Harold Herman Hilbert
From Our Contribution
1944 Marriage of Harold and Irene
|Date of Birth||24 Apr 1907|
|Place of Birth||Armadale, Western Australia|
|Death||26 Aug 1985|
|Place of Death||Essendon, Victoria|
|Age at Enlistment||35 years, 6 months|
|Description||5'9½" (1.76m) tall ; ; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; dark hair|
|Address||270 Buckley street, Essendon, Victoria|
|Next of Kin||Mother , Mrs Margaret Johana Hilbert|
|Date of Enlistment||1 Aug 1940|
|Unit/Formation||58/59th Australian Infantry Battalion (Essendon, Coburg, Brunswick/Hume Regiment)|
|1st Departure from Australia|
|Journey Dates||8 May 1943 ‒ 11 May 1943|
|Transport Details||HMT Duntroon Townsville - Port Moresby|
|Return to Australia|
|Journey Dates||13 Mar 1944 ‒ 17 Mar 1944|
|Transport Details||SS Canberra Port Moresby to Townsville|
|2nd Departure from Australia|
|Journey Dates||6 Jun 1944 ‒ 9 Jun 1944|
|Transport Details||MS Taroona Townsville to Port Moresby|
|Journey Dates||24 Oct 1944|
|Transport Details||plane Lae, New Guinea to Torokina, Bougainville|
|Return to Australia|
|Journey Dates||13 Feb 1945 ‒ 19 Feb 1945|
|Transport Details||HMT Duntroon Torokina, Bougainville to Sydney|
|Post War Details|
|Fate||Returned to Australia (twice)|
1939-45 Star |
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
Electoral Roll entries: 1928 at 270 Buckley street, Essendon, Victoria, carpenter; 1931 - 1937 farmer.
Prior to joining the AIF on 17 Nov 1942, Harold had served in the Citizens Military Force's (Militia) 58/59th Australian Infantry Battalion (Essendon, Coburg, Brunswick/Hume Regiment) from 1 Aug 1940 until 16 Nov 1942 with Regimental No. V44029. He also held a B Grade Electrical Mechanics license.
As a member of the CMF, on 4 Nov 1940 Harold was promoted Probationary Lieutenant in the 58/59th Australian Infantry Battalion in Melbourne. On 31 Oct 1941 he commenced full time service with the battalion, and on 24 Nov 1941 he was detached to Southern Command's Training School Course No. 14, rejoining his unit on 14 Dec 1941. Detached again between 3 and 19 Jan 1942, this time to the 3rd Division AASC, before being detached to Southern Commands "Q" staff on 19 Jan 1942. On 6 Feb 1942 Harold was promoted Temporary Captain.
On paper he was transferred on 18 Sep 1942 from the 58th Battalion to the 58/59th Australian Infantry Battalion (Essendon, Coburg, Brunswick/Hume Regiment), while remaining seconded for duty to Southern Command Base HQ. He transferred from the CMF to the 2nd AIF on 17 Nov 1942, and on 30 Nov 1942 his secondment finished and he returned to his battalion. Between 17 Feb and 28 Mar 1943 Harold attended a LHQ Tactical School Junior Wing No 4 Course, resulting in an assessment of fair for both General Knowledge of all arms, and Tactical Knowledge all arms. On 8 May 1943 he boarded HMT Duntroon in Townsville for "Maple" (Port Moresby?). On 27 Jul 1943 Harold was admitted to the 2/2nd Australian Field Ambulance, which at that time had their Main Dressing Station at Wau, until 5 Aug 1943 when he was released to his unit. His promotion to Captain was confirmed on 12 Feb 1944.
On 23 Feb 1944 he was reallocated to the HQ Moresby Base Sub Area for return to Australia, and on 17 Mar 1944 he disembarked in Townsville from the SS Canberra. On 20 May 1944 he was transferred from the 19th Australian Personnel Staging Camp (6.403) to the 2/14th Australian General Hospital at Mundingburra near Townsville with suspected malaria, returning to the Staging Camp on 1 Jun 1944. On 6 Jun 1944 he re-embarked in Townsville on the HMT Taroona to return to Port Moresby. On 30 Aug 1944 his membership of the 58/59th Battalion ceased and he was posted as Staff Captain "Q" in the HQ Moresby Base Sub Area. On 23 Oct 1944 he was transferred to the HQ 4th Australian Base Sub Area, and the next day was flown from Lae to Bougainville. On 13 Feb 1945 he embarked at Torokina on the HMT Duntroon, disembarking in Sydney on 19 Feb 1945, and reporting for duty on 22 Mar 1945 as Staff Captain Maintenance of Q Branch. On 1 Sep 1945 he relinquished this role and on 19 Sep 1945 he was transferred to the R of O (Australian Infantry) in Victoria. Harold was discharged on 19 Sep 1945. His total service was 1419 days, with Active Service of 680 days served in Australia and 574 days overseas.
At discharge his address was the Royal Oak Hotel, Kilmore. Harold had married on 12 Apr 1944, Irene Sheelah Harrington in Moonee Ponds, Victoria. Harold and Iren had 6 children, five boys and one girl. The oldest two boys were Thomas Anthony (1947-2012) and Michael (1957 - 2000).
Electoral Roll entries: 1949 - 1980 at 25 Hedderwick street, Essendon, Vic, contractor.