Ralph Godfrey

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Ralph Godfrey
Godfrey Ralph 1.jpg
Godfrey Ralph at Morotai.jpg
Ralph squatting on left at Morotai
Personal Information
Date of Birth 7 Apr 1917
Place of Birth Ballarat, Victoria
Death 24 Jun 1999, aged 82
Place of Death Wongan Hills, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 23 years, 2 months
Description 5'8" (1.73m) tall ; ; dark complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Labourer
Religion Church of England
Address Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Ada Bradley
Military Information
Reg Number WX7009
Date of Enlistment 30 Jul 1940
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 2/14th Australian Infantry Battalion & HQ 21st Australian Infantry Brigade
Military Movement
1st Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 7 Nov 1941 ‒ 22 Nov 1941
Transport Details HMT Queen Elizabeth Convoy US13 Fremantle to Port Tewfik
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 29 Jan 1942 ‒ 6 Feb 1942
Transport Details SS Île de France Port Tewfik to Bombay
Journey Dates 13 Feb 1942 ‒ 24 Mar 1942
Transport Details SS City of Paris Bombay to Adelaide via Colombo
2nd Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 6 Aug 1942 ‒ 12 Aug 1942
Transport Details USAT James Wilson Brisbane to Port Moresby
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 7 Jan 1943 ‒ 10 Jan 1943
Transport Details unknown ship Port Moresby to Australia
3rd Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 31 Jul 1943 ‒ 2 Aug 1943
Transport Details HMT Duntroon Townsville to Port Moresby
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 15 Feb 1944 ‒ 18 Feb 1944
Transport Details SS Canberra Port Moresby to Townsville
4th Departure from Australia
Journey Dates 2 Jun 1945 ‒ 8 Jun 1945
Transport Details USS General Anderson (AP - 111) Townsville to Morotai
Journey Dates 21 Jun 1945 ‒ 23 Jun 1945
Transport Details HMAS Manoora Morotai to Balikpapan
Journey Dates 26 Sep 1945 ‒ 23 Nov 1945
Transport Details HMAS Gascoyne Balikpapan to Makassar & return
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 3 Dec 1945 ‒ 19 Dec 1945
Transport Details HMT Moreton Bay Singapore to Sydney
Post War Details
Fate Returned to Australia (4 times)
Medals 1939-45 Star
Pacific Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

Married Jean Florence Napier (1920 - 1994) on 15 Mar 1941. Jean died in Wongan Hills on 12 Nov 1994.

War Service

Ralph enlisted at the Claremont Recruit Reception Depot and was sent to the Melville camp to join the No 1 Training Battalion. On 2 Sep 1940 he was moved to Northam camp, and the 13th Depot Battalion for training. There, on 27 Nov 1940 he was posted to the 2/4th Australian Machine Gun Battalion. He was granted leave from 1 to 11 Jul 1941 prior to the unit moving to Adelaide aboard HMT Duntroon, departing Fremantle on 21 Jul 1941 and arriving in Adelaide on 25 Jul 1941.

Following more training, on 2 Oct 1941 Ralph entrained in Adelaide for Perth, arriving on 4 Oct 1941. Sent to the Claremont camp, and then on 7 Oct 1941 to the Northam camp where he joined the 3rd Training Battalion before being posted to the reinforcements for the 2/16th Australian Infantry Battalion. Granted pre-embarkation leave from 15 to 21 Oct 1941, he embarked on HMT Queen Elizabeth at Fremantle on 7 Nov 1941. Along with HMT Queen Mary, HMT Queen Elizabeth formed convoy code named US13. They disembarked at Port Suez on 22 Nov 1941.

Ralph, on arrival in Egypt, was sent to the 21st Australian Infantry Training Battalion before being posted to the 2/14th Australian Infantry Battalion on 19 Jan 1942. His unit was performing Garrison duties in Lebanon when he joined them. Barely had he joined them, then they embarked on the SS Île de France on 29 Jan 1942 for Australia. Transshipped at Bombay, on 24 Mar 1942 they disembarked at Adelaide from the SS City of Paris. On 16 Jul 1942 Ralph was charged with drunkenness, and he was admonished by his Commanding Officer.

On 6 Aug 1942 he and his unit boarded the USAT James Wilson in Brisbane for Port Moresby which they reached on 12 Aug 1942. The 2/14th Battalion were part of the force that pursued the Japanese back up the Kokoda track, and participated in actions around Gona. On 14 Dec 1942 he was evacuated to the 2/9th Australian General Hospital and transferred to the 6th Australian Casualty Clearing Station by aircraft on 1 Jan 1943 with suspected malaria. On 13 Jan 1943, he was placed on 5th Australian Ambulance Train for the 117th Australian General Hospital at Toowoomba which he reached on 14 Jan 1943. Four days later he was released to the 102nd Australian Convalescent Depot at Warwick in Queensland. By the end of January he was well enough to transfer to the Ascot Staging Camp in Brisbane, where he was granted leave from 11 until 25 Feb 1943. Ralph was able to rejoin his unit on 20 Mar 1943.

On 19 Apr 1943 Ralph was transferred to the HQ 21st Australian Infantry Brigade in north Queensland, and following further training, during which time he qualified for Proficiency pay, he and his unit boarded HMT Duntroon at Townsville on 31 Jul 1943 for Port Moresby, arriving on 2 Aug 1943. On 15 Feb 1944 he boarded the SS Canberra for the return journey to Townsville, arriving there on 18 Feb 1944. On arrival they were granted home leave during which time Ralph entered the 110th Australian Base Hospital in Perth with malaria on 31 Mar 1944. On 7 Apr 1944 he was transferred to the 118th Australian General Hospital at Northam, remaining with them until 28 Apr 1944 when he was fit to return to his unit in north Queensland. Ralph suffered another malaria attack on 12 Jul 1944 and was evacuated by the 105th Australian Casualty Clearing Station to the 7th Australian Division Rest Camp on 17 Jul 1944, again returning to his unit soon after.

Ralph and his unit boarded USS General Anderson (AP - 111) in Townsville on 2 Jun 1945 for Morotai, disembarking there on 8 Jun 1945, and on 21 Jun 1945 he boarded HMAS Manoora for Balikpapan where they participated in the landing to engage Japanese troops on Borneo. Balikpapan taken from enemy hands, on 26 Sep 1945 they embarked on HMAS Gascoyne for service with "MakForce" at Makassar, and on 22 Nov 1945 with their task completed they boarded HMAS Gascoyne at Makassar for the return to Balikpapan, disembarking on 23 Nov 1945. Soon after Ralph travelled to Singapore where on 3 Dec 1945 he embarked on the HMT Moreton Bay for Sydney, arriving there on 19 Dec 1945. Ralph was discharged in WA on 16 Jan 1946.

Ralph outside cnr Railway avenue (now Green Avenue) and Tudor road Armadale

Post War

Son David Ralph Godfrey born in Armadale on 5 Nov 1951, died 19 Aug 2008; son Kevin Victor Godfrey (a twin) born 25 Aug 1959, died 3 Dec 1977 at Wongan Hills; birth and death of daughter Vicki-Marie Godfrey 10 Oct 1961 at Wongan Hills. Eight siblings were still alive in May 2020.

Electoral Roll entries: 1949 - 1954 at Railway terrace, Goomalling, labourer; 1958 - 1980 at Wongan Hills, labourer.


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