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Stanley Hubert Hancock

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Stanley Hubert Hancock
Hancock Stanley.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 31 Dec 1917
Place of Birth Perth, Western Australia
Death 22 Jun 1984
Age at Enlistment 21 years, 10 months
Description 5'8½" (1.74m) tall ; ; fair complexion ; blue eyes ; fair hair
Occupation Labourer
Religion Church of England
Address Stone street, Wungong, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Wilfred Ewart Hancock
Military Information
Reg Number WX442
Date of Enlistment 7 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 Kantana, Egypt
Transfers
Journey Dates 10 Apr 1941 ‒ 12 Apr 1941
Transport Details SS Pennland Alexandria, Egypt to Piraeus, Greece
Journey Dates 25 Apr 1941 ‒ 26 Apr 1941
Transport Details SS Thurland Castle Megarda, Greece to Suda Bay, Crete
Journey Dates 13 May 1945
Transport Details plane Germany to England
Return to Australia
Journey Dates 18 Jun 1945 ‒ 24Jul 1945
Transport Details J11 England to Sydney
Post War Details
Fate POW captured Crete June 1941
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

War Service

Entered Subiaco camp on 8 Nov 1939 and was allocated to the 2/11th Battalion. On 30 Nov 1939 he was sent to the eastern states with his battalion to train with the rest of the 6th Division, returning to Claremont on 2 Apr 1940. He married Thelma Dorothy in early 1941.

On 20 Apr 1940 the battalion embarked for overseas on HMT Nevasa, disembarking in Kantara, Egypt on 19 May 1940. During the voyage, on 8 May 1940 he was charged with having Neglected to obey ship's Routine Orders on 7 May 1940, in that he smoked on the troop deck. The Commanding Officer fined him 2 shillings 2/- (20 cents).

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 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, 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. 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. The battalion landed on Crete the next day. It was subsequently deployed with the 2/1st 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.

Stanley was reported missing in action on 4 Jun 1941, believed on 8 Jun 1941 to be a prisoner of war. This was confirmed on 10 Sep 1941 by the Red Cross as he was interred in Stalag XVIIId with POW number 3662.

As hostilities concluded in the European theatre of war, POWs were returned to the UK. Stanley deplaned in the UK on 13 May 1945, was granted proficiency pay from that date and was posted to the 1 AIF Transit Camp. On 18 Jun 1945 Stanley boarded J11 for Sydney where they disembarked on 24 Jul 1945. On 11 Aug 1945 Stan was admitted to the 75th Australian Camp Hospital at Claremont and was released to duty on 13 Aug 1945. However, on 25 Aug 1945 he was sent to the 109th Australian Convalescent Depot at Point Walter until 3 Sep 1945 when he commenced discharge procedure, culminating with his discharge at Western Command on 5 Sep 1945.

Post War

Electoral Roll entries: 1958 Kukerin coop manager; 1968 - 1980 at 153 Alexander road, Rivervale, clerk

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