James Douglas Aitken
From Our Contribution
|Date of Birth||18 Mar 1925|
|Place of Birth||Subiaco, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||18 years 2 months|
|Address||Kelmscott, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Father , Mr James Aitken|
|Date of Enlistment||11 May 1943|
|Unit/Formation||26th Australian Employment Company|
|Post War Details|
|Fate||Remained in Australia|
discharged 27 Oct 1944
During 1957 James married Dolores Margaret Jane Harris in Geraldton. Electoral Roll entries: 1949 at Sixth avenue, Kelmscott, farmer; 1963 at Wooroloo, farm hand; 1963 - 1968 at Coolup, dairy manager; 1972 Dolores at 34 Fandon street, Safety Bay and in 1977 she was at 20 Edgewater road, Safety Bay; 1980 at Lot 9 Anderson street, Bluff Point, construction worker??
During the period 1939 - 1945 some unit names changed more than once. In the case of Australian Employment Companies they were also known as Works Companies, Labour Companies, Labour Units, Labour Corps. For sake of consistency I have adopted the term Employment Company. The role they played did not change with title. They were established to ensure that the Australian Defence Force had a large force of soldiers dedicated to essential labouring tasks, providing the physical labour needed to maintain the war effort and support the fighting forces.
Of the total of 39 Companies, 11 were part or fully manned by non British citizens known then as 'aliens'. These alien companies were not issued with arms. The 26th was not one of them, being staffed with British citizens.