Author Topic: Trying to ID WW2 AIF Platoon - Unit from names on photo  (Read 672 times)

Offline Sturdy

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Trying to ID WW2 AIF Platoon - Unit from names on photo
« on: Saturday 15 April 17 04:52 BST (UK) »
Bit of a puzzle for anyone with a bit of time on their hands. I found this old WW2 photo of an Australian Platoon. When taken out of the frame the back was endorsed with many names / signatures  - no doubt of the people in the photo. I haven't had much success with trying to read the names. I notice there are a couple of possible WW1 vets front and centre, and on the back there is mention of a FOX MM, L GOOD BSM and also what looks like a MORRISON MSM MM (possibly the Officer at the with what looks like the ribbon to an MC to me?)

No idea who this lot are. Possible just a training platoon before being farmed out to their respective units. On the bottom right of the back of the photo (not in the scan) is the name A E JAMES 5. 7 Troop Y Battery LAA. I suspect he was the owner of the photo as his signature is just above that of W R WOOD, 2nd from the end of the list

It would be nice to re-establish their identities were possible for future historical reference and also it would be interesting to see what became of them following this photo. If you have the patience please feel free to have go, either way any feedback would be much appreciated.

Regards

STURDY     
STOREY Family London (Spitialfields, Shoreditch, Lambeth, Wandsworth) & Ballarat Aust 

PARK family Glasgow

MILLS (MILES) Family Kirkmaiden - Wigtownshire, Glasgow & Geelong Vic and Moulamein NSW, Aust

MILLER family London (Bethnal Green, Mile End Old Town) & Auckland, NZ

AVON family Cobh, Queenstown, Cashel (HUSSEY Family), Ireland & Melbourne Australia -

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Offline phenolphthalein

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Re: Trying to ID WW2 AIF Platoon - Unit from names on photo
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 15 April 17 05:12 BST (UK) »
Hi Sturdy

I see Brighton Diggins [sic]-- is that a name or a place?
Diggings being slang for barracks

Other names I can read are
--- Gale
P G Prideaux
K S Holmes
(Scotty) Mitchell

I would search the AWM site for some of the names. Looking at the men's records may assist in determining the unit

Also can you see the colour patches -- even if you can not determine the colour -- photo is sepia after all -- the shape may limit the number of possible units.  There were charts of colour patches and the units associated and they may have ended up online.

Dad's was a rectangle divided in 2 vertically and granddads WWI was a rectangle dived horizontally.
regards
pH

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Offline Sturdy

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Re: Trying to ID WW2 AIF Platoon - Unit from names on photo
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 15 April 17 06:17 BST (UK) »
Thank you PH.

Believe it or not Brighton DIGGINS is a person. I looked into DIGGINS after your suggestion and it turns out he was a well known footballer who played for South Melbourne and Carlton Football Clubs. He was born in WA in 1906. Checked the AWM and sure enough it is the same man (same DOB). In 1940 he was discharged from the LAA (Light Anti-aircraft Unit) and then it looks like he became a physical training instructor of some sort in the Army as a WO. I wonder if he is the very large man back row to the right. Great start. I will dig a bit further into Brighton (Born John Bryton DIGGINS) to see what Units he served with. It could be the 1940 LAA link?

Thanks

Sturdy
STOREY Family London (Spitialfields, Shoreditch, Lambeth, Wandsworth) & Ballarat Aust 

PARK family Glasgow

MILLS (MILES) Family Kirkmaiden - Wigtownshire, Glasgow & Geelong Vic and Moulamein NSW, Aust

MILLER family London (Bethnal Green, Mile End Old Town) & Auckland, NZ

AVON family Cobh, Queenstown, Cashel (HUSSEY Family), Ireland & Melbourne Australia -

Offline Nanna52

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Re: Trying to ID WW2 AIF Platoon - Unit from names on photo
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 15 April 17 07:10 BST (UK) »
One signature looks like J R Crossley.  I found a Joseph Ralph Crossley on the World War 2 Nominal Roll.  He was born October 7 th  1891 and joined 22 Jan . 1943. He was in 14 BATTALION VOLUNTEER DEFENCE CORPS at discharge.

Brighton Diggins joined Sept. 1940, discharged Dec 1940
Rejoined Mar 1942 and was discharged Oct 1943 .  At discharge he was a staff sergeant at L H Q SCH OF P & T.
James -Victoria, Australia originally from Keynsham, Somerset.
Heale/Hale - Keynsham, Somerset
Vincent - Illogan/Redruth, Cornwall.  Moved to Sculcoates, Yorkshire; Grass Valley, California; Timaru, New Zealand and Victoria, Australia.
Williams somewhere in Wales - he kept moving
Ellis - Anglesey

Offline meggsy

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Re: Trying to ID WW2 AIF Platoon - Unit from names on photo
« Reply #4 on: Friday 17 November 17 08:04 GMT (UK) »
Hi Sturdy, my wife's family has exactly the same photo- but in a very much worse condition. We had assumed that it depicted members of 4th Anti Tank Regiment, WW2. The soldier 3rd from left, back row is my wife's uncle VX38587 Gunner Claud Vernon BROWN, from Eaglehawk, Victoria. Claud was the gunlayer on the 2pndr gun which destroyed 8 Japanese tanks in the famous Battle of Muar, Malaya, January 1942. His signature is on the back of the photo.
Unfortunately Claude suffered a serious head wound in the escape into the jungle after encirclement by the enemy, and died 4 days later. He is buried in a still-unknown grave in the jungle.
The book "Tid Apa", the history of the 4th Anti Tank Regiment by Lt Col Neil Smith has a list of about 700 4th A/T members. I have compared the legible names with that list, and there are only a few matches. There is no Fox, Good, Morrison Wood or James with initials that match.
This makes me think that you are right when you suggest that it is a group in basic training. Claud BROWN's service record shows that he enlisted at Royal Park, was transferred to Ballarat to a Light AA regt , then posted to 4th Anti Tank at Puckapunyal. I am guessing that the photo was taken at Royal Park.

As a postscript, Claude was one of 10 Brown brothers of whom 9 enlisted and served overseas in WW2-apparently a record. The 10th brother worked in munitions and served in the Volunteer Defence Corps.
For anyone interested, the Battle of Muar and the Anti Tank involvement is recounted by first-hand accounts from the veterans involved, in a couple of books apart from "Tid Apa"- "It Happened to Us" by Gunner Finkemeyer, and "Savage Jungle" by Iain Finlay.

Regards, Meggsy (Bruce).
P.S. the family would love a copy of your photo if possible, as it is so much better than the one they have. I would attach it so you can see, but I'm not sure how to do it.

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