Illawarra Roll of Honour – WW2 – 1941

Ross Original Medals 2

      • 3.1.1941 – Battle of Bardia Libya – The first engagement of Australian forces in WW2 was considered a resounding success with only 150 Australians killed for huge gains. Tragically seven of our Illawarra young men were killed at Bardia in Libya in the Middle East in early January 1941. All  were buried at the CWGC Halfaya Sollum Military Cemetery in Egypt – FindaGrave – Media Story . In some ways it could be said that the Battle of Bardia wiped out several of the likely future managerial class of Illawarra industries in the first week of that military engagement by Australian forces in WW2.
          • Robert Akister – Wollongong – NX4855 – 2/3rd Battalion – AWM Roll of Honour – CWGC – FindaGrave – The War Graves Photographic Project – shows gravestone  – media stories (1, 2, 3 ) – his older brother was killed in WW1
          • Harry Bowes – Wollongong –NX4866 –  2/3rd Battalion – AWM Roll of Honour  – CWGCFindaGrave – The War Graves Photographic Project – shows gravestone  – media story
          • Rees Ewart Jones – Corrimal / Wollongong – NX 328  – 2/2nd Battalion – AWM Roll of Honour   – CWGC –  FindaGrave – The War Graves Photographic Project shows gravestone – media stories (1, 2, 3) – son and grandson of Illawarra Coal Mining Manager identities, William Ewart Jones and Jacob Carlos Jones – photo below is from The Lawrence Hargrave Association newsletter Rananim November 2006Rees Ewart Jones
          • Gordon Dalby Miller -Kiama – NX7869 – 2/3rd Battalion – AWM Roll of Honour CWGC FindaGrave – The War Graves Photographic Project – shows gravestone – media stories (1, 2, 3)
          • Robert Montgomery – Corrimal / Woonona/ Wollongong – NX 4817 – 2/3rd Battalion – AWM Roll of Honour  – CWGCFindaGrave, The War Graves Photographic Project – shows gravestone – media stories (1, 2)
          • Leslie Donald Calman – Port Kembla – NX89 – 2/3rd Battalion – AWM Roll of Honour – CWGCFindaGrave – The War Graves Photographic Project – shows gravestone – Mentioned in Despatches for Bravery – a Military Cross was mentioned but not awarded – refer media stories for more details (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Actually we could well wonder if the rules for awards were re-written for WW2 to reduce the number of awards issued ??RCDIG1068969--634- Calman MID


        Letters from his commanding officer and from brother officers relate that, when the battalion headquarters was attacked in the valley near Bardia, Lieutenant Calman held up the enemy tanks long enough to allow defences to be organised and a larger anti- tank gun to be brought into action to destroy the tanks. One of his brother officers wrote: “His Gallantry was responsible for saving the lives of many of our men at the cost of his own.” Lieutenant Calman was educated at Sydney Church of England Grammar School, and was on the staff of Metal Manufactures Ltd., Port Kembla, when he enlisted. He was buried in the valley where the action occurred.”

      • 4.1.1941 – Ernest “Toby” Alexander – Kiama – attended Wollongong High School – NX80 –  2/3rd Battalion – Battle of Bardia Libya – AWM Roll of Honour –  buried at CWGC Halfaya Sollum Egypt – FindaGrave – The War Grave Photographic Project – showing gravestone – Media Stories (Obituary – worth reading – 1) – Media Stories – 1, 2

    • 16.3.1941 – Frank Bonds – Port Kembla – NX15230 – 2/1st Battalion – AWM Roll of Honour CWGC – FindaGrave – buried Bethshan Mission Private Cemetery, Wyee, New South Wales – an unusual story in that he died whilst serving in Australia in WW2 more than a year after a shooting accident and yet he had been discharged from hospital and accepted into the military forces – media stories (1, 2)
    • 12.4.1941 – Alexander Buchanan – Dapto – NX4534 – 2/4th Battalion –  buried Athens Memorial Greece – in Phaleron War Cemetery, Athens Greece – AWM Roll of Honour – CWGC  –  FindaGraveThe War Graves Photographic Project –  Media Stories (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)  – Service Record. He struggled with discipline to a degree. He was  training in Egypt, before embarking for Greece, where he was reported missing. Later he was presumed killed, one of what would be 320 Australians lost,  in Northern Greece at the battle of Vevi (Veve). It was a poorly prepared campaign against a superior German onslaught, which ended in Allied retreat and withdrawal, with many Australians having to make their own way out through the Greek Islands. Buchanan Alexander
    •  13.4.1941 – 2/1st Pioneer Battalion – had defensive/garrison roles during the Siege of Tobruk, ie not just the usual roles of a Pioneer Battalion.
      • Leslie John Franzway – Balgownie – NX4534 – 2/1st Battalion – AWM Roll of Honour – CWGC – FindaGrave – The War Grave Photographic Project – showing gravestone – buried at Tobruk Military Cemetery in Libya – Service Record.  He was no angel and didn’t maintain frequent contact with his family, who were unaware that he had even enlisted in the 2nd AIF, until advised of his death in 1941 at Tobruk in Libya – Media Stories (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)Franzway Leslie John
      • James Ferguson Paterson – Wollongong – NX23565 – 2/1st Pioneer Battalion – AWM Roll of Honour – CWGCFindaGrave – The War Grave Photographic Project – showing gravestone. Media Stories (1, 2) buried at Tobruk War Cemetery.
    • 19.4.1941 – Edward Henry Evans – Dapto / Wollongong  – NX7897 – 2/3rd Battalion – AWM Roll of Honour – CWGC FindaGrave – The War Photographic Project – showing gravestone – Media Stories (1, 2, 3, 4) – buried Phaleron Athens War Cemetery Grace.
    • 20.4.1941 – Noel Eric Bolton-Wood  – Dapto born man who served in WW1 and WW2Bolton Wood NoelNX31822 – 1 AUST CORPS AMN PK – Service Record – AWM Roll of Honour – fascinating media story of Eric’s exploits in WW1 at Gallipoli (where his two brothers died) and beyond – and then sadly in WW2 (also at Just Soldiers – ANZAC Day stories ) – WW1 Embarkation Roll – WW1 Honour Roll mention – ADFA WW1 entry – WW1 Service Record (S/No. 1910) – Prezi story – farmer east of  Margaret River between the warsCWGC Phaleron War Cemetery Athens Greece – FindaGrave – showing gravestone –  The War Grave Photographic Project – a story from WW2  also follows ……

“By the beginning of April 1941, German forces had advanced through the Balkans and were poised to invade Greece. The Australian 6th Division joined an Allied force sent to help bolster the depleted Greek Army—in a vain attempt to help stem the German tide. Ammunition was desperately required at the front, and there was a sense of urgency as Eric tied down the tarpaulin on the last of the boxes being loaded onto the truck. The Luftwaffe had command of the skies and the main supply route was under constant observation. To get through, the convoy would have to take their chances and run the gauntlet of enemy bombardment. The trucks hurried along the main road, spread out to avoid presenting a massed target to air or artillery attack. Suddenly they saw them—in the distance, mere black dots against the cloudless sky. As they came closer, the Diggers could identify the bent, gull-like wings of Stukas, the deadly enemy dive-bombers. The drivers pressed the accelerators flat to the floor, in a vain attempt to outrun the aircraft and reach the safety of the mountain passes. Some made it, but others were caught in the open. The drivers did their best to take evasive action to dodge the bombs, but it was useless. As Eric’s truck careered at breakneck speed along the roadway, a bomb detonated directly in front of it. The vehicle ended up overturned in a ditch beside the road. Soldiers sheltering nearby struggled to free the driver and passenger from the wreck, but as they pulled the corporal from the cabin they realised that their efforts were in vain. Eric’s exploits of courage and determination, despite age, illness and personal loss, provide a shining example of the mettle of Australian youth in the early part of the 20th century. Yet having survived the duration and ravages of the First World War, he again stood up to be counted when Australians were called upon to serve King and country in the Second World War. Sadly, Eric was not so lucky second time around. Corporal Noel Eric Bolton-Wood was laid to rest in the Phaleron War Cemetery in Athens, Greece.”

    • 24.4.1941 – Frank Aubrey Stumbles – Wollongong & North Wollongong Surf Lifesaver – NX31181  1 AUST CORPS AMN PK – AWM Roll of Honour  – CWGC – Phaleron War Memorial  Athens Memorial Greece – FindaGrave – The War Grave Photographic Project – media stories (1, 2, 3,4 ) – possibly killed in similar circumstances to Noel Eric Bolton-Woods as described above ? His death was not officially confirmed until nearly two years later in 1943.
    • 4.5.1941 – Harold Edwards, Thirroul, Gulgong Greenkeeper and Footballer (1937 – 1940) – NX 30010  – 2/1st Pioneer Battalion – (his record gives his residence at enlistment as unknown but it may have been Gulgong) – AWM Roll of Honour – CWGC Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Darnah province, Libya – FindaGrave – The War Grave Photographic Project – showing gravestone – Media Stories – (1, 2, 3,4, 5, 6 )
    • 9.5.1941 – William Joseph Hazelton, Port Kembla – N7o589  – 13 Garrison Battalion – AWM Roll of Honour
    • 20.6.1941
    • 22.6.1941 – William Law, Warrawong – NX4793 – 2/3rd Battalion – AWM Roll of Honour
    •  25.6.1941
    • 27.6.1941 – Charles William Hildebrandt, Wollongong – NX4882 – 2/3rd Battalion – AWM Roll of Honour – Service Record – honoured by AWM Last Post Ceremony on 8.6.2016 which also commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the Syrian Campaign
    • 7.7.1941 – Cecil Frank Stock, Fairy Meadow – NX4818 – AWM Roll of Honour
    • 11.7.1941 – Benjamin Irvine, Jamberoo – N272823 – AWM Roll of Honour
    • 13.7.1941 – Neil MacDonald, Coniston – NX27946 – AWM Roll of Honour
    • 16.8.1941 – Oswald Mosely Connors, Bulli & Coledale – 6771 – AWM Roll of Honour
    • 28.8.1941 – Lachlan Alexander Ferguson – Merchant Navy – MV Oratio – AWM Commemorative Roll  – Tower Hill Memorial – Media & Stories – 1,
    • 30.8.1941 – James William George Law, Corrimal – NX16416 – Corrimal – Service Record – AWM Roll of HonourLaw James William
    • 30.9.1941 – Harold Wilson Elkin, Kiama – NX4070  –  Service Record not yet digitised – AWM Roll of Honour 
    • 14.10.1941 – Victory Harry Hill, Thirroul – NX22739 – Thirroul – Service Record not yet digitised – AWM Roll of Honour
    • 23.10.1941 – William Garrard Wheeler – Lieutenant – no Service Number – AWM Roll of Honour – attached to the Royal Navy HMS Cossack – Service Record


Lest We Forget


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