Actions

Kenneth Myers Kroenert

From Our Contribution

Kenneth Myers Kroenert
Kroenert Kenneth Myers.jpg
Kroenert Kenneth Myers 1.jpg
Kenneth's POW Identity Card
Personal Information
Date of Birth 18 May 1917
Place of Birth Armadale, Western Australia
Death 15 Nov 1941
Place of Death Germany
Age at Enlistment 22 years, 8 months
Description 5'7" (1.70m) tall ; ; fair complexion ; blue eyes ; light brown hair
Occupation Labourer
Religion Salvation Army
Address 65 Dyson street, South Pert, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Carl Kroenert
Military Information
Reg Number WX581
Date of Enlistment 3 Nov 1939
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 2/11th Australian Infantry Battalion
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 20 Apr 1940 ‒ 19 May 1940
Transport Details HMT Y3 Nevasa Fremantle to El Kantara, Egypt
Transfers
Journey Dates 10 Apr 1941 ‒ 12 Apr 1941
Transport Details SS Pennland Alexandria, Egypt to Pireaus, Greece
Journey Dates 25 Apr 1941 ‒ 26 Apr 1941
Transport Details SS Thurland Castle Megarda Greece, to Suda Bay Crete
Post War Details
Fate POW
Died of illness in Germany (now Poland)
Monument(s) Victoria Park WW2 Memorial
External Monument(s) The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial Ballarat, Victoria
Australian War Memorial Australian War Memorial
Medals 1939-45 Star
Africa Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
Greek Commemorative War Medal 1940-41



Pre War

War Service

Ken enlisted on 9 Nov 1939 and he was posted to the 2/11th Australian Infantry Battalion. On 7 Dec 1939 they boarded a ship in Fremantle for the eastern states to undertaje Brigade level manouevers before returning to Western Australia for pre-embarkation leave. Along with the rest of the battalion, Ken sailed from Fremantle on 20 Apr 1940 for the Middle East aboard the HMT Y3 Nevasa, disembarking at Kantara on the Suez Canal on 18 May 1940.

After arriving in the Middle East, the 2/11th trained in Palestine and Egypt. During this time Kenneth was on on 28 Oct 1940 charged with 'Conduct to the prejudice of Good Order and Military Discipline in that when told the band was required for duty, he refused to carry out such duty as he said that the band was exempt from fatigues. Found guilty he was awarded 14 days Confined to Barracks. A decision to reorganise Australian infantry brigades along British lines, with three battalions instead of four, meant the 2/11th Battalion was now part of the 19th Brigade, but it remained part of the 6th Division. The battalion went into action for the first time at Bardia on 5 Jan 1941 and, as part of the Allied advance into Italian-occupied Libya. It subsequently fought at Tobruk on 21-22 Jan 1941, and to secure Derna airfield on 25 Jan 1941. It was advancing to the south of Benghazi when the Italians surrendered on 7 Feb 1941.


On 10 Apr 1941 they embarked in Alexandria harbour for Greece aboard the SS Pennland. The Allied forces, however, were unable to hold back the attacking Germans. The 2/11th withdrew from its initial positions at Kalabaka and remained on the move until it occupied rearguard positions at Brallos Pass a week later. It fought and slowed the Germans there on 24 April and then continued its withdrawal to Megara, where it was evacuated by sea on the night of 25 Apr 1941 aboard SS Thurland Castle.


The battalion landed on Crete the next day. It was subsequently deployed with the 2/1st Australian Infantry Battalion to defend Retimo airfield, which was held tenaciously for ten days following the landing of German paratroops on 20 May. German successes elsewhere on Crete, however, made surrender inevitable. Many 2/11th soldiers attempted to escape from Crete but only a relatively small number ultimately succeeded; most were taken prisoner. On 4 Jun 1941 Kenneth was listed as Missing, believed to be a prisoner of war, captured in Crete. This was confirmed on 7 Nov 1941, and it was said that he was interred in Stalag ?VIII B with his POW Number being 22775. Kenneth died 15 Nov 1941, aged 24 in the Stalag Camp Hospital, with the cause of death given as "weak heart valve, inflamation". He was buried in the Army Cemetery at Lambsdorf, Upper Silesia

  • Krakow Rakowicki Cemetery
  • Kenneth's grave site No 6

Notes


External Links