My Grandfather was killed in Papua New Guinea at Milne Bay on 2/10/1943 and I would love to know anything about what was happening with the 2/43rd in those last months of his life. Does anyone know anyone who could fill me in. It is important to me, to at least try and piece together last months,or weeks of his life. He was 24 when he died and that is so young.
I hope someone can advise me or tell me where I should be looking.
Your uncle's service record is on the NAA website, and can be read online. Just go here and click on View Digital Copy:
Here is a link to Dan O'Halloran's file on the DVA website: http://nominal-rolls.dva.gov.au/veteran?id=487257&c=WW2#R
Below is a scan of the Roll of Honour entry on your uncle in the AWM Roll of Honour website. Unfortunately I haven't come across Dan in researching this book, which is primarily on D Company. He is mentioned in the Battalion history by Combe, Ligertwood and Gilchrist, but there is no detail on his service or how he died. I imagine he was either in A Company and killed when it was surrounded, or in one of the other companies that tried to relieve them - probably C Company. There is a superb book on C Company in New Guinea by George Lush, which I've referred to in an earlier email on this site. If you'd like more on that or the background, you might like to contact me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course I'd also be interested to read anything from your uncle's diary.
Did you end up with the information you were after?
I have some colour footage of a march in Adelaide, back in 1943.
It is of the 2nd/43rd and the 2nd/48th. They had just returned from the Middle East.
Thanks for your email. Was the footage a private family item or is it available to the public ?
It must be quite moving to see them all marching. I would love to see if I can pick him out of so many.
I am still after any information on the men , and it would be especially nice to hear about anyone who may of known my grandfather. I guess I'm really after something that tells me he was alright and that he meant something and he had mates that were there for him in his last hours. I cant imagine how scared he must of been dying over there with no-one to tell everything would be alright even if they all knew it wasn't true.
This amazing 1943 footage was filmed by George Bolton.
Runs for quite while. No sound, which is a shame.
It is very moving, as many of these men would be lost in the island battles yet to come.
You are welcome to a copy of this at no cost and I can only hope you are lucky enough to spot your grandfather.
Your grandfather would have been in good hands in his final hours, as these men became as close as brothers.
Thank you very much. How would I go about getting a copy Paul as I would love to share it with my brother. I hope to hear from you soon.
Once again thank you very much.
You can contact me on 0479172267.
You could also contact the Torrens Parade Grounds, here in SA.
Ask for Keith, he should be able to help you with a copy.
Good luck and best wishes, Paul.
Sorry about the delay in getting back to you Paul.
I just want to thank you for all your help. I really appreciate all the information and I will be sure to either call you or the Torrens Parade Ground.
Once again thank you very much.
I am currently writing a book about the 2/43rd. Looking at your grandfather's service record, I'm pretty sure he was killed not at Milne Bay (a staging point on the way further north) but at Jivevaneng on the Huon Peninsula. At the time one company of the battalion was surrounded there, and quite a few men were killed or wounded in trying to free them from encirclement. I had not previously come across Charles in researching the book, which is especially about Don Company. You can obtain an excellent idea of what your grandfather's unit was doing on 2 October from these books: 'The 2/43rd', by Combe, Ligertwood and Gilchrist, pp. 164-7 and G.H. Lush, 'Campaigning: A Personal Recollection', p. 52.
Thank you for giving me this information. I will certainly have a look at this information. To be honest I haven't really been looking too much as the last couple of years have been filled with other "goings on" , but getting your email has been great. I would like to know when your book is ready. I believe his name was Stanley Charles so maybe that's why you haven't come across him or its a different man? Once again thank you.
I was just wondering if you would know of how I could get a copy of the book or just a copy of the page (s) . I thought you might know. I look forward to hearing from you.
Depending on where you live, both should be available in local libraries or on inter-library loan. You could try obtaining them secondhand on the internet but they are scarce. If you have no luck, email me here: email@example.com.