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C. DONELLY   V.X.46836    2/3 L.A.A.   EX. P.O.W.

 

I enlisted on the 29/7/1940 and was drafted into the 2/3 Light Anti-Aircraft Artillery. I was stationed firstly at Caulfield and from there sent to Werribee. At both places we were stationed at the racecourse where we slept on straw palliasses in the concrete stands. Our training was done at Werribee and in December 1940 we sailed for Palestine on the ‘Mauretania’. Other ships in the convoy were Queen Mary, Aquitania, Dominion Monarch and Awatea. After some time in the desert we were then shipped to the island of Crete in the Mediterranean.

 

The German intention was to invade Crete by sea but the British Fleet sank all the invading boats and barges. The Island was then bombed solidly for two weeks, then Paratroopers were flown in of which hundreds were shot down and killed before the Germans finally made a landing at Maleme.

Here they set up a landing strip and finally overran the Island

The British ships ‘Imperial’, ‘Dido’, ‘Orion’ and ‘Hereward’ sailed in to evacuate the troops who boarded the ships during the night of May 28th.1941. At 5.30 am. on May 29th.,under heavy Stuka attack, the ‘Hereward ‘,the ship I was on , received a direct bomb which went straight down the funnel. Quite a number of our soldiers and British naval men were killed when the ship was hit, others went down with the ship but the majority jumped overboard and were picked up some hours later by Italian torpedo boats.

 

I had been in the water about six hours and have no recollection of being picked up by the torpedo boat. We were taken up to the beach of a small Island and, according to my mates, I was laid out with the dead bodies. Luckily, I eventually became conscious and, with others, was sent to Rhodes Island for three months, the first three weeks of which were spent in hospital because of exposure in the water.

We were issued with one set of underwear, one pair of socks, one pair of boots –mine were size 9-I take size 6-, one pair of trousers, one shirt, one jacket and two blankets. These were all the possessions we had as all our belongings went down with the ‘Hereward’.

 

We were then shipped to Italy and sent to a camp at Capura and from there to Bolzano in the north of Italy near the Brenner Pass. After some time we were moved to camp 57 at Gruppignano near Udine close to the Yugoslavian border. This infamous camp was under the command of Colonel Calcaterra. Details of this camp can be read in Malcolm Webster’s book, ‘An Italian Experience’ and Alex Barnett’s book, ‘ Hitler’s Digger Slaves’.

We spent about twelve months at this camp and were then sent to work in the rice fields on the Lombardy Plains for the next twelve months. Here our beds were three tiered bunks with thin straw mattresses. Our daily rations were as follows;

Macaroni or rice 66 gms

Bread                200 gms

Cheese                50 gms 

Beans                  30 gms

Coffee - made from acorns - 7 gms

Vegetables           30 gms

 

Meat and bone- which we were allotted every second week – 150 gms.

Macaroni, beans and vegetables- possibly stale cabbage leaves- were made into soup in the camp kitchen and when cooked it was very thin and we were each issued one   

ladle at 11am. each day. In the afternoon we were issued with a bread roll. These rations were 7% above starvation point and this was our daily menu for twelve months.

 

Three hundred and eighty cases of beri beri went out of the camp in one day to the local hospitals.

The camp was crawling with lice and rats and we were allowed one shower a week.

In the winter we were often without water because of the intense cold and would have to melt snow to obtain water.

Hut searches were often carried out for hidden radios, maps and compasses so we were stood outside in the bitter cold of winter or the heat of summer from 8am.till night fall. Sniffer dogs were used and often turned on the men. At one stage I was imprisoned for a month in solitary confinement as some of us protested over the lack of food. I was handcuffed for ten hours a day for this period. My daily food consisted of two slices of dry bread and a drink of water. Bed was the floor with no blankets. It was impossible to walk after a month so I had to crawl back to the huts.

Red Cross parcels eventually came through but with much irregularity. These were supposed to be issued each week but if there was any trouble amongst the men they were withheld and sometimes the Italians stole some of the parcels so this meant the remaining parcels had to be shared. It was reported that an Italian Major was imprisoned for ten years for stealing parcels.

 

The contents of Red Cross parcels were:

Evaporated milk                  400 gms

Lunch biscuits                     250 gms

Cheese                                 250 gms.

Cocoa                                  250 gms

Sardines                               500 gms.

Pork meat                            375 gms

Corned beef                         375 gms

Sweet chocolate                  340 gms

Sugar                                   125 gms

Powdered Orange Cons.      200 gms

Prunes                                 500 gms

Instant coffee                       125 gms

Cigarettes           2                 20’s pkt.

Smoking tobacco   1            60 gr pkt.

 

This camp, 57,at Gruppignano, was known to be the worst camp in Italy.

There were many escape plans and it took 5 or 6 months to dig one tunnel (dug by 

 

Western Australian miners) from which about 40 men escaped but most were recaptured next day. Punishment for trying to escape was severe beatings andimprisonment. The method used to disperse of the soil from the tunnels was to cut sleeves out of old shirts and attach them to the inside of the leg of the trousers and fill with the soil. It would then trickle away whilst walking around the compound.

Fences of barbed wire, about 15feet high, with an inner entanglement of wire, surrounded the camps. At each corner was a sentry box with a searchlight and a guard armed with a machine gun.

 

When Italy capitulated I was loose for sixteen days before being captured by German S.S. (Secret Service) troops. During this time I lived on what food I could find, mainly maize in the field and a few grapes if I was lucky. Some days I didn’t have any food at all. Once captured, I spent the night in the Turin gaol before being sent to Germany in cattle trucks. These trucks were so crowded it was impossible to lie down so we all had to take lying down in turns. This trip took three days and three nights. We were put into camp 344 then sent to a working camp, Lager 741,which was situated in Zwittaw near the Czechoslovakian and Old Sudatenland border. At this camp we were deloused, showered and issued with a new set of clothes. There were no lice in this camp in Germany. Here we were issued with extra food:

 

Bread                                 500 gms

Meat (old horse)                100 gms (not every day)

Coffee                                150 gms (once a month)

Margarine                            25 gms (believed to be an extract of coal)

Sugar                                   25 gms

Jam                                      25 gms (occasionally)

Cheese                                 10 gms

Oats                                     10 gms

Potatoes                            500 gms (in soup)

 

Occasionally we had sauerkraut with caraway seeds. At one stage we were snowed in so no food came into the camp. We lived on swedes and mouldy black bread.

 

The coldest temperature during this period was 28* below and the warmest was 21* below. We wore all our clothes to bed and had two blankets but nothing would warm us, it was so cold. At this camp we worked for twelve months on building construction work and had to go to a quarry for stone for the foundations. This was during the severe winter so had to remove the snow and ice before we reached the stone, which was quarried with picks.  

 

We were treated well by our guards who were older men and had been in W.W.1 and been POWs themselves. They were A1 compared to the stand over tactics of the Italian guards. I spent 2 ½ years in Italy and 1½ years in Germany. When the war ended we tried to reach the Americans at Pilsen about 500 miles away. We walked for days and everywhere we looked there were people going home. The roads were packed and 3 million came into Prague. The Germans bombed Prague for four days so there were dead lying everywhere. We met the Russians on 9/5/1945 at a town called Jablene (pronounced Gablene) on the Czechoslavakian border, then wewere caught up in a fight with three SS armies who would not surrender to the Russians. The SS were trying to get to the Americans in Pilsen. We eventually got to Prague where we spent five days. Whilst there, we saw the Russian victory march in that city. Upon arrival in Pilsen the Americans took us to Regensburg. On May 14thwe left by plane for Reims and then on to England. We arrived home in Australia in July 1945 on the ‘Stirling Castle’ after being away 1669 days.

The two most important things to come out of these events were the appreciation of our freedom, our country and the companionship and comradeship of the men.

 

One chap in our camp worked from the age of twelve on a station property at Tharlawindi in New South Wales. When war broke out he rode his horse 600 miles to Sydney to join up. He could neither read nor write. He celebrated his sixteenth birthday in the prison camp.

 

  The Hereward          by  W.Dellar         C.Troop 7th. Battery 2/3rdL.A.A.

 

It was early in the morning of the 29thof May

When she received the warning of Stukas on the way

‘Hereward, that grand old ship, a destroyer of the fleet

Was sorely overloaded with evacuees from Crete

 

Guarding her two mother ships, unable to manoeuvre

A fighter to the last, as records well will prove her,

Her four point sevens flinging death into the skies    

Mingled with the chatter of her multiple point fives.

 

A near miss shook her plates and like noisy thunder,

One landed down below split boilers and pipes asunder.

With motive power silenced and guns destroyed on deck,

She lay upon the ocean a helpless floating wreck.

 

To leave the burning ship, was the order of the day,

Without panic or confusion but a little less delay.

Throwing floats and wreckage overboard and discarding all our gear,

We quickly followed after into Father Neptune’s care.

 

A south east swell was rolling, the water icy most,

As we bravely struggled onwards towards the distant coast.

Above, the Stukas glided to the object of their quest,

Till battled scarred and burning she slid to her last rest.

 

For five long hours we labored at the mercy of the seas

Till rescued, wet and weary, by the Ities M.T.B’s.

Some killed on board by shrapnel, some perished in the sea,

And we picked up at long last, live in captivity.

 

But when the war is over, and we are back at home,

We’ll think of them in future years who lie beneath the foam.

Those comrades of our hardships, and pals of high degree,

We’ll remember at reunions and drink to their eternity.

 

Written 5/10/41 at Prato Isarco (POW camp).

A Visit to Crete in Memory of 1941

Crete, in 1941, was a disaster for the locals, the Australians and their Allies - as well as the Germans. But out of this terrible campaign came Australian stories of fortitude, heroism and loss. 

In May, 2018, a group of descendants from Victoria, NSW, WA and UK went to Crete to follow the stories of family members on a trip that took us over much of Crete with its rugged and raw mountains; its ancient towns, cities and structures. But above all, to meet its local people with whom there is a special bond with Australians that was forged over a few extraordinary months 77 years ago. The trip was the work of organiser and military historian Bim Affleck and his wife, Anna.

Our group went to the places and met some of the descendants of the people who were important to three uncles and a father who were variously in the Australian infantry battalions as well as the 2/3rd Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment in 1941. But their stories and experiences would be similar to many in 7th Battery of the latter Regiment who served on Crete. Our group thus represented Doug Craig (senior) and Alec Dawkins who were taken off by the navy to the safety of Egypt, Jim Carstairs who successfully evaded the occupying forces for six months and Max Whiteside who died of wounds sustained at Maleme airfield on the first day of the first - and last – major airborne invasion.

                 

   

As narrator, this account begins with my  arrival in Patras, Greece, from where I drove to Athens via amemorial to the village of Kalavryta where the male population over 12yo (some 700 souls) was wiped out in Nazi reprisals in 1943. Kalavryta is now on the tourist bus route so the world can remember the horror of what was done and resolve for it never to happen again.

                                                     

But life must go on …. 

                                           

                                                                                                                 The contrasts of Greece!… On a back road through the mountains of the Peloponnese, this shepherd and his flock walk a scene that goes back to biblical times.

Then south east to Nafplion where there were over a hundred multi-million € ‘gin palaces’ tied up in the harbour in a champagne-fuelled sales pitch to the rich and famous.

                                              

Quite a contrast from 1941 when this harbour was the scene  of many hurried escapes via naval ships bound for Crete after the Germans overtook Greece. 

My final destination on the mainland was Athens and its Phaleron Commonwealth War Cemetery where Sergeant Max Whiteside is buried. Max was in charge of a Bofors anti-aircraft gun and these were the first targets in the initial airborne attack on Crete on 20/5/1941. He was seriously wounded and was hidden by his mates in the foothills for a couple of days and then flown back to hospital in Athens by the Germans before he died of wounds on 25/5/1941 aged 22. He was in the 7th Battery of the Australian 2/3rd LAA Regiment while my father Charles Luckock and uncle Griff Weatherly were in the 9th Battery of the same regiment. 9th Battery were also ear-marked for Crete before it fell but stayed in North Africa to be “well chased by Rommel” in what they jokingly called ‘the Benghazi Handicap’! 8thBattery were proudly ‘Rats of Tobruk’.

                                       

Then the ferry from Piraeus to Chania in Creteon a beautiful moonlit night … ….. to arrive the following morning into Souda Bay – peaceful now, but the scene of furious fighting in 1941.  

                                                 

Our group of Crete excursionaries then visited the nearby Commonwealth War Cemetery and established our base in the delightful Doma Hotel in Chania. 

The Doma is owned by two elderly sisters and was once the British Consul and subsequently the German Headquarters during the occupation. 

                                           

L to R Norm Craig, Bim Affleck (organiser), Julie Hope, Janet Gordon, Lachie Gordon, Pin Affleck, Anna Affleck, Russell Luckock, Jules Craig, Joy Craig, Sophie Holloway, Doug Craig.

So began our excursions to various points around Crete in hired cars with local driver/guide, Manos.

Maleme airfield and German War Cemetery 

In 1941 Maleme airfield (pron Mal-em-ma) was the centre of the early German airborne attack using fighter and transport planes, towed gliders, and paratroops. 

                                                             

This photo shows the Maleme airfield which is now used for military purposes with tight security.

                                                     

On the beach side of the airfield, this concrete construction for a gun-emplacement may be the remains of the base for the light anti-aircraft Bofors 40mm guns which were unfortunately and unwisely concreted in much to the dismay of the 2/3rd when they arrived. For the regiment’s usual practice in North Africa was to move the Bofors on their 4 wheels at night when expecting an attack - so that the Germans did not know where these effective anti-aircraft guns would be situated the following morning. (The concrete might also be subsequent German construction during their occupation.)   

Max Whiteside’s letters home in early May 1941 said he ‘was 400 yards from the beach’ – so swims were part of their day in the Australian tradition. So I decided to have a swim for Max. Walking along the beach at the north side of the airfield, I was half-expecting to be followed by a military drone or some-such! 

However, when driving beside the airfield on my return trip, I just happened to stop for a few minutes - only to look up to see two heavily armed and helmeted Greek soldiers taking a great interest in why I had stopped opposite a military airfield…… Needless to say, my stop was particularly brief!

 The beach side of the Maleme airfield seems much as it was in 1941.

                                                 

                                                                      Is this still live!??

                                     Photo in Nautical Museum of Crete, Akti Kountourioti St, Chania, Crete

                               

This 1941 photo of Maleme airfield was on display in the museum in Chania and shows the dust and carnage of the initial airborne attack. The high ground at right is probably Hill 107 which was strategically important with its commanding view of the surrounding territory, including the Maleme airfield that was defended by 2/3rd LAA Bofors guns. The local Allied command headquarters was sited on the Hill until its capture by the Germans. 

Max Whiteside would be somewhere in this photo.

                                 

The tragedy of war affects all sides. German losses in this massive airborne attack were horrendous such that Hitler banned their subsequent use. Photo shows the German War Cemetery on the south side of what was Hill 107. 

                                                     

While I was in the WW2 section of Chania’s Nautical Museum I was approached by a young man who had heard me speaking English and wanted to know why I was there. I explained. It turned out that he was a young German, born in East Germany now living outside Heidelberg, and he, Bert Lissner (right) and his girlfriend Cathleen were very concerned about what had been done in the past in their country’s name. We were joined by a Belgian couple (Leo, centre, and Marie-Paule Vande Velde) for an interesting discussion of what and why it had all happened.

42nd Street:

Another  excursion in Chania was to 42ndStreet where Bim explained the battle and its consequences. Especially the short-term effects of the Maori regiment’s impromptu Haka attack led by the brilliant New Zealanders.

                                                                                                         

Brothers Norm (dark blue shirt) and Doug Craig (green shirt) were in Crete to follow their uncle who had managed to escape out of mainland Greece when it fell and then went aboard a navy ship from Chora Sfakien to Alexandria. 

The battle for Crete lasted only a short time as the Germans managed to out-manoeuvre the ill-equipped Allied forces many of whom had only recently escaped from Greece with little equipment – especially for communications. It was touch and go until the Germans captured Maleme airfield, after which the Allied troops had to fight rear-guard actions and head south to a small fishing port on the south coast that faced across the Mediterranean to Egypt.

But first they had to scramble over the 2,450 m high White Mountains with its gorges that were the walking tracks in these seriously steep ranges.

Imbros Gorge

                                               


The intrepid walkers in our group set out to walk down the Imbros Gorge. And reached the bottom after some two hours twenty minutes.

It's  a different story from walking back up as Jim Carstairs and his mates had to do after the navy ships departed Chora Sfakien without this rear-guard group. Back in 1941, boots were continually falling apart in the very rough, rocky terrain so that troops’ feet sometimes were wrapped in anything they could find or, worse still, in bare feet.

                                                        

The heights and extremes to which some plant aficionados will go! Enthusiastic gardener Sophie discovers a plant that needs a closer look.

But this is seriously steep country … Indeed, the photographer was castigated for clicking the shutter rather than performing a gallant rescue!! But it clearly illustrates the type of country that the Allied troops had to traverse.

Askifou Museum:

There is a private military museum at Askifou near the Imbros Gorge with an old Bofors anti-aircraft gun outside - this one unusually equipped with a shield - and a good supply of raki for sale.

While I missed the group visit to this museum I hear say afterwards that there was a good deal of rakiing with the local Cretans who are well-known for their enthusiastic hospitality to Australians.

                                                               

Chora Sfakien 

The tiny fishing port on the south coast – from where many Allied troops were evacuated by various naval ships and transported to Alexandria in Egypt. Jim Carstairs’s Battalion, the Australian 2/7th however, formed the rear-guard that allowed the time to load the ships with escaping troop formations. Theywere eventually ordered to evacuate so scrambled down the steep slopes to the beach – but the ships had gone for good.

The Battalion was then lined up on the beach in formal order by their Commanding Officer, Colonel Theo Walker. He addressed his troops by saying that he considered it his duty to surrender to the Germans and to look after all who came with him. However, anyone who wanted to take their chances and escape was welcome to do so.

Many decided to try their luck (and skill) in evading the Germans until things quietened down and escape to Egypt could be organised. Jim Carstairs and his mates set off to scramble back up the mountains – this time with the extra threat from the ever-present German patrols.

                                                 

This was a poignant moment for these troops. Having decided not to surrender on the Chora Sfakien beach, these men now faced the hell of climbing back up those blasted mountains – with their boots in tatters and short of food and particularly water – but also having to avoid enemy troops. They were now on their own and had to rely on their Australian-learned wits and skills. 

On our group’s drive back up these steep mountain switchback roads, I was privileged to have Doug Craig as my passenger. The Peugeot purred … and Doug broke into the best recital of the The Man From Snowy River– that iconic Australian poem by Banjo Paterson – that I have ever heard. His spirited rendition and colouration were most memorable!

Together, we rode those ‘horses’ up, up ever upwards until we landed at the top of that terrible ascent. For Dougie sent the poetic flintstones flying in this rough and broken ground where many mountain gullies meet …. amongst these torn and rugged battlements on high!

A masterful recitation of an Australian masterpiece!

                                                           

Vafes:At right, Janet Gordon reads from Jim Carstairs’ book at the group lunch at Vafes in central Crete where Jim was sheltered and fed by the local Cretans at great risk to themselves. 

Local medicine was always interesting – especially when Jim had a severe bout of jaundice and his progress was followed closely by constant visits from the locals which was a problem if German patrols were in the area.

Patsos and the Cretan Network of Andartes.

The Cretans during the occupation proved a formidable force working with the Allies – and on their own – against the German occupation of their island.

We stayed a night in Patsos where a small rock shelter outside the village was important during the Germanoccupation of their island.

We stayed a night in Patsos where a small rock shelter outside the village was important during the German occupation. Our guide, Vasilis explained the 1941situation when, Evangelos Vandoulakis, and other locals hid Jim Carstairs at great risk to themselves and their village. They became great friends and this was the pattern between many Cretans and the Australians and New Zealanders in particular. 

This friendship was apparent to me in September 1984 during a beach holiday near Rethymnon. One day, I drove up high into the White Mountains on my way to Chora Sfakien and stopped at a tiny shop in goat country with mountainous rocks and scrub – to come across an old walking-sticked man sitting outside. He wanted to know where I was from.

When we worked out ‘Australia’ he became most animatedly excited. “Australia gut: Germans nicht gut” he said in the language of the occupation that he had obviously witnessed.

In a separate 1944 operation conducted by British SOE officers Paddy Leigh Fermor and W.S. ‘Billy’ Moss with some locals, the German General Kreipe, in charge of Crete, was abducted and hidden in this same Patsos ‘cave’ before being walked over the mountains and thence to Egypt and captivity. In a famous literary incident while on the slopes of Mt Ida, the General quoted the first verse of Horace’s Ode 1.9 in Latin then stopped. Upon which Patrick Leigh Fermor finished it off – both from memory - learned during their pre-war years!

                                               

An Escape and a Capture

After visiting the Prevelli Monastery – the scene of many Allied escapes organised by these very brave church leaders - I departed the group as I had to head to Heraklion and home in a couple of days. 

But first I drove to the small Peristere Beach, just a few hundred metres from Rodakino, from which General Kreipe was evacuated to Egypt and captivity by the British.

Upon asking the local café owner about tourism, he said there are now many German tourists coming to enjoy the south coast beaches as an escape from their northern winter.

                                                       


Tris Ekklisies and Safety- A beach at the very small village of Tris Ekklisies (three churches) on the coast due south of Heraklion is where Jim Carstairs and a group of 78+ Allied troops escaped to Alexandria and freedom on the caique affectionately referred to as ‘HMS’ Hedgehog.

On the day I visited there had been significant rainfall so the main street was flooded just above the beach. I did not venture through this floodwater as a conked-out car would be inadvisable in this very remote village!

The beach is at the foot of a number of very steep mountainous ranges that now have a glorious newly-tarred road which descendsin a series of serious switchbacks. No doubt, European Union funds at work.

The new, wide tar, however, ends abruptly at the entrance to the village – so you then encounter pot-holed, stony, narrow streets!

 Just imagine in 1941, though, descending these steep, rocky, mountains with your boots in tatters … but finally … they had escaped!

                     

Postcript:But from all this comes hope. Hope epitomised by the busloads of tourists now stopping to witness the civilian massacre sites in Greece – and the young German couple who openly expressed their dismay to me at what had been done in the past in their country’s name.

Lest we forget.

 Reading:

Carstairs, James de Mole, Escape from Crete: War Diary 1941, Society of Cretan Historical Studies, Heraklion, 2016. (Available from Historical Museum of Crete, Heraklion, €10 + p & p)

Rae, C J E, Harris, A L and Bryant, R K: On Target: The Story of the 2/3rdLight Anti-Aircraft Regiment. Enterprise Press, 1987.

2/3rdLight Anti-Aircraft Regiment website article on 2/4thLAA Bofors in the North Africa desert: https://www.antiaircraft.org.au/take-post/take-post-articles/days-in-the-desert

ARGUS (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848 - 1957), Tuesday 1 June 1943, page 6

PSYCHOLOGY TEST FOR LAND GIRLS

 Because so many girls enlisted in the Women's Land Army have proved unsuitable for land work it has been suggested that girls enlisting in the Land Army should undergo a psychology test. This was discussed at the State Advisory Council meeting, and will be discussed again at the interstate conference of the organisation in Melbourne on June 8, 9 and 10. Also to help with the "settling down" of girls to their new life in the country, more matrons are to be trained. The first course of matrons began yesterday at the Land Army Instruction Depot, Mont Park.

 Other matters discussed at the meeting and which will also be discussed at the conference are accommodation, flax mill training and the bringing into line of the AWLA with the other women's services. It has been decided to make representations to have members included in the Australian Comforts Fund distribution, and for concession fares on trains and trams. The question of accommodation will be thoroughly explored, and where possible girls will be billeted in private homes.

 More girls are urgently needed for flax work, and it is likely that they will be employed not only in the field, but also in flax mills, for which they would have to receive additional training. About 60% of the girls who have joined the Land Army have enlisted for permanent service, while 33% have volunteered for seasonal work.

 The YWCA has volunteered to send a letter to each member of the AWLA offering to help the girls in their shopping, with a lending library, correspondence course, or in any way with sports in their district.

 

AUXILIARY WORKERS FOR P O W

 An organisation working quietly and unobtrusively for prisoner of war funds is the 3rd Light Anti-Aircraft POW Adoption Fund, which in less than 2 years has raised 4,000 pounds by means of luncheons, bridge parties, raffles, and participation in two big market fairs.

The auxiliary was formed by relatives and friends in July 1941, after many of the men in the Regiment were captured on Crete. However, not only their own men, but other prisoners of war are helped by the auxiliary. The latest effort is a raffle for a chest of linen, a similar raffle last year raising 1,125 pounds. Helpers are needed to sell tickets for this raffle, and also to assist with the Friday luncheons, held from 12 to 2 in the Commercial Bank Buildings, 245 Elizabeth Street. President of the fund is Mrs. H. Curtis, and secretary Miss E. Rolling, Windsor 8887

ARGUS (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848 - 1957), Tuesday 1 June 1943, page 6

PSYCHOLOGY TEST FOR LAND GIRLS

Because so many girls enlisted in the Women's Land Army have proved unsuitable for land work it has been suggested that girls enlisting in the Land Army should undergo a psychology test. This was discussed at the State Advisory Council meeting, and will be discussed again at the interstate conference of the organisation in Melbourne on June 8, 9 and 10. Also to help with the "settling down" of girls to their new life in the country, more matrons are to be trained. The first course of matrons began yesterday at the Land Army Instruction Depot, Mont Park.

Other matters discussed at the meeting and which will also be discussed at the conference are accommodation, flax mill training and the bringing into line of the AWLA with the other women's services. It has been decided to make representations to have members included in the Australian Comforts Fund distribution, and for concession fares on trains and trams. The question of accommodation will be thoroughly explored, and where possible girls will be billeted in private homes.

More girls are urgently needed for flax work, and it is likely that they will be employed not only in the field, but also in flax mills, for which they would have to receive additional training. About 60% of the girls who have joined the Land Army have enlisted for permanent service, while 33% have volunteered for seasonal work.

The YWCA has volunteered to send a letter to each member of the AWLA offering to help the girls in their shopping, with a lending library, correspondence course, or in any way with sports in their district.

AUXILIARY WORKERS FOR P O W

An organisation working quietly and unobtrusively for prisoner of war funds is the 3rd Light Anti-Aircraft POW Adoption Fund, which in less than 2 years has raised 4,000 pounds by means of luncheons, bridge parties, raffles, and participation in two big market fairs.

The auxiliary was formed by relatives and friends in July 1941, after many of the men in the Regiment were captured on Crete. However, not only their own men, but other prisoners of war are helped by the auxiliary. The latest effort is a raffle for a chest of linen, a similar raffle last year raising 1,125 pounds. Helpers are needed to sell tickets for this raffle, and also to assist with the Friday luncheons, held from 12 to 2 in the Commercial Bank Buildings, 245 Elizabeth Street. President of the fund is Mrs. H. Curtis, and secretary Miss E. Rolling, Windsor 8887

Badge LNAME Fname Title MbCateg MbStat BirthDate JoinDate Deceased ServID Unit Awards
2111 ALBREY Norman George Sgt Ordinary Vale 27/11/1913 21/06/1940 15/12/1972 VX40007 2/3 LAA Reg  
  ALMOND Leslie Wilfred Pte Ordinary Vale 27/11/1911 20/06/1940   VX33399 2/3 LAA Reg  
3472 AUSTIN Gordon George LBom Ordinary   11/06/1919 18/07/1940   VX44538 2/3 LAA Reg  
  BARKER Bryan Gnr Ordinary Vale 8/01/1919 24/06/1940 2/05/1992 VX32151 2/3 LAA Reg  
2427 BARLOW Geoffrey Charles Gnr Ordinary Vale 12/08/1907 5/08/1940   VX38006 2/3 LAA Reg  
  BARNETT Alexander Joseph R Gnr Ordinary Vale 19/09/1920 10/07/1940 23/05/2007 VX41455 2/3 LAA Reg POW
3136 BELL Ian Halbert Sgt Ordinary Vale 5/10/1916 9/07/1940 ../07/1966 VX40833 2/3 LAA Reg  
  BELL James Tweeddale Gnr Ordinary Vale 11/08/1916 10/06/1940 29/07/1994 VX21053 2/3 LAA Reg  
1903 BELL Keith Oswald Pte Ordinary   19/04/1919 13/07/1940   VX37243 2/3 LAA Reg  
3118 BERKLEY Jack Rae SSgt Ordinary  Vale 21/06/1920 15/07/1940 5/04/2012 VX36173 2/3 LAA Reg  
  BIRD Leo James Gnr Ordinary Vale 17/09/1908 5/07/1940   VX43209 2/3 LAA Reg  
1257 BONE Herbert Randolph Gnr Ordinary Vale 9/02/1915 12/07/1940 ../06/1985 VX46570 2/3 LAA Reg  
3243 BOURKE Walter James Gnr Ordinary Vale 12/10/1912 26/07/1940 14/12/1998 VX46399 2/3 LAA Reg  
2685 BRIGHT Edward Laurence J Sgt Ordinary Vale 26/02/1914 30/07/1940 09/10/2007 VX38277 2/3 LAA Reg  
0049 BUTLER Cecil Keith Lieut Ordinary Vale 8/03/1909 8/07/1940 30/11/1988 VX41867 2/3 LAA Reg  
2652 CALLISTER Ralph Leonard Sgt Ordinary Vale 6/03/1907 2/08/1940 30/04/1973 VX37039 2/3 LAA Reg  
  CAMPBELL John Selby WO2 Ordinary   21/04/1920 30/07/1940   VX38276 2/3 LAA Reg  
  CAMPBELL Robert Gordon Sgt Ordinary Vale 24/03/1914 30/07/1940   VX38262 2/3 LAA Reg  
2951 CARTER William Hamilton LSgt Ordinary Vale 15/04/1905 12/06/1940   VX25552 2/3 LAA Reg  
  CLIFFORD Wallace Stanley Gnr Ordinary Vale 19/04/1919 21/06/1940 ../12/1997 VX33303 2/3 LAA Reg  
  COURTNEY Edward James Spr Ordinary Vale 21/11/1909 2/06/1940   VX24598 2/3 LAA Reg MM
  COWIE James Gordon Gnr Fallen KIA 4/04/1920 19/06/1940 25/09/1941 VX33224 2/3 LAA Reg MID
  CROFTS Gordon Simpson Gnr Ordinary Vale 25/04/1920 29/07/1940 09/07/2012 VX47878 2/3 LAA Reg POW
3121 CUTTRISS Clarence Nixon Gnr Ordinary Vale 24/05/1917 8/07/1940 11/06/1977 VX41642 2/3 LAA Reg  
2308 DAVEY Leo Ayres Gnr Ordinary Vale 21/04/1913 18/06/1940   VX31750 2/3 LAA Reg  
3148 DAVIS Linton John Maj Ordinary   10/09/1915 6/05/1940   VX14123 2/3 LAA Reg  
2324 DAWSON Thomas William Sgt Ordinary Vale 12/07/1908 24/09/1940   VX38866 2/3 LAA Reg  
  DELAHUNTY John Thomas Sgt Ordinary   19/08/1920 13/06/1940   VX19595 2/3 LAA Reg  
2481 DUKE Arthur Bom Ordinary Vale 19/08/1909 9/07/1940 13/03/1960 VX40993 2/3 LAA Reg  
  DUNN Jack Gnr Ordinary Vale 2/02/1913 6/08/1940 13/06/1999 VX48062 2/3 LAA Reg  
3390 ELLARD Nathaniel Thomas Sgt Ordinary Vale 23/07/1918 24/06/1640 25/03/1988 VX33644 2/3 LAA Reg  
  EVANS Donald De Lacy Gnr Fallen DOW 9/04/1914 21/06/1940 25/09/1941 VX23633 2/3 LAA Reg  
1048A FARR Alfred R LBom Ordinary Vale 18/06/1910 23/07/1940 20/03/1991 VX36803 2/3 LAA Reg  
  FELLOWS Gordon George Cfn Ordinary Vale 17/02/1920 10/07/1940 13/01/1999 VX45773 2/3 LAA Reg  
1880 GENT Ivan Ray Cfn Ordinary Vale 8/09/1913 24/06/1940 30/12/1981 VX31598 2/3 LAA Reg  
2465 GOWTY George William Pte Ordinary Vale 4/05/1911 21/06/1940 31/12/1966 VX29822 2/3 LAA Reg  
2350 GREENWOOD Edward Gnr Ordinary Vale 7/05/1910 17/06/1940   VX31973 2/3 LAA Reg  
0169 GRIMWADE John Frederick T WO2 Ordinary Vale 16/09/1905 15/07/1940 ../11/1992 VX43343 2/3 LAA Reg  
3385 GROSS Robert Joseph Gnr Ordinary Vale 20/09/1918 18/06/1940 20/08/1991 VX28046 2/3 LAA Reg  
0974A GUY Andrew Keith Gnr Ordinary Vale 2/10/1912 23/07/1940 21/09/1996 VX37836 2/3 LAA Reg  
0179 HALLETT Harold Walter Gnr Ordinary Vale 20/07/1909 24/06/1940   VX32035 2/3 LAA Reg  
  HARDINGHAM Samuel James Gnr Fallen KIA 26/02/1920 18/06/1940 25/09/1941 VX28047 2/3 LAA Reg  
  HARRIS Thomas Jackson Capt Ordinary Vale 12/01/1915 9/05/1940 12/05/1971 VX14643 2/3 LAA Reg MC
2383 HARROWER Eric James Bom Ordinary Vale 30/11/1907 18/06/1940 28/02/1996 VX24479 2/3 LAA Reg  
3033 HAWKEY Thomas Ralph Gnr Ordinary Vale 27/10/1917 23/07/1940 22/09/2008 VX35634 2/3 LAA Reg  
2256 HAWTING Richard John Gnr Ordinary Vale 11/12/1916 24/06/1940 ../10/1997 VX34208 2/3 LAA Reg  
  HEATHCOTE John G Bom Ordinary Vale 6/06/1909 18/06/1940   VX30539 2/3 LAA Reg  
2023 HENHAM Cyril James Mr Ordinary   31/01/1918 18/06/1940   VX28034 2/3 LAA Reg  
  HILDER Douglas Gnr Ordinary Vale 24/10/1914 31/05/1940 06/02/1993 NX24654 2/3 LAA Reg  
  HILL Hugh William J Sgt Ordinary Vale 5/09/1918 15/07/1940 11/11/2001 VX31621 2/3 LAA Reg  
2112 HODGKINSON Joseph Holland Bom Ordinary Vale 23/01/1905 1/07/1940   VX32874 2/3 LAA Reg  
  HUTCHINSON Robert Morris Cpl Ordinary   6/08/1919 5/06/1940   NX28579 2/3 LAA Reg  
  INGLIS Norman Edward A LBom Other Vale 3/01/1911 17/07/1940   VX44067 2/3 LAA Reg POW
3068 KELLY Claude David Sgt Ordinary Vale 11/04/1908 29/07/1940 31/05/1984 VX47995 2/3 LAA Reg  
  KRUGER Charles James Sgt Ordinary   27/04/1919 21/06/1940   VX23786 2/3 LAA Reg  
0165 LANGDON Henry Clive C LSgt Ordinary Vale 14/10/1907 1/08/1940 29/11/1976 VX47571 2/3 LAA Reg  
2013 LIGHT Neil Douglas Lieut Ordinary Vale 9/03/1909 12/06/1940   VX25356 2/3 LAA Reg  
  LITTLE Robert Alexander Bom Ordinary   19/05/1919 18/06/1940   VX28287 2/3 LAA Reg  
  MACINDOE Stewart Campbell G Lieut Ordinary   15/01/1918 7/05/1940   VX14441 2/3 LAA Reg POW
  MACRAE Angus C Pte Ordinary   30/01/1919 19/08/1940   QX43773 2/3 LAA Reg  
  MALLETT James Robert R Gnr Ordinary Vale 3/05/1916 12/07/1940 ../06/1985 VX46575 2/3 LAA Reg  
0231 MARSHALL Walter Gnr Ordinary Vale 7/10/1901 19/07/1940   VX44965 2/3 LAA Reg  
  MATHEWS Thomas John Cpl Ordinary Vale 18/07/1902 5/08/1940 3/09/1985 VX36270 2/3 LAA Reg  
2214 MATTHEWS John Richard Gnr Ordinary Vale 4/05/1916 18/06/1940 3/09/1985 VX27103 2/3 LAA Reg  
2391 MAWDSLEY Francis William Bom Ordinary Vale 29/03/1904 26/07/1940 18/08/1973 VX46394 2/3 LAA Reg  
0545A MAXFIELD Gregory Norman Gnr Ordinary Vale 18/06/1905 18/06/1940   VX26095 2/3 LAA Reg  
  MAYNE Anderson Gnr Ordinary Vale 1/12/1909 26/06/1940 11/04/1978 VX33190 2/3 LAA Reg  
2917 MC BEAN Charles A Bom Ordinary Vale 31/12/1919 9/07/1940 11/07/1978 VX28192 2/3 LAA Reg  
0483 MC CASKILL Jack Lieut Ordinary Vale 12/05/1917 12/07/1940 03/10/1982 VX46580 2/3 LAA Reg  
  MILLER George Mr Ordinary Vale 12/01/1911 18/06/1940 29/11/1950 VX28068 2/3 LAA Reg  
2413 MILLER George Arthur Gnr Ordinary Vale 28/03/1914 25/07/1940   VX46281 2/3 LAA Reg  
2204 MILLER Leslie Arnold Gnr Ordinary Vale 27/01/1912 25/07/1940   VX46271 2/3 LAA Reg  
0856 MILLIGAN John Stewart Lieut Ordinary Vale 22/05/1914 19/06/1940 25/07/1995 VX22507 2/3 LAA Reg  
2390 MORRIS Ronald Woodford Pte Ordinary Vale 17/04/1907 23/07/1940   VX45684 2/3 LAA Reg  
  MORROW Valentine Gnr Fallen KIA 20/04/1911 22/07/1940 25/09/1941 VX37023 2/3 LAA Reg  
1960 MOULTON Noel Gray LCpl Ordinary Vale 13/08/1918 25/06/1940 31/03/2002 VX33114 2/3 LAA Reg  
  MURPHY Alan James Gnr Ordinary Vale 14/12/1917 1/08/1940 6/12/2010 VX48232 2/3 LAA Reg  
0532 MURPHY Thomas Arthur Pte Ordinary Vale 15/08/1919 12/06/1940 ../12/2010 VX25668 2/3 LAA Reg  
0858 MUSGROVE Valantine Thomas Bom Ordinary Vale 9/01/1919 18/06/1940 18/04/1983 VX27920 2/3 LAA Reg  
  NEVE Leonard Sydney Spr Ordinary   27/06/1917 24/06/1940   VX34111 2/3 LAA Reg  
3174 NICHOLSON Frank Henry Gnr Ordinary Vale 18/04/1915 25/06/1940 30/05/1992 VX34207 2/3 LAA Reg  
  NICHOLSON John Edgar Gnr Other Vale 19/01/1915 16/07/1940   VX28557 2/3 LAA Reg POW
  NORTON Bede Noel Gnr Ordinary Vale 3/12/1912 31/05/1940 22/06/1984 NX23228 2/3 LAA Reg  
2689 O'DONNELL Francis William Pte Ordinary   5/05/1917 11/07/1940   VX46170 2/3 LAA Reg  
  OWEN David Syd Pte Ordinary Vale 17/06/1914 19/02/1940   SX1750 2/3 LAA Reg  
  PAGE William Shimell Sgt Ordinary Vale 12/09/1919 21/06/1940 12/09/2013 VX29847 2/3 LAA Reg  
3024 PAYNE Percy Leo Gnr Ordinary Vale 6/12/1917 21/06/1940 19/07/1990 VX33299 2/3 LAA Reg  
0029A PHILLIPS Robert Davison Cpl Ordinary   19/09/1917 8/07/1940   VX44404 2/3 LAA Reg  
3003 POPE George J Bom Ordinary Vale 17/03/1901 25/06/1940   VX32933 2/3 LAA Reg  
0384 PORRITT Stanley Malcolm Pte Ordinary Vale 4/02/1920 19/06/1940 5/09/2011 VX24330 2/3 LAA Reg  
2398 PRIDEAUX Rupert Maurice Sgt Ordinary Vale 4/07/1917 15/07/1940 ../../1975 VX45370 2/3 LAA Reg  
  REED Francis Wilbur Capt Ordinary Vale 2/08/1911 27/05/1940   VX17654 2/3 LAA Reg  
3144 REID Henry James Cpl Ordinary Vale 3/06/1917 29/07/1940 ../../2000 VX44546 2/3 LAA Reg  
2796 RICHARDS Roy Leslie Lieut Ordinary Vale 6/06/1914 25/07/1940 27/08/1975 VX48294 2/3 LAA Reg  
0978A ROBERTS George Edgar Sgt Ordinary   1/08/1916 22/06/1940   VX33921 2/3 LAA Reg  
  ROBERTSON Hugh Ronald Sgt Ordinary Vale 14/02/1907 10/08/1940 23/02/1986 VX38151 2/3 LAA Reg  
  ROSENBERG Clive Simpson Lieut Ordinary Vale 7/08/1908 18/05/1940   VX15357 2/3 LAA Reg  
3037 RUSSELL Frederick H Gnr Ordinary Vale 21/10/1915 18/06/1940 18/09/1996 VX25210 2/3 LAA Reg  
0366 RYAN Richard Joseph Gnr Ordinary Vale 28/11/1912 19/06/1940 26/03/1995 VX33274 2/3 LAA Reg  
3129 SCHOLES John William Gnr Ordinary Vale 29/09/1914 24/06/1940   VX33168 2/3 LAA Reg  
0654 SCOTT Elton Trevor R Lieut Ordinary Vale 8/01/1917 8/05/1940 ../06/1965 VX14638 2/3 LAA Reg  
1050B SCOTT William Ernest LSgt Ordinary Vale 21/02/1907 18/06/1940   VX33011 2/3 LAA Reg  
0997 SIMPSON Thomas Joseph Gnr Ordinary Vale 7/07/1912 28/06/1940   VX34384 2/3 LAA Reg  
2925 SIMSON Charles E D Cpl Ordinary   2/06/1916 9/07/1940   VX28195 2/3 LAA Reg  
2243 SITLINGTON Keith Gordon WO2 Ordinary Vale 31/07/1908 22/07/1940   VX47207 2/3 LAA Reg  
0329 SLATTERIE Harold Neill Gnr Ordinary Vale 8/03/1901 22/07/1940   VX36515 2/3 LAA Reg  
3027 SLATTERY Leo James Sgt Ordinary Vale 5/05/1901 1/08/1940 24/04/1993 VX47497 2/3 LAA Reg  
  SLEEP Robert William J Gnr Ordinary   15/05/1919 18/07/1940   VX37745 2/3 LAA Reg POW
0867 SMITH Herbert Charles Gnr Ordinary Vale 31/03/1918 12/06/1940 20/04/1990 VX24757 2/3 LAA Reg  
  STEPHENS Harold Lancelot Capt Ordinary Vale 25/02/1912 7/05/1940   VX14417 2/3 LAA Reg  
3038 STEPHENS Leslie William Gnr Ordinary   27/01/1919 18/06/1940   VX25250 2/3 LAA Reg  
0597 STOKES Philip William C Lt Col Ordinary Vale 25/10/1906 19/07/1940 ../10/1983 VX47598 2/3 LAA Reg MID, OBE  ED
3175 STUART Alfred Ronald Mr Ordinary Vale 7/05/1919 22/07/1940 9/05/1992 VX36660 2/3 LAA Reg  
0328 TAYLOR David Frank LCpl Ordinary Vale 22/03/1919 22/07/1940 3/04/1991 VX37932 2/3 LAA Reg  
2277 TOM William Ernest Cpl Ordinary Vale 20/02/1916 23/07/1940 ../02/1982 VX37415 2/3 LAA Reg  
1944 TOY Frederick Raymond Cpl Ordinary   1/07/1916 11/07/1940   VX41790 2/3 LAA Reg  
2269 WALLACE Keith Gnr Ordinary  Vale 4/07/1920 22/07/1940 ../../2013 VX38005 2/3 LAA Reg  
  WALLIS Ivan Royce Pte Ordinary Vale 8/02/1917 27/05/1940 18/05/1996 NX17798 2/3 LAA Reg  
2104 WASHBOURNE Frank Herbert Gnr Ordinary Vale 18/07/1914 18/07/1940 15/09/2003 VX37764 2/3 LAA Reg  
0327 WAUGH Stanley Gordon Sgt Ordinary Vale 17/11/1907 28/06/1940 21/09/1989 VX32935 2/3 LAA Reg  
  WEBSTER Malcolm Reginald Gnr Ordinary Vale 25/05/1920 6/06/1940 26/07/2010 VX23397 2/3 LAA Reg POW
0965A WESTON William Edward Gnr Ordinary Vale 9/11/1909 23/07/1940 24/01/1992 VX38063 2/3 LAA Reg  
  WHITELY Arnold Pte Ordinary Vale 22/06/1900 21/05/1940   VX16131 2/3 LAA Reg  
  WHITLEY Alfred John Lieut Ordinary Vale 3/10/1907 31/07/1940 5/08/1958 VX38486 2/3 LAA Reg  
2782 WILLIAMS Leslie Ambrose Bom Ordinary Vale 20/08/1911 25/07/1940 28/11/1996 VX37941 2/3 LAA Reg  
  WILLIAMS Ronald Leslie Gnr Ordinary Vale 5/02/1917 21/06/1940 17/01/1999 VX40059 2/3 LAA Reg  
  WILLIAMS Roy Robert WO2 Ordinary Vale 11/11/1905 13/06/1940 10/05/1993 VX26182 2/3 LAA Reg  
                       
0547A WRIGHT Arthur R Mr Ordinary Vale 21/12/1901 9/07/1940 14/07/1982 VX23017 2/3 LAA Reg  
                       
                       

The Association acknowledges this file is the property of Mr. Owen Carlton, who compiled it as a tribute to the Rats Of Tobruk. The file contains the names and details of members the 2nd/3rd ALAAR who were legitimately Rats of Tobruk. Mr Carlton has authorised the 2nd/3rd ALAARA to utilise the list, and in return, our web site has a link to his web site - www.ratsoftobruktribute.com