Cyril John Dunnell

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Cyril John Dunnell
Dunnell Cyril John.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 23 Feb 1919
Place of Birth Subiaco, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 20 years, 8 months
Description 5'8½" (1.74m) tall ; 156lbs
70.76 kg
; blue eyes ; fair hair ; scar on left thigh
Occupation Baker
Religion Church of England
Address Kelmscott Bakery, Albany road, Kelmscott, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr. Harry Cyril Dunnell
Military Information
Reg Number W235529 & Wx3121 & WX500653
Date of Enlistment 3 Nov 1939
Rank Driver
Unit/Formation AASC Motor Transport Depot (CMF) &
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 19 Apr 1941 ‒ 14 May 1941
Transport Details SS Île de France Fremantle to Port Tewfik via Colombo
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 7 Feb 1942 ‒ 27 Mar 1942
Transport Details SS Industria Port Tewfik to Adelaide
Post War Details
Fate Returned to Australia
Medals 1939-45 Star
Africa Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

War Service

Cyril enlisted in the CMF on 3 Nov 1939 at Claremont and on 6 Nov 1939 he was allocated to the 13th AASC Motor Transport Depot, but detached the same day to the 2/11th Australian Infantry Battalion at Northam Camp, classified as a Driver Trade Group III. He was granted two days leave in March and again from 24 Apr - 1 May 1940 inclusive. Cyril was discharged from the CMF on 6 Jun 1940 as he then joined the 2nd AIF on 7 Jun 1940 with Regimental No. WX 3121.

On 7 Jun 1940 Cyril was taken on strength of the 2/3rd Australian Machine Gun Battalion, and on 2 Nov 1940 he and his unit entrained for Woodside in South Australia. Cyril was charged on 16 Nov 1940 with having 'Disobeyed a lawful command given by a superior officer'. He was fined 10/- (2 days pay). On 15 Mar 1941 Cyril returned to Western Australia and he enjoyed pre-embarkation leave from 5:00pm on 19 Mar 1941 until midnight on 7 Apr 1941. On 16 Apr 1941 he embarked in Fremantle aboard SS Île de France which sailed on 19 April for the Middle East. Enroute they had a lay over in Colombo from 26 April until 6 May. They arrived at Port Tewfik early on 13 May and disembarked on 14 May 1941, before entraining on 15 May for Hill 95 in Palestine.

On 30 Sep 1941 Cyril was charged with 'Conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline, for which his OC of 'D' Company awarded him 14 days Confined to Barracks. Cyril was evacuated to the 2/4th Australian Field Ambulance on 9 Dec 1941, returning to his unit on 17 Dec 1941. The battalion's return to Australia was chaotic, with 36 members boarding SS Silver Willow on 31 Jan 1942, 636 aboard SS Orcades on 1 Feb 1942, 37 aboard SS Penrith Castle and 38 aboard SS Shillong on 2 Feb, 22 aboard SS Tarifa on 4 Feb, 20 aboard SS Sohocles on 5 Feb, 32 aboard SS Nigerstroomand one on SS Tricolor on 6 Feb and the last 47, including Cyril aboard SS Industria on 7 Feb 1942. The Orcades disembarked 624 troops at Batavia on 18 Feb, but the other ships sailed for Australia via Colombo, with those aboard SS Industria disembarking in Port Adelaide on 27 Mar 1942 having arrived there at 6:30am on the 25th. Those disembarked in Batavia were fated to become Prisoners of War, with 139 of them dying while in captivity. On 15 Mar 1942 the surviving members of the unit were advised that it would be re-formed at Ingleburn in New South Wales.

Meanwhile it appears that Cyril had gone AWOL when the SS Industria had berthed in Fremantle between 17 & 19 Mar 1942, and was therefore not aboard when his ship docked in South Australia. Cyril was charged with having been AWOL from midnight 17 Mar 1942 until 11:00pm on 20 Mar 1942. Fined £1 (4 days pay) with an automatic forfeiture of a further 3 days pay, he then entrained in Perth for Melbourne on 30 Mar 1942.

On 20 May 1942 Cyril was attached to the 122nd Australian Reserve Motor Transport Company, and on 20 Jun 1942 he was appointed as a lance Corporal. On 6 Aug 1942 he was detached to the 125th Australian General Transport Company, with a formal transfer occuring on 17 Aug 1942. From 6 Aug until 29 Sep 1942 he was detached on Special Duties. On 26 Feb 1943 Cyril was promoted Acting Corporal, with the rank confirmed on 24 Sep 1943. He had a short detachment to the 137th Australian General Transport Company from 10 March until 15 May 1943, and one to the 124th Australian General Transport Company from 24 Sep 1943 until he was formally transferred to them on 22 Jan 1945.

On 28 May 1945 in Derby Cyril was admitted to the local hospital with acute conjunctivitis with Oedema. He was transferred to the RAAF Hospital at Broome on 14 Jun 1945 and returned to his unit on 18 Jun 1945. On 1 Sep 1945 Cyril was evacuated to the Port Hedland Hospital, returning to his unit on 17 Sep 1945. On 7 Nov 1945 Cyril was transferred to Western Command Recruit Reception & General Details Depot for discharge which took place on 15 Nov 1945.

On 23 Apr 1946 Cyril joined the Army Interim Force at Karrakatta, with his NOK this time his wife Iris Irene Dunnell. He was volunteering for service with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (Japan). On 7 May 1946 he was sent east to the 1st Australian Recruit Training Battalion. At the completion of this stage in his training, on 8 Aug 1946 he was transferred to the Services Training Centre having qualified at the 'Potential NCOs Course'.

On 20 Sep 1946 he was transferred to the 113th Australian Military Hospital as a member of AASC, employed as a Baker, and later as a Cook. On 19 Mar 1947 he was promoted Acting Corporal. On 14 Jul 1947 Cyril was discharged on the basis of being required for employment in an essential occupation. Discharged for a second time on 14 Jul 1947.

Post War

Electoral Roll enties: 1949 - 1958 working as a baker at the Concord Repatriation Hospital, Concord; 1963 - 1977 at 2 John street, Blacktown, NSW, Cook.


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