Joseph James Burrows

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Joseph James Burrows
Burrows Joseph James 1.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 7 Mar 1905
Place of Birth Armadale, Western Australia
Death 19 Nov 1980, aged 75
Place of Death Kensington, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 35 years, 7 months
Description ; blue eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Bogger (miner)
Religion Church of England
Address c/- Post Office Norseman
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Eileen May Burrows
Military Information
Reg Number WX8671
Date of Enlistment 23 Oct 1940
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 2/28th Australian Infantry Battalion
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 5 Jul 1941 ‒ 25 Jul 1941
Transport Details HMT Aquitania Convoy US 11A Fremantle to Port Tewfik
Journey Dates Aug 1942
Transport Details unknown ship Libya to Italy
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 7 Oct 1944 ‒ 11 Oct 1944
Transport Details unknown ship Italy to Alexandria, Egypt
Journey Dates 13 Oct 1944 ‒ 17 Nov 1944
Transport Details unknown ship Egypt to Melbourne
Post War Details
Fate POW Ruin Ridge 26/27 Jul 1942
Returned to Australia
External Monument(s) The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial Ballarat, Victoria
Medals 1939-45 Star
Africa Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

In 1931 he married Eileen May Andrew (1913 - 1999). A son James Edward William Burrows was born 1931 and died 1998, and their second son Brian Darell Burrows was born 1932, and died 2015. Electoral Roll entries: 1931 at 11 Esperance street, Victoria Park, labourer; 1937 at 39 Knebsworth avenue, North Perth, motor driver; 1940 at Roberts street, Norseman, miner.

War Service

Enlisted at Norseman, Joseph entered Claremont camp on 23 Oct 1940 and was sent to the Northam camp's 3rd Training Battalion on 25 Nov 1940. On 14 Jan 1942 he was transferred to the No. 13 Training Battalion , earmarked to join the 4th reinforcements for the 2/28th Battalion. On 15 Apr 1941 he was charged with having been AWOL from midnight 13 Apr until 10:00pm on 14 Apr 1941. For his he was awarded 4 days Confined to Barracks and the loss of a day's pay. From 23 Apr until 4 May 1941 he was granted pre-embarkation leave.

In Fremantle harbour Joseph, on 2 Jul 1941, embarked on HMT Aquitania which with HMT Queen Mary and the HMT Queen Elizabeth comprised Convoy US 11A. Joseph disembarked in Port Tewfik on 25 Jul 1941 and joined the 24th Australian Infantry Training Battalion to complete his training. For a time he was detached to the 9th Division's Infantry Specialist Group, but rejoined the training battalion on 12 Sep 1941 in time to march out to the Staging Camp, prior to joining a field unit. However, on 24 Sep 1941 he was struck down with appendicitis and was admitted to the 2/11th Australian General Hospital. On 20 Oct 1941 he was well enough to be discharged from the hospital to the 1st Australian Convalescent Depot, and then returned to the 24th Australian Infantry Training Battalion on 10 Nov 1941. Finally on 18 Nov 1941 he was sent to join the 2/28th Australian Infantry Battalion which at that time was rebuilding and training at Kilo 89 camp near Gaza in Palestine.

On 14 Mar 1942 Joseph faced a District Court Martial charged with 1) Disobeying a lawful command given by his superior officer on 18 Jan 1942, and 2) Using insubordinate language to his superior officer on 18 Jan 1942. Found Not Guilt of the first charge, but Guilty of the second one, he was sentenced to 21 days detention, with forfeiture of pay for that period. After undertaking occupation duties in Syria and Lebanon, the 2/28th Battalion moved back to the western border of Egypt and took part in the First Battle of El Alamein. On 27 Jul 1942, the battalion was tasked with capturing "Ruin Ridge". After taking the position in a night attack, the 2/28th was then cut off and surrounded by German infantry and armour. Suffering heavy casualties, the majority of the battalion – around 500 men – was forced to surrender. Originally reported as Missing, Joseph's status as a POW was confirmed on 24 Oct 1942, interned in Camp 106 in Italy.

At some point he was transferred to Switzerland, normally reserved for those too badly wounded to be able to fight again, and on 7 Oct 1944 he arrived in Italy for repatriation to Australia. On 11 Oct 1944 he disembarked in Egypt from Italy, and on 13 Oct 1944 he embarked for Australia, disembarking in Melbourne on 17 Nov 1944. He was the next day placed on a train for Perth, arriving there on 22 Nov 1944. As a repatriated POW he was granted Proficiency Pay from 11 Oct 1944. On arrival in Perth it would appear that Joseph was granted a lengthy leave period, before being admitted to the 109th Australian Convalescent Depot at Point Walter where on 25 Jan 1945 he was assessed as 'B2' unfit. AWOL from midnight 25 Feb 1945 until 8:00am the next day, he was fined 10/- ($1) and forfeited the day's pay. Soon after he forfeited his proficiency pay, and on 19 Mar 1945 he was released to the base depot where he was discharged on 12 Apr 1945

Post War

Electoral Roll entries: 1958 - 1972 at lot 226, Zante road, Newburn, storekeeper; 1977 - 1980 at 131 Gwenyfred road, Kensington


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