear
We loved them then, we love them still
Forget them?, no we never will"
"Too dearly loved to be forgotten"
Inserted by his loving parents & sisters
-----------
"Our brothers are sleeping their last long sleep and their graves we may never see
But some gentle hand in that distant land may scatter some flowers for me"
-----------
"They marched away so bravely, their young heads proudly held
Their footsteps never faltered and their courage never failed
Their king and country called them, the call was not in vain
On Britains roll of honor, you will find our heroes names"
----------
"In soldiers graves they are sleeping, the dearest and the best
In our hearts we will miss them forever, though we know they are only at rest"
"They sleep not in their native land, but 'neath the foreign skies
Far from those that loved them best, in heroes graves they lie"
---------
"He sleeps beside his comrades, in a hallowed grave unknown
But his name is written in letters of love, in the hearts he left at home"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~Mother's Lament~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If I could have my dearest wish,
And all earth's treasures too;
And pick from Heaven what I may,
Dear Jean, I would ask for you
Many a lonely heartache, many a silent tear,
But always a beautiful memory,
Of a daughter I loved so dear.
I keep forever in my heart. Mother"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Lark Force~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This service remembers the men of Australia's 2/22nd Battalion and Lark Force.
The 2/22nd Australian Infantry Battalion was raised in July 1940 for service in the Second World War. In 1941 they deployed to Rabaul, New Britain, where they combined with several other units to form Lark Force. They were responsible for protecting the vulnerable airbases at Lakunai and Vunakanau, New Britain.
Already under-equipped, Japanese bombings in January 1942 destroyed most of Lark Force's assets. They withdrew from Rabaul and awaited the inevitable Japanese landings. The superior numbers of the Japanese soon overwhelmed their defences, and the order was given to retreat. Lark Force disintegrated and tried to escape.
A small number of men would escape via boats they found in the New Guinea area. Approximately 160 Australians were captured and then massacred at Tol Plantation. 836 men - the majority of Lark Force - were either captured or surrendered to the Japanese.
Many of these men would go on to die in the sinking of the Montevideo Maru transport ship. Unmarked, there was no way to know it was carrying 1,053 prisoners and civilian internees to Hainan Island. On 1 July 1942, the Montevideo Maru was sighted and torpedoed by the submarine USS Sturgeon. It sank in 11 minutes, killing all prisoners on board.
~~~~~~~~~~Sinking of HMAS Sydney (II) - D48 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The battle between the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney and the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran was a single-ship action that occurred on 19 November 1941, off the coast of Western Australia. Sydney, with Captain Joseph Burnett commanding, and Kormoran, under Fregattenkapitän Theodor Detmers, encountered each other approximately 106 nautical miles (196 km; 122 mi) off Dirk Hartog Island. Both ships were destroyed in the half-hour engagement.
From 24th November, after Sydney failed to return to port, air and sea searches were conducted. Boats and rafts carrying survivors from Kormoran were recovered at sea, while others made landfall north of Carnarvon: 318 of the 399 personnel on Kormoran survived. While debris from Sydney was found, there were no survivors from the 645-strong complement. It was the largest loss of life in the history of the Royal Australian Navy, the largest Allied warship lost with all hands during World War II, and a major blow to Australian wartime morale. Australian authorities learned of Sydney's fate from the surviving Kormoran personnel, who were held in prisoner of war camps until the end of the war. The exact location of the two wrecks remained unverified until 2008.
According to German accounts—which were assessed as truthful and generally accurate by Australian interrogators during the war, as well as most subsequent analyses—Sydney approached so close to Kormoran that the Australian cruiser lost the advantages of heavier armour and superior gun range.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~Rats of Tobruk~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Rats of Tobruk were soldiers of the Australian-led Allied garrison that held the Libyan port of Tobruk against the Afrika Corps, during the Siege of Tobruk in World War II. The siege started on 11 April 1941 and was relieved on 10 December.[1] The port continued to be held by the Allies until its surrender on 21 June 1942.
Between April and August 1941, some 35,000 allies, including around 14,000 Australian soldiers, were besieged in Tobruk by a German–Italian army commanded by General Erwin Rommel. The garrison, commanded by Lieutenant General Leslie Morshead, included the 9th Australian Division (20th, 24th, and 26th Brigades), the 18th Brigade of the 7th Australian Division, four regiments of British artillery, and the 3rd Indian Motor Brigade. Between August and October, most of the original garrison was replaced by British, Czechoslovakian and Polish troops.
~~~~~~Sinking of HMAS Armidale~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
At 13:00,1st December 1942, five approaching Japanese dive-bombers were sighted by Armidale. Two aircraft were damaged by the corvette's guns, while the other three missed while attempting to evade fire.[14] A second air attack occurred at 14:00; five Zero fighters distracted the corvette's weapons while nine torpedo bombers made attack runs. At one point, a late-released torpedo passed over the bridge before hitting the water. At 15:10, the ship was hit in the port side by two torpedoes in quick succession: the first into the mess deck, killing many of the soldiers there, the second into the engine room.
As the soldiers and sailors began to evacuate into the water, the Zeroes stopped attacking the sinking corvette and began strafing runs on those in the water. Ordinary Seaman Edward "Teddy" Sheean, who had been wounded in the initial attack, strapped himself into one of Armidale's 20 mm Oerlikons and opened fire on the aircraft. Sheean forced one Zero to crash into the sea and damaged at least two others; continuing to fire until he went down with Armidale. In 2020, he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia for his actions. Low on fuel, the Japanese aircraft headed for home. The survivors found that the two ship's boats survived the sinking, and were able to fashion a raft from debris.
This raft of Armidale survivors were not seen again after this photo was taken on 8th December 1942
The survivors remained together until midday on 2 December, when one of the boats, with the commanding officer aboard, set out for Darwin in an effort to find rescuers. At 10:15 on 5 December, they were spotted by a reconnaissance aircraft, and the 22 aboard were rescued by Kalgoorlie. On learning that more men were still at sea, an air search was organised, and the auxiliary patrol boat Vigilant was to stand by off Melville Island. That same day, the other boat, with 29 aboard, headed for Darwin, leaving the raft, with 49 aboard, behind. At 16:00 on 8 December, a PBY Catalina flying boat sighted the raft, now with about 20 aboard, and the second boat. The aircraft was unable to land to assist either group of survivors because of rough seas, but directed Kalgoorlie to the boat. However, the raft could not be located again, and the search effort was called off on 13 December. 40 personnel from Armidale and 60 embarked men of the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army were killed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sinking of Montevideo Maru~~~~~~~~
On 22nd June 1942, some weeks after the fall of Rabaul to the Japanese, a large number of Australian prisoners were embarked from Rabaul's port on the SS Montevideo Maru. Unmarked as a POW ship, she was proceeding without escort to the Chinese island of Hainan, when she was sighted by the American submarine USS Sturgeon near the northern Philippine coast on 30 June. The Sturgeon pursued, but was unable to fire, as the target was traveling at 17 knots. However, it slowed to about 12 knots at midnight; according to crewman Yoshiaki Yamaji, it was to rendezvous with an escort of two destroyers. Unaware that it was carrying Allied prisoners of war and civilians, the Sturgeon fired four torpedoes at the Montevideo Maru before dawn of 1 July, causing the vessel to sink in only 11 minutes. According to Yamaji, Australians in the water sang "Auld Lang Syne" to their trapped mates as the ship sank beneath the waves.
There were more POWs in the water than crew members. The POWs were holding pieces of wood and using bigger pieces as rafts. They were in groups of 20 to 30 people, probably 100 people in all. They were singing songs. I was particularly impressed when they began singing Auld Lang Syne as a tribute to their dead colleagues. Watching that, I learnt that Australians have big hearts. Eyewitness Yoshiaki Yamaji, interviewed Oct. 2003 .The sinking is considered the worst maritime disaster in Australia's history. A nominal list made available by the Japanese government in 2012 revealed that a total of 1054 prisoners (178 non-commissioned officers, 667 soldiers and 209 civilians) died on the Montevideo Maru. Of the ship's total complement, approximately twenty Japanese crew survived, out of an original 88 guards and crew. Among the missing prisoners was Reverend Syd Beazley of the Methodist Mission, the uncle of former Australian Labour Party opposition leader Kim Beazley. Another was Tom Vernon Garrett, the grandfather of former Midnight Oil lead singer and former Australian Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett. Another individual, Richard Kingsmill Pennefather Moore, had served in the Imperial Camel Corps as a Lieutenant and was awarded a Military Cross. His son, William Richard Moore, married Nora Wish Garrett, aunt of Peter Garrett. Also amongst those lost were 22 Salvation Army bandsmen, the majority being members of the Brunswick Citadel band. The bandsmen had enlisted together and comprised the majority of the band of the 2/22nd Battalion

~~~~The Sinking of the Tamahoko Maru 24th June 1944~~~~~
The Tamahoko Maru sailed on 20th June 1944, with 772 POWs (197 British, 42 American, 258 Australian and 281 Dutch) from Takao for Moji in convoy HO-02. There were also some 500 Japanese soldiers aboard. On 24th June 1944 at 11:50 pm, in the Koshiki Straits 40 miles SW of Nagasaki, the Tamahoko Maru was torpedoed by USS Tang and sank in less than 2 minutes at 32-24N, 129-38E.
An escort picked up the Japanese survivors and left the POWs in the water, to be picked up the next morning by a small whaling ship, which brought 212 survivors to Nagasaki. They spent the rest of the war in the Fukuoka 14 prison camp. The other 560 POWs, 35 crewmen and an unknown number of Japanese soldiers were lost.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Sinking of HMAT Warilda~~~~~~~~~~~
On 3 August 1918 the HMAT Warilda, an Australian hospital ship, was struck and sunk by a torpedo from a German U-boat. The vessel had been transporting sick and wounded Allied soldiers across the English Channel and was clearly marked with a Red Cross. At the time of the attack there were 801 people aboard. Sadly, 123 lost their lives, including Private XXXX.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Sinking of the Rakuyō Maru~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Rakuyō Maru (with 1,318 Australian and British prisoners of war aboard) and Kachidoki Maru (900 British prisoners of war) were part of a convoy carrying mostly raw materials that left Singapore for Japan on 6 September 1944. The prisoners were all survivors of the Burma-Thailand Railway who had only recently returned to Singapore.
On the morning of 12 September 1944 the convoy was attacked by American submarines in the South China Sea. Rakuyō Maru was sunk by USS Sealion II and Kachidoki Maru by USS Pampanito. Prisoners able to evacuate the ships spent the following days in life rafts or clinging to wreckage in open water. About 150 Australian and British survivors were rescued by American submarines. A further 500 were picked up by Japanese destroyers and continued the journey to Japan. Those not rescued perished at sea. A total of 1,559 Australian and British prisoners of war were killed in the incident, all missing at sea (1,159 from Rakuyō Maru, 400 from Kachidoki Maru). The total number of Australians killed was 543 (503 AIF, 33 RAN, 7 RAAF).
~~~~~~~USAAF B24 Liberator bomber B-24D 42-40682, Disaster~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The aircraft crashed on take off. The accident was believed to have been caused by pilot disorientation in the darkness. The B-24 struck trees and crashed directly into a convoy of trucks occupied by over 130 soldiers of D Company, 2/33 Australian Infantry Battalion, Australian Army. The soldiers were waiting to emplane in C-47 transport planes for travel to the forward area. The bomber's 500-pound bombs and 2,800 gallons of gasoline ignited killing 15 of the Australian troops immediately and inflicting severe injuries upon a further 47 who died as a result. Ninety soldiers were injured but survived. All 11 occupants of the bomber died.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Gull Force~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gull Force was sent to Ambon to defend the strategic island's harbour and air strip. When an overwhelmingly larger Japanese force of approximately 20.000, landed on the Island in January 1942 Gull Force numbered 1131 men, most of them Victorians. They were split into two groups: 292 were sent to defend the air strip at Laha on the western side of the magnificent bay that almost splits Ambon in half. 47 men were killed in action, 11 escaped, 5 managed to join the rest of the force on the other side of the Island, and 229 were massacred after surrendering.
During the conflict on the other side of the Island, 7 members of Gull Force were killed in action, 804 became Prisoners of War. Of that number 267 were subsequently taken to the Chinese Island of Hainan, where 86 died as prisoners.
Of the 528 men who stayed on Ambon only 119 survived, the rest died of starvation, overwork, disease and brutality.
October 25th 1942 the Taiko Maru was used to transport 267 Australian and Dutch prisoners through the South China Sea to Hainan Island, a small (approx 160miles long) island 15 miles south of the Luichow Peninsula off mainland China. The ship anchored at Bakli Bay on the southern end of the island on 5th November 1942.
The men were to find the Hashio prison camp set in desolate, desert like terrain. During their imprisonment the men had to endure harsh treatment, less than adequate rations, inadequate basic medical supplies and brutal treatment at the hands of the Japanese guards. It seemed to all that the plan was to eliminate the prisoners by a combination of overwork, ill treatment and starvation.
On August 30th 1945 prisoners were officially told that they were finally free. American soldiers had parachuted on to the island bringing food, medicines, drugs and some clothing and also the news as to how the war had ended with the dropping of the atomic bomb. All the men capable of travel were sent to Samah, 110 miles from Bakli Bay, by train where Scott and a party of 30 Australians and 30 Dutch left for Hong Kong aboard HMS Queensborough. Macrae and the rest of the men were taken to Hong Kong aboard HMS Glenearn. Major Macrae and his men joined the advance party on HMS Vindex and sailed for Australia - arriving in Sydney on October 3rd. Some of the infirmed men were brought to Australia aboard the hospital ship Jerusalemme.
Surviving Gull Force P.O.W's on Ambon were told of the end of the war and given their freedom on 10th September 1945. Four corvettes, The Junee, Glenelg, Cootamundra and Latrobe were sent to Ambon to rescue the remaining men and they were taken to Morotai to recuperate before returning to Australia.
~~~~~~~The Sinking of HMAS Yarra~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
On 27 February orders were given to clear all remaining British auxiliary craft from Batavia (now Jakarta). About midnight Yarra and the Indian sloop HMIS Jumna sailed escorting a convoy to Tjilatjap. Arriving off Tjilatjap at 11 am on 2 March, the ships were warned not to enter harbour. The Yarra was ordered to take the convoy, which consisted of the depot ship Anking, the tanker Francol and the motor minesweeper MMS 51, to Fremantle while the Jumna sailed for Colombo. No time was to be lost, as powerful Japanese forces were known to be operating in the waters south of Java.
Steaming steadily south east at an average speed of 8.5 knots, the Yarra and her convoy made steady progress during the night of 2-3 March. Except for a faintly discerned shadowing aircraft sighted in the evening, there was no sign of the enemy. On the morning of the third two lifeboats were sighted. From these, Yarra picked up a number of exhausted survivors of the Dutch merchant ship Parigi, sunk by the Japanese two days earlier.
At 6.30 am on 4 March, as the sun rose the lookout in Yarra sighted the unmistakable topmasts of a Japanese heavy cruiser squadron to the north-east. The squadron consisted of Atago, Takao and Maya, each armed with ten 8-inch guns, and two destroyers. Immediately Lieutenant Commander Rankin made a sighting report, ordered the ships of convoy to scatter and, placing his ship between them and the enemy, laid smoke and prepared to engage. Yarra was outgunned and out-ranged, and the enemy ships were faster. Against such odds her task was hopeless, yet she kept fighting even as her convoy was overwhelmed and sunk, ship by ship.
Anking, which was carrying many RAN personnel was sunk first. Overwhelmed by many hits she was despatched in ten minutes. By then Yarra was on fire and listing heavily to port but still shooting. MMS 51 was on fire and was put down shortly after by a hail of close range automatic gunfire from one of the cruisers. The Francol took more punishment and still remained afloat, finally succumbing at about 7.30. Yarra, shattered by numerous hits, was the last to go. Soon after 8.00 am, Rankin ordered that the ship be abandoned. Minutes later he was killed when an 8-inch salvo hit the bridge. Leading Seaman R. Taylor, manning the last remaining gun, kept on firing until he too was killed, and the Yarra's guns fell silent. Her end, which came after close-range shelling by the two Japanese destroyers, was witnessed by 34 survivors on two rafts. All, except the Dutch captain of Parigi, were naval ratings.
When Yarra sank, the Japanese made off to the north-east after picking up one boatload of survivors from Francol. A collection of boats, rafts and floats was left scattered over a wide area of sea. Towards evening, a passing Dutch vessel, Tawali, rescued 57 officers and men from Anking. However, in spite of frantic signals, she failed to sight two Carley floats, which held 14 men from MMS 51. For the next two and a half days they drifted about until picked up by the Dutch steamer Tjimanjoek on 7 March. Meanwhile Yarra's men, their numbers sadly reduced by wounds, exposure, and thirst, continued to drift helplessly. On 9 March 13 of the sloop's ratings were picked up by the Dutch submarine KlL. Of the complement of 151, 138 (including the captain and all officers) were killed in the action or died subsequently on the raft.
~~~~Sinking of HMAS Canberra~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the darkness of the early hours of the morning of 9 August 1942 the RAN heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra was severely damaged off Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands) in a surprise attack by a powerful Japanese naval force in an action that became known as the Battle of Savo Island. Canberra was hit 24 times in less than two minutes and 84 of her crew were killed including Captain Frank Getting. Following an order to abandon ship the Canberra was sunk the next day by a torpedo from a US destroyer.
At the time of the action the Canberra had formed part of a US Navy-RAN force screening American transports during the landing operations of US marines at Guadalcanal, which begun on 7 August 1942.
A failure of Allied intelligence and vigilance resulted in this screening force being surprised by a determined group of seven Japanese cruisers and a destroyer near Savo Island just before 2am on the morning of the 9 August 1942. The Canberra as the lead ship of the screening force was the first to be attacked and received the full force of the Japanese barrage. In the darkness and confusion the rampaging Japanese attackers wreaked havoc with other Allied vessels before withdrawing. However, despite this significant setback landing operations at Guadalcanal continued.
Personnel:---the RAN suffered 193 casualties (including 84 killed or died of wounds).
~~~~~~~~Sinking of HMAS Goorangai~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
On the night of 20th November, HMAS Goorangai was crossing the mouth of Port Phillip Bay to anchor at Portsea for the night. The minesweeper was sailing under 'brownout' conditions, with minimal lighting. At 20:37, MV Duntroon, en route to Sydney, emerged from Port Phillip Bay and cut Goorangai in two. The small auxiliary sank within a minute, taking all 24 personnel aboard with her. Only six bodies were recovered, one of which couldn't be identified.HMAS Goorangai and her ship's company were the RAN's first loss in World War II, and the first RAN surface ship ever to be sunk while in service.

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~Transcript of Military Service, Australian Military Forces, World War Two
~Military Service, Australian Imperial Force, AIF, World War One~
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