Douglas Edward Cleave Steer
From Our Contribution
|Date of Birth||9 Feb 1910|
|Place of Birth||Sydney, New South Wales|
|Death||1 Jan 1988, aged 77|
|Place of Death||Floreat, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||30 years 4 months|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||Albany road, Kelmscott, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Wife , Mrs Doreen Chester Steer|
|Date of Enlistment||30 Jul 1940|
|Unit/Formation||3rd Australian Water Transport Company (RAE)|
|1st Departure from Australia|
|Journey Dates||3 Jan 1941 ‒ 12 Jan 1941|
|Transport Details||HMT Aquitania Fremantle to Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka)|
|Journey Dates||16 Jan 1941 ‒ 2 Feb 1941|
|Transport Details||HMT Nieuw Zeeland Colombo to El Kantara, Egypt|
|Return to Australia|
|Journey Dates||24 Jan 1943 ‒ 18 Feb 1943|
|Transport Details||HMT Queen Mary Port Tewfik to Fremantle via Mansarra & Maldives.|
|Post War Details|
1939-45 Star |
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
Electoral Roll entries: 1931 at 317 High street, Fremantle, clerk; 1936 - 1943 in Albany road, Kelmscott, poultry farmer.
Enlisted on 30 Jul 1940 at Claremont camp and on 2 Aug 1940 was drafted to the Motor Transport Depot. However, on 15 Aug 1940 he was transferred to the 2nd/28th Battalion at Melville camp. Between 30 Sep 1940 and 9 Nov 1940 he was detached to the 24th Anti Tank Company, but then returned to the 2nd/28th Battalion where he was granted pre-embarkation leave from 27 Nov until 3 Dec 1940.
On 3 Jan 1941 the 2/28th Battalion embarked on HMT Aquitania, disembarking from the HMT Nieuw Zeeland in Port Tewfik on 2 Feb 1941. (Transfer had occurred in Colombo, Ceylon.) On arrival in Egypt the battalion was transported to Khassa north of Gaza in Palestine. Soon after arrival, on 17 Feb 1941 Doug was transferred to the 24th Anti Tank Company in Palestine to undertake a Motor Transport School. On 2 May 1941 Doug was wounded in action, and evacuated to the 2/4th Australian General Hospital with a gun shot wound to the left forearm. Five days later on 7 May 1941 he was transferred to the 2/2nd Australian General Hospital, and following treatment was returned to the 24th Anti Tank Company through the 24th Infantry Training Battalion and the Staging Camp on 18 Jul 1941. Three days later he returned to the 2/28th Battalion.
On 30 Aug 1941 he was again treated by the 2/4th Australian General Hospital, this time for tonsillitis, returning to his unit on 7 Sep 1941 as they were withdrawn from Tobruk. He was transferred to the 3rd Australian Anti Tank Regiment on 16 Oct 1941, and on 31 Oct 1941 Doug was again in need of medical attention, this time from the 2/7th Australian General Hospital for 1 day only before returning to the 3rd Australian Anti Tank Regiment. The best part of a year was then spent as part of the garrison in Syria and Lebanon. Early in Aug 1942 Doug was qualified as a Technical Storeman at the Kilo 89 camp, before undertaking an Anti-Tank school in September. On 16 Jan 1943 Doug was promoted Acting Corporal. On 24 Jan 1943 he embarked with is unit on HMT Queen Mary for Fremantle, part of the big move to bring troops home from the Middle East.
Given a month's leave on their arrival in Australia, on 13 Apr 1943 Doug was transferred to the 3rd Australian Water Transport Company (Engineers). At Claremont camp he faced a District Court Martial, charged with: 1) Conduct to the prejudice of good order and Military discipline in that he disclosed military information in a private letter; 2) Conduct to the prejudice of good order and Military discipline in that he wilfully made a false statement when using a green envelope. The finding delivered on 21 May 1943 was NOT GUILTY. Not only found not guilty, but on 3 May 1943 his acting rank of Corporal was confirmed, and on 18 Sep 1943 he was appointed Acting Warrant Office Class 2 as the Master of TSS Zephyr.
On 21 Feb 1944 he was discharged from the Army, in order that on the following day he could be appointed acting Lieutenant with the 51st Australian Water Transport Company. On 1 May 1944 he was posted as Master of craft. On 22 Jan 1945 he was transferred to the 13th Australian Small Ship Company as Mate of Craft.
Doug's service as an officer is not provided in any detail, but he is known to have served aboard small ships in the South West Pacific from 27 Feb 1945 to 5 Jul 1945. Discharged 7 Feb 1946 in Perth.
Married Doreen Theresa Dullard at Perth in 1944. Electoral Roll entries: 1954 - 1980 at 3 Kirwan street Floreat Park, clerk.