Clarence Malarkey

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Clarence Malarkey
Malarkey Clarence 2.jpg
Western Mail photo
Paybook photo
Personal Information
Date of Birth 7 Jul 1906
Place of Birth Pingelly, Western Australia
Death 4 Sep 1984
Age at Enlistment 23 years, 9 months
Description ; blue eyes ; dark hair
Occupation Farm hand
Religion Roman Catholic
Address PO Byford, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Henry Malarkey
Military Information
Reg Number WX2165
Date of Enlistment 24 Apr 1940
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 2/16th Australian Infantry Battalion
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 25 Oct 1940 ‒ 4 Nov 1940
Transport Details HMT Aquitania Convoy US11A Fremantle to Bombay
Journey Dates 18 Nov 1940 ‒ 25 Nov 1940
Transport Details SS Lancashire Bombay to Port Tewfik
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 30 Jan 1942 ‒ 6 Feb 1942
Transport Details SS Île de France Convoy JS3 Port Tewfik to Bombay
Journey Dates 9 Feb 1942 ‒ 18 Mar 1942
Transport Details SS Kosciusko Convoy SU 1 Bombay to Adelaide
2nd Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 6 Aug 1942 ‒ 13 Aug 1942
Transport Details SS James Fenimore Cooper Brisbane to Port Moresby
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 12 Jan 1943 ‒ 15 Jan 1942
Transport Details SS Cleveland Abbe Port Moresby to Cairns
Post War Details
Fate Returned to Australia
Medical Discharge
Medals 1939-45 Star
Africa Star
Pacific Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

War Service

Enlisted on 20 Apr 1940 after having health issues attended to and was sent to the Northam camp for training. He was granted pre-embarkation leave from 9 - 22 Jun 1940 and on 9 Sep 1940 he was drafted to the 4th reinforcements for the 2/11th Battalion. A week later he was transferred to the 2/16th Australian Infantry Battalion at Northam, and was granted a second Pre-embarkation leave from 26 Sep to 3 Oct 1940.

On 25 Oct 1940 he embarked on the HMT Aquitania for the Middle East, disembarking in Bombay, India on 4 Nov 1940. Transported to camps, they remained ashore for up to 5 days before boarding much smaller ships for Kantara in Egypt. The records for all members of the 2/16 Battalion only record embarkation and disembarkation, no names of ships are provided, nor mention of their transfer in Bombay. On 25 Nov 1940 they arrived at El Kantara on one of the following four steamers: Christian Huygens, Lancashire, Dilwarra and Rhona.[1]

On 14 Jun 1941 Clarence was admitted to 2/1st Australian General Hospital with Anxiety Neurosis and on 29 Jun 1941 he was transferred to the 21st Australian Infantry Training Battalion, returning to 2/16th Battalion on 14 Jul 1941. On 6 Dec 1941 he was detached to the 2/3rd Australian Machine Gun Battalion until 10 Jan 1942 when he returned to his battalion. On 30 Jan 1942 he embarked on SS Île de France a part of Convoy JS3, for Bombay where they disembarked on 6 Feb 1942 and were sent to camps to await their embarkation on smaller, slower ships in the convoy that would carry them to Singapore. Clarence was allocated to the SS Madras City.

The convoy set out for Singapore on 9 Feb 1942, and refueled at Colombo. When Singapore surrendered on 15 Feb 1942 the slow moving convoy was approaching the Sunda Straits, and given that the Japanese had already landed on many of the Dutch East Indian islands (Indonesia), the convoy's destination was changed on the orders of Churchill to Rangoon, Burma to assist with its defence. The Australian Prime Minister John Curtin, however, was determined to bring every possible soldier home to defend Australia and demanded that the convoy, now redesignated as Convoy SU1, turn around and sail for Australian ports. On 25 Feb 1942 the convoy again refueled in Colombo, leaving there on 1 Mar 1942 for Fremantle which it reached on 15 Mar 1942. Around 350 of the members of the 2/16th Battalion from the SS Kosciusko failed to re-board when the convoy sailed for Port Adelaide which the SS Madras City reached on 23 Mar 1942. [2]

Given the rapid advances achieved by the Japanese Army in south east Asia and through the Pacific, the battalion was hurriedly relocated to Queensland and on 6 Aug 1942 they boarded SS James Fenimore Cooper for Port Moresby, arriving there on 13 Aug 1942. On arrival in Papua New Guinea they were sent to the Kokoda track to reinforce two Militia Battalions which were at that time being forced back towards Port Moresby. On 11 Oct 1942 Clarence was evacuated to the 2/2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station with Asthma, returning to the battalion on 16 Oct 1942. Eight days later he was sent to the 46th Australian Camp Hospital, again with asthma, and on 12 Nov 1942 he was sent to the 1st Australian Corps Reception Camp before returning to the battalion again on 7 Dec 1942.

On 12 Jan 1943 Clarence boarded the SS Cleveland Abbe in Port Moresby for Cairns, disembarking on 15 Jan 1943. Soon after Clarence was granted leave and then on 31 May 1943 he was transferred to the 2/2nd Australian Infantry Troops Workshop. Admitted to the 2/6th Australian General Hospital on the Atherton Tablelands on 9 Jun 1943, on 30 Jun 1943 he was placed on an Ambulance Train for Townsville and then transfer to the 116th Australian General Hospital at Charters Towers with Bronchial Pneumonia. Clarence spent the next three months alternating between the 116th Australian General Hospital, the 114th Australian Convalescent Depot and the 66th Australian Camp Hospital before on 4 Nov 1943 at 2/12th Australian General Hospital in Warwick being reclassified 'B', fit to undertake duties with limited fitness required. On 11 Dec 1943 he was transferred to the 111th Australian General Transport Company.

From 17 Dec 1943 until 31 Jan 1944 Clarence attended a Wheeled Vehicles Course before rejoining his unit. Clarence was evacuated to 4th Australian Camp Hospital on 19 Feb 1944 with fractured left thoracic ribs and a fractured thoracic spine. The next day he was transferred to the 2/4th Australian General Hospital at Redbank. Released to a base unit on 28 Feb 1944, on 12 Mar 1944 he again was suffering with Bronchial Pneumonia and was admitted to 2/4th Australian General Hospital where he was declared to be unfit for military service. On 3 Apr 1944 he was transferred to the 102nd Australian General Hospital, and then on 14 Apr 1944 to the 113th Australian General Hospital at Concorde in NSW, and then on 25 Apr 1944 to the 115th Australian General Hospital in Heidelberg, Victoria, followed on 2 May 44 to the 105th Australian Military Hospital in Daws road Adelaide.

Clarence returned to Western Australia on 6 Jun 1944 and two days later a Medical Board found him unfit to provide further service due to malaria and asthma, and he was discharged, on 15 Jul 1944.

Post War


  1. Across the Sea to War, Peter Plowman, Rosenberg, 2003 pp 155-160
  2. Across the Sea to War, Peter Plowman, Rosenberg,2003, pp 325-364.

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