William Henry Knox

From Our Contribution

William Henry Knox
Personal Information
Date of Birth 14 Jul 1918
Place of Birth Waterloo, Scotland
Death 21 Mar 1973, aged 54
Place of Death Wembly Downs, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 17 years 7 months
Description 5'8¾" (1.75m) tall ; ; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; dark brown hair ; scar on forehead
Occupation labourer
Religion Presbyterian
Address Third road, Armadale
Next of Kin Father , Mr. Charles Knox
Military Information
Reg Number 21011
Date of Enlistment 14 Jul 1936
Rank Acting Leading Seaman
Ships Served On
Ship Name HMAS Yarra
Tour Dates 20 Sep 1936 ‒ 16 Feb 1937
Ship Name HMAS Australia
Tour Dates 17 Feb 1937 ‒ 26 Apr 1938
Ship Name HMAS Vampire
Tour Dates 11 May 1938 ‒ 14 Oct 1938
Ship Name HMS Faulknor
Tour Dates 21 Jun 1939 ‒ 4 Jan 1941
Ship Name HMAS Norman
Tour Dates 16 Sep 1941 ‒ 18 Nov 1942
Ship Name HMAS Nepal
Tour Dates 19 Nov 1942 ‒ 4 Apr 1943
Post War Details
Fate Returned to Australia
Monument(s) Byford WW2 Honour Roll
Medals 1939-45 Star
Atlantic Star
Arctic Star
Pacific Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

War Service

Cliff enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy for 12 years on 14 Jul 1936, although his record card lists him as being at HMAS Cerebus as an Ordinary Seaman form 5 Feb - 13 Jul 1936. From 14 Jul - 25 Sep 1936 he remained at HMAS Cerebus before his first posting to a ship on 20 Sep 1936 when Cliff was posted to HMAS Yarra. He remained with Yarra until 17 Feb 1937 when he was transferred to HMAS Australia. His next posting was back to HMAS Cerebus on 27 Apr 1938. While the pencil entries on Cliff's card are difficult to decypher, it appears that he was sent to the UK aboard SS Esperance Bay in early 1937 to Join HMAS Australia's crew, returning to Australia with her in Apr 1938.

On Ciff's return (27 Apr 1938) he was again posted to HMAS Cerebus before joining HMAS Vampire from 11 May to 14 Oct 1938. On 15 Oct 1938 he joined HMAS Sydney. On 14 Jan 1939 Cliff was posted to the Australian Navy's London Depot. A month later on 14 Feb 1939 Cliff was posted to HMS Osprey which was an anti-submarine training establishment located at the Isle of Portland, Dorset, England. With his services offered to the Admiralty, on 21 Jun 1939 Cliff was posted to HMS Faulknor an F Class Destroyer, remaining with her until 4 Jan 1941. During this time he paricipated in two or more succesful U Boat hunts, escorted convoys in the Northern Atlantic, participated in the aborted landings in Norway and in the Battle of Cape Spartivento against Italian Naval forces. From 5 Jan 1941 until 21 Mar 1941 Cliff spent time on shore at HMS Osprey, a base that specialised in anti-submarine training.

Bill spent a short period between 22 Mar 1941 and 16 May 1941 at HMS Nimrod a shore training establishment at Campbeltown, in Argyle that specialised in Asdic training for officers and men, before returning to HMS Osprey from 17 May 1941 to 4 Aug 1941. His next posting was from 5 Aug to 15 Sep 1943 at HMNS Victory the Royal Navy Shore Training Establishment. This served as a holding establishment in Portsmouth while awaiting a posting to another ship. On 16 Sep 1941 he was posted to HMAS Norman an 'N Class' Destroyer that carried a delegation to Archangel in Russia before transferring on 19 Nov 1942 to HMAS Nepal, another of the 'N Class' Destroyers which, while Bill was aboard, participated in the capture of Madagascar from the Vichy French, as did his previous ship Norman.

On 4 Apr 1943 Bill was transferred ashore to HMAS Rushcutter, a base that served as a depot, and radar and anti-submarine training school located at Rushcutters Bay, in Sydney's eastern suburbs. At this point the pencil entries in Bill's records are too faded to decipher, but it appears likely that he remained on shore in Australia for the rest of the war. It is likely that his discharge occurred at the completion of his 12 year enlistment in early 1948

Post War

Bill and Mame were the parents of 3 boys, the eldest being William (1948-1974)
Electoral Roll entries: 1949 with Mame at Third road, Armadale naval rating; 1954 at Station street, Maddington, PMG Technician; 1968 - 1972 at 90 Brompton road, Wembly Downs, public servant


External Links