Newcastle Morning Herald transcriptions and Hunter Valley enlistment and deaths for May 24 to May 30, 1945
RAAF RECRUITING SUSPENDED
Recruiting for the RAAF has been suspended for the time being, said the Minister for the Air (Mr. Drakeford) in the House of Representatives. He said the position was being examined to see if it was necessary to proceed again with recruiting.
NO PLACE LIKE NEWCASTLE
"There is no place like Australia and no part of Australia like Newcastle," said Pte. Bob Morrison, 32, of Main Road, Belmont, one of nine NSW prisoners of war from German camps who arrived in Sydney. There were smiles and tears as the men were greeted at the Showground by relatives who had waited hours for the happy moment. The ship which brought the men home was held up by dense fog. Waiting to welcome Private Morrison were his wife and three children, aged 11, 10 and five. The youngest boy did not know his father, as he was only seven months old when he sailed. Also present was Private Morrison's 73-year-old father, himself a veteran of the last war, and whose father, grandfather and great grandfather were fighting men before him. Private Morrison's brother Jim, who was shot down over Germany early in the war and was the only survivor of a crew of seven, has also been repatriated. He is now awaiting a ship home. Private Morrison, who was captured on Crete, spent three years and eight months as a prisoner, mostly in Stalag 13c. "Am I glad to be back!" said Private Morrison. "Conditions were not so bad after we began to get Red Cross parcels because our guards were open to bribery. A cigarette would work wonders. After Stalingrad we were the bosses, but if it hadn't been for the Red Cross half of us would never have got back."
SAFE IN ENGLAND
Mr. and Mrs. H. G. Stirling, of Gordon Avenue, Hamilton South, have been advised that their only son, Private A..H. (Bill) Stirling, has arrived in England from Western Europe. Private Stirling enlisted at the outbreak of war and left Australia in January, 1940. He was attached to the Army Medical Corps, and was taken prisoner on Crete in 1941. At the time of enlisting he was employed at Ryland Bros. Mrs. C. McClelland, of 73 Morgan Street, Merewether, has been advised that her son, Alex Cameron McClelland, has arrived in England, after being a prisoner in Germany for four years. He has been overseas for almost five and a half years, served in the Libyan campaign, and Greece and Crete. Mrs. M. Wilson, late of New Lambton, received a cable from her son, Gunner Leslie Wilson, to say he has been repatriated to England after four years in a German prison camp. Private Reg. Kentish has been repatriated to England, according to advice received by his parents Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Kentish, of Waratah Street, Mayfield. Private Kentish was taken prisoner in Greece in May, I941, and was held in Stalag 9c. Formerly he was employed at Ryland Bros. Mrs. M. Weissmann of Hill Street, Wallsend, has had advice that her younger son, L/Cpl. F. Weissmann, of the A.I.F., who was a prisoner of war in Italian and Austrian camps for four years, is now safe and well at Eastbourne, Sussex, England. L/Cpl. Weissmann, who enlisted in 1940, was captured in April, 1941, during the retreat from Benghazi. He spent two years in Italy, at Sulmona and Gruppiguano camps, and, after the collapse of Italy, was sent to Stalag 18a, in Austria. He was educated at the Marist Brothers' School, West Maitland. Before his enlistment he was employed at the Broadmeadow works of A. Goninan and Co. Ltd. Gunner E. J. King, of the New Zealand artillery, son of Mr. E. T. King, of Merewether, has been repatriated to England after four years in German prisons. Captured on Crete, Gunner King was sent to Stalag 8b, near Munich, and later to 344. In letters home he said he was being well treated and had received comforts from the Red Cross. During his imprisonment he was in hospital for some weeks, but the nature of the illness was not disclosed. He went to New Zealand under the scheme designed to make good the lack of tradesmen in the Dominion.
NEWCASTLE MEN REPATRIATED
Private C. E. Goodworth, captured in Greece, 1941, has been repatriated from a German prison camp and is now in the UK. Advice of this has been received by his mother, Mrs. I. Goodworth of Sunderland Street, Mayfield. Mr. and Mrs. M. McBride, of Charlestown, have received a cable from their son, Driver W. E. McBride, that he was repatriated to England from Germany recently. Driver McBride was taken prisoner in Greece. Prior to enlisting, he was employed at Newbold's. He was educated at Marist Brothers, Hamilton. Private Angus Edwards has arrived safely in Sussex, England, after being a prisoner of war in Italy and Germany for over four years. This advice was received by his sister, Mrs. E. Terry, of Minmi. Mr. and Mrs. W. Abercrombie, of Brooks Parade, Belmont, received a telegram from their son, Private William Abercrombie, who was repatriated to Sussex, England. He was fighting at El Alamein, and was taken prisoner in the early part of the war and sent to Italy, where he escaped and was at liberty for seven months. On being recaptured, he was taken to Germany, where he remained until the end of hostilities. Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Dawson, of Waratah, have been advised that their son, Corporal Thomas Dawson, has arrived safely in England from a German prison camp. Corporal Dawson sailed with the first contingent of A.I.F. troops and saw service in Greece before he was captured on Crete four years ago.
Twenty decorations had been awarded to ex-pupils of Newcastle Boys' High School, the Headmaster (Mr. W. Pillans) said at the annual speech night. These included 13 D.F.Ms., one D.F.C. and Bar, one D.F.C. and D.S.O., one D.S.O., one O.B.E. and one M.M. There were 520 ex-pupils in the forces. Of these 333 were in the R.A.A.F., 142 in the A.I.F., and 45 in the R.A.N. Fourteen were missing, while 51 had been killed or had died on active service.
STRONGHOLD FALLS TO AIF
Cape Moem, last of the former Japanese strongholds on the coast in the general Wewak area of New Guinea, was captured by troops of the Australian Sixth Division. The battle for Wewak has virtually ended. In New Guinea, a very isolated enemy positions east of Cape Moem are the only remaining barriers to the final linking of our western forces and those which carried out the eastern amphibious operation. The two forces are now less than 2000 yards apart.
BOUGAINVILLE RIDGE TAKEN
In South Bougainville, bomb-blasted and shell-battered Egan's Ridge has been occupied by troops of the Third Division. These troops, after sustained and detailed preparation for the assault on the Japanese defences east of the Hongorai River, have broken through in many places and have now cleared the Buin road between Hongorai and Pororei Rivers. This success was achieved after very bitter fighting and at some loss to our forces. Our forward elements are less than 200 yards from an important track junction at Runai.
AIF ADVANCES IN TWO AREAS
In both Tarakan and New Guinea Australian ground troops are progressing. The Ninth Division in Tarakan is pressing on to the hills to which the Japanese have fled. Despite strong opposition, the Sixth Division is clearing out the Japanese in all areas in the Wewak sector. Borneo targets were selected by American planes at the weekend, while RAAF airmen operated over the Bali, the Celebes, Tilameta, Flores, Halmaheras and Maprik areas. During a low-level strike at Kudat, north Borneo, the Japanese exploded a landmine, but the concussion failed to bring down any American aircraft. The area north of the airstrip was left a mass of flames. At Sandakan, on the east coast of Borneo, air and light naval patrols destroyed many small craft and an enemy plane. Sweeping over the western coast, 57 Fifth Air Force bombers heavily hit Sibu. RAAF Liberators bombed seaplane bases at Saoebi Island, north of Bali, damaging a jetty, and Tolitoli, at the north-western corner of the Celebes, destroying buildings. The Spitfires bombed Fridge, in the Halmaheras, while Beauforts strafed villages in the Maprik area.
NATIVES CELEBRATE LIBERATION
The biggest sing-sing since Christmas, 1938 was held at Maprik, in the inland area of New Guinea, to celebrate the liberation of the district by Australian troops, says the Department of the Army. Between 3000 and 4000 natives, some from villages deep behind the enemy lines, made their way in for a song and feast which lasted from noon until after dawn next day. Many were suffering from malnutrition. Extra rations, including a tonne of rice and a special issue of 400lb of tobacco, were distributed. This tobacco, of the "trade" twist variety, would find no favour in even the most cigarette-starved areas of the mainland.
LIKES LIFE AT BOUGAINVILLE
On the day Private Beryl Newton, AAMWS, of Hamilton, arrived at Port Moresby in 1943, the Japanese raided the town. On her first night at Bougainville (Solomons), the air-raid warning went again, but that time it was a false alarm. Private Newton worked at Winn's in civilian life and before joining the AAMWS was a member of Voluntary Aid Detachment 236. After preliminary training in Bathurst, she was sent to New Guinea, where she served for 10 months. Changing from nursing orderly duties to the administrative side, Private Newton now works in the hospital "Q" store. She is one of the many girls who count swimming as their favourite sport. Whenever the girls are off duty and can find a jeep, they pile into it and are taken to the waterfront. "Earth tremors were a bit startling at first," said Private Newton. "Once I was digging the garden when the whole surrounding area started to shake. I don't know which was trembling most, the earth or me." The AAMWS of the General Hospital on Bougainville work hard, but would not change their posting for a mainland job.
More knitters were urgently needed to work at the Comforts Depot of Newcastle branch of the Australian Comforts Fund Women's Committee, the President (Mrs. G. H. Preshaw) said. The Comforts Fund was expecting large calls to be made on its stocks of knitted articles for British and Australian troops, said Mrs. Preshaw. She appealed for "old" knitters to return to the ranks. Last week a consignment of comforts was sent to the Central Depot, Sydney. This comprised 2450 handkerchiefs, 1600 washers, 290 pairs socks, 10 pairs sockettes, 10 scarves. 20 balaclavas, 20 pairs mittens, 19 pairs gloves, 31 sleeveless pullovers.
John Edward Blessington, Morisset; Maxwell James Brown, Mayfield; William Joffre Cowie, Holmesville; Maurice Joseph Doherty, Cessnock; James Higgins, Dungog; Leonard Madden, Merewether; Douglas Frederick Manning, Raymond Terrace; John Thomas McCann, Merewether; Charles Patrick Phelan, New Lambton; William Henry Prince, Maryville; Ralph Sweeney, Mayfield; Marcia Ruth Campion, Muswellbrook; Edward William Healey, Merewether West; Geoffrey Osland Lee, New Lambton; Dorothy May Wright, Marks Point; Arthur Yeatman, Hamilton North; Alfred Vincent Howard, Paterson; Ronald George Cameron, Singleton; Bruce Whiteford, Islington; Dudley Davis Downes, Mount View; Maxwell Arnold Hodges, Wyee; Thomas Alva Evans, Maitland; Neville Fraser, Hexham; Wilfred Livingstone Thomas Watson, Aberdare; Malcolm Mould, Scone; David Swinton Wright, Murrurundi.
Private Raymond Alvin Monnox, Maitland; Private Michael Thomas O'Hara, Mayfield, POW; Private Lachlan MacDonald, Adamstown. POW.