Albert William Chadwick

From Our Contribution

Albert William Chadwick
Personal Information
Date of Birth 8 Apr 1910
Place of Birth Rotherhithe, London, England
Death 18 Jan 1999
Place of Death Willetton, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 30 years, 2 months
Description 5'7¼" tall ; ; ruddy complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair ; birth ark on right side of face
Occupation Labourer
Religion Church of England
Address Kean road, Forrestdale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Phyllis Louvaine Chadwick
Military Information
Reg Number WX4716
Date of Enlistment 23 Jun 1940
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 2/28th Australian Infantry Battalion
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 3 Jan 1941 ‒ 12 Jan 1941
Transport Details HMAT Aquitania Fremantle to Colombo, Ceylon
Journey Dates 12 Jan 1941 ‒ 2 Feb 1941
Transport Details HMT Nieuw Zeeland Colombo to El Kantara
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 24 Jan 1943 ‒ 18 Feb 1943
Transport Details HMT Queen Mary Port Tewfik to Fremantle
2nd Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 29 Dec 1944 ‒ 3 Jan 1945
Transport Details SS Mexico Victory Cairns to Aitape, New Guinea
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 20 Aug 1945 ‒ 4 Sep 1945
Transport Details MS Gorgon Wewak, New Guinea to Sydney
Post War Details
Fate Returned to Australia (twice)
Medals 1939-45 Star
Africa Star
Pacific Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

On 27 Nov 1924 Albert boarded the SS Bendigo in London for Australia. He appears to have been travelling alone, described as a Vanguard and his previous address being 30 Grimscott street, Grange road, Birmingham. Albert married Phyllis Louvaine Willicott (1915-1998) during 1933 in Perth.

Electoral Roll entry: 1943 Keane road Forrestdale, farmer.

War Service

Granted two days leave without pay on enlistment, he was sent to Northam for training, where on 5 Sep 1940 he joined the 2/28th Australian Infantry Battalion. Following training he was granted pre-embarkation leave from 27 Nov until 4 Dec 1940, and on 3 Jan 1941 he, along with the rest of the battalion marched to the Northam station where they boarded a train for Fremantle. Arriving in Fremantle before noon, they then boarded a lighter which conveyed them to HMT Aquitania. There the battalion was allocated to C & F decks, aft. Part of Convoy US 8, they were in the company of the Queen Mary, Aquitania, Mauretania, Dominion Monarch, and the Awatea when they sailed on 5 Jan 1941.

In Colombo, on 12 Jan 1941 they were transferred to the HMT Nieuw Zeeland, and on 16 Jan 1941 the convoy sailed for Egypt. Arriving at Port Tewfik on 28 Jan 1941, they sailed up the Suez Canal as far as the Bitter lakes before sailing on to El Kantara the next day where they disembarked on 2 Feb 1941 before travelling to Gaza. In Gaza they settled into the Khassa Camp on 5 Feb 1941.

The 2/28th had been allocated to the 24th Brigade, part of the 9th Australian Infantry Division. Their first engagement was during the Siege of Tobruk, where with others they defended the port for more than 6 months before being evacuated by sea in September 1941. This was followed by a period of occupation duties in Syria and Lebanon where Albert was appointed Lance Corporal on 14 Feb 1942. They returned to Egypt to take part in the first Battle of El Alamein, where the battalion was severely weakened by their losses in the battle on Ruin Ridge, including more than 500 of them being forced to surrender to German forces when they were surrounded. Albert appears to be one of the 90 men who survived the battle. Those survivors returned to the Khassa camp in Palestine where the battalion began its rebuild.

In January 1943 the new version of the battalion moved by vehicle convoy across the Sinai Desert, and then by train to Port Tewfik where on 24 Jan 1943 they boarded the HMT VV 1491 HMT Queen Mary. Their voyage back to Fremantle included a stop to refuel in the Addu Atoll where the allies had a base not yet discovered by the Japanese. The arrived in Fremantle on the afternoon of 18 Feb 1943 and after moving to the Melville camp the troops were given three weeks leave.

Albert was AWOL from 10:15pm on 25 Mar until 3:00pm on 26 Mar 1943 and was admonished by the OC of HQ Company, with an automatic forfeiture of the day's pay. After he was found guilty of being AWOL a second time, (from midnight 4 Apr until midday 7 Apr 1943), he was reduced in rank to Private and lost 3 days pay. On 12 Apr 1943 he was transferred to the HQ 3rd Australian Corps. The reason for his transfer is not recorded. He was again AWOL from midnight 26 Apr until 7:00pm on 28 Apr 1943 earning him a 40/- ($4) fine and automatic forfeiture of 2 days pay. In addition he was charged with Conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline for which he was fined 5/- (50cents).

On 21 Aug 1943 he was posted to the 3rd Australian Corps School where on 29 Oct 1943 he was granted proficiency Pay. Nothing else is recorded in his records until between 9 and 19 May 1944 when he attended a Hygiene School. In July 1944 he transferred to a General Duties holding unit for reallocation, and on 16 Sep 1944 he departed for Queensland. On 3 Oct 1944 he joined the 2/117th Australian Mobile Bath Unit, and on 29 Dec 1944 he and his unit embarked in Cairns on the SS Mexico Victory for Aitape in New Guinea, arriving there on 3 Jan 1945. On 4 Sep 1945 he disembarked in Sydney from the MS Gorgon having left Wewak in New Guinea on 20 Aug 1945.

On 9 Oct 1945 he was identified as ready for discharge and sent back to Western Australia, arriving on 12 Oct 1945 and he was discharged the next day.

Post War

Electoral Roll entries: 1949 at Lot 3922 Millett street, Joondanna Heights; 1963 at 8 Millett street, Joondanna; 1972 Nicholson road, Forrestdale, truck driver; 1977 - 1980 at 43 Herald avenue, Riverton


External Links