Monthly Archives - October 2017

Japanese Run at Eora

24 OCT 1942: World War II at Eora Creek, on the Kokoda Trail. The 16th Brigade, 7th Division, continued to drive the Japanese back along the Trail but met heavy resistance at Eora Creek in late October. The 16th Brigade commanded by Brigadier John Lloyd made up of the 2/1, 2/2, 2/3 Battalion. The Japanese entrenched themselves on the commanding high ground above Eora Village on the far side of Eora Creek, from here they were able to engage the...

SGT William Kibby, VC

23-31 OCT 1942: World War II and SX7089 Sergeant William Henry Kibby, 2/48th Battalion, originally from Durham in the United Kingdom, earns the Victoria Cross at the battle of El Alamein, Egypt. William Kibby arrived in Australia from Britain with his parents in 1914. He was a 37-year-old family man when he enlisted in 1940. He embarked with the 2/48th Battalion from Adelaide, bound for the Middle East. Following an accident which resulted in a leg injury, he rejoined his...

The Battle of El Alamein Begins

23 OCT 1942: World War II and the Battle of El Alamein begins. El Alamein, in Egypt, one of the turning point battles of the Second World War, began with a massive artillery bombardment preceding attacks by British and Australian divisions. On the night of 23 October 1942, a massive artillery barrage heralded the great Allied offensive. The infantry successfully captured most of their objectives; however, the tanks were unable to follow through and continue the thrust. With the Axis...

Battle of the Apple Orchard

22 OCT 1950: Korea, and today sees the Battle of the Apple Orchard at Yongju. Kapyong and Maryang San in 1951 are the two better-known Australian battles of the Korean War. However three less well-known battles occurred the year before, in the early months of the war, when 3 Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR) established its reputation in an intense eight days of fighting during the United Nations Command’s advance into North Korea. C Company, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian...

CPL James Sewell, GC

22 OCT 1946: Post World War II and NX73515 Corporal James Ronald Sewell, 10th Australian Bomb Disposal Platoon, British Commonwealth Occupation Force, was awarded the George Medal for his rescue of Japanese survivors after an explosion in a boat carrying high explosives. Australians were allocated the largely rural and severely devastated prefecture of Hiroshima. Huge stocks of war material, including chemical agents and tons of ordnance, had to be rendered safe and disposed of or destroyed. Thousands of tons of material...

5th Div to The Somme

21 OCT 1916: The 5th Australian Division entered the western front line near Flers on the Somme. By October the Somme battlefield was a waste of mud-bound craters. The troops' misery is depicted in the Somme Winter diorama in the Memorial's galleries. The Division began to form in Egypt in February 1916, after a decision to essentially duplicate the original AIF which had now withdrawn from Gallipoli. Delays in assembling the artillery meant that the Division could not depart for...

Deakin Opens Cairo Centre

21 OCT 1915: Australian Red Cross Missing and Wounded Enquiry Bureau is established on this day. Miss Vera Deakin, daughter of ex-Prime Minister Alfred Deakin, establishes the Australian Red Cross Missing and Wounded Enquiry Bureau in Cairo. The Missing and Wounded Enquiry Bureau handled many thousands of enquiries from Australian families seeking information on wounded and missing soldiers during the First World War. Vera Deakin was born on 25 December 1891 at South Yarra, Melbourne. Her father, Alfred, later became...

HMAS Australia Kamikaze Attack

21 OCT 1944: HMAS Australia is damaged by Kamikaze aircraft. The Japanese first used special air units (Tokkō-tai) to undertake suicide attacks on warships in the Allied fleet supporting the American landings on Leyte in the Phillipines. HMAS Australia was a battle-hardened heavy cruiser. She had fought in the North Atlantic campaign, West Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Coral Sea. She also took part in bombardments in the South West Pacific and had led the convoys of ships carrying...

NSW Contingent to China War

20 OCT 1900: The China Wars and the New South Wales naval contingent enters Peking. New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia sent naval contingents as part of a British empire force deployed against anti-western Chinese secret societies. During the nineteenth century the major European powers compelled the reluctant Chinese Empire to start trading with them. There was little the Chinese government wanted from the West at the time but there was a strong demand for opium among the population. In...

War Widow’s Guild Founded

19 OCT 1945: The War Widow's Guild of Australia was founded on this day. The guild's first president was Mrs Jessie Vasey, widow of Major General G.A. Vasey. It is still an active organisation today. Major General Vasey was killed in an aircraft accident near Cairns while returning to operational service. The War Widows' Guild was founded by Jessie Vasey - a most remarkable woman. It was she who chose the motto for the Guild: "We all belong to each...

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