Oliver John Dowell

From Our Contribution

Oliver John Dowell
Dowell Oliver John.jpg
"Australia's Fighting Sons of the Empire" p.141
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1898
Place of Birth Canningdale, Western Australia
Death 21 May 1975, aged 77
Place of Death Victoria Park
Age at Enlistment 19 years, 5 months
Description 5'6½" (1.69m) tall ; 140 lbs
63.503 kg
; fair complexion ; blue eyes ; light brown hair
Occupation Orchardist
Religion Church of England
Address Bedfordale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Joseph Richard Dowell
Military Information
Reg Number 52052
Date of Enlistment 8 Sep 1917
Rank Lance Corporal
Unit/Formation 1st General Service reinforcements allocated to 28th Battalion, transferred to 3rd Motor Transport Company.
Date of Embarkation 8 May 1918 ‒ 16 Jul 1918
Ship Embarked On SS Port Darwin Albany to Southampton
Date of Return 18 Dec 1919 ‒ 28 Jan 1920
Ship Returned On SS Königin Luise
Fate Returned to Australia
Monument Armadale War Memorial (Bedfordale panel)
Bedfordale Roll of Honour
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

Training received in Australia was general in nature before Oliver departed for England from Albany as a temporary Lance Corporal. On arrival at Southampton, Oliver was sent to the 5th training Battalion at Fovant on 17 Aug 1918 for infantry training as he had been allocated to the 28th Battalion. He would have reverted to Private at this time.

On 4 Oct 1918 he proceeded overseas to France via Dover to join the Australian Infantry Base Depot. Joined 28th Battalion on 11 Oct 1918 along with 84 others, after the Australian Infantry units had been withdrawn from the front lines for a rest and a month before hostilities ceased. The battalion was in a rear rest area at Berteaucourt-les-Dames in Picardy some 25 km north west of Amiens.

Detached to the Australian Motor Transport on 25 Mar 1919, he was taken on strength by the 1st Australian Motor Transport Company on 8 Apr 1919, but two days later he was seen by the 2nd Australian Field Ambulance and treated for influenza. Transferred to the 55th Casualty Clearing Station the same day, he returned to duty on 19 Apr 1919. Oliver was transferred to the 3rd Australian Motor Transport Company on 22 May 1919 and appointed temporary Driver on 2 Jun 1919.

A fortnight later on 18 Jun 1919 he marched out for England where he went initially to the Sutton Veny camp before being released on leave. Oliver was to spend a total of 6 months in England before shipping out for Australia on the SS Königin Luise. Discharged by the 5th Military District on 17 Mar 1920.

Post War

While Oliver initially returned to Bedfordale to work on the orchard (1925 electoral roll), by 1931 he was a motor driver living in Keitley road Subiaco.

In 1931 he married Grace Emily Alice Smith, and on 1 Jul 1932 a daughter arrived, followed by premature twin sons in June 1935.

In 1936 he was living at "Windsor" on Fairway in Nedlands and is a gardener, remaining there until after the end of WW2, when he and his wife Grace Emily Alice return to Bedfordale to again work on the orchard. The 1972 nominal roll has him still on Albany Highway in Bedfordale.

Grace died 3 Sep 1996 aged 90 in Como.


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