Kenneth Myers Kroenert

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Kenneth Myers Kroenert
Kroenert Kenneth Myers.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 18 May 1917
Place of Birth Armadale, Western Australia
Death 15 Nov 1941
Place of Death Germany
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
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

Pre War

War Service

Along with the rest of the 2/11th Australian Infantry 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. 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 ?? Jun 1941 Kenneth was listed as Missing, believed to be a prisoner of war, captured in Crete. This was confirmed on ?? Oct 1941, and it was said that he was interred in Stalag ??? with his POW Number being ?????. Kenneth died 15 Nov 1941, aged 24

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


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