WX15 Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Hyacinth (Jump) Honner, CDSO MC

Date of birth17 August 1904 Australia: Western Australia, Perth, Fremantle 
Other  13 October 1939  Given command of C Company, 2/11th Battalion. 
Other  16 August 1942  Joined his battalion at Isurava. 
Other  19 May 1943 - 2 June 1943  Sick with Malaria. 
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs)  1924-07-01  Enlisted as a private in the 11/16th Battalion. 
Date promoted  1925-08-03  Appointed corporal. 
Date promoted  1925-08-04 - 1927-06-30  Appointed Sergeant. 
Other  1936  Joined the Militia. 
Other units  1936-06-25  Appointed lieutenant 11/16th Battalion. 
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs)  1939-10-13  Enlisted in the 2nd AIF. 
Date promoted  1939-12-13  Appointed captain. 
Date of embarkation  1940-04  Sailed for the Middle East. 
Other  1940-05-19  Arrived in the Middle East. 
Other  1941-01-05  2/11th Battalion went into action at Bardia. 
Other  1941-01-21  2/11th Battalion went into action at Tobruk. 
Other  1941-01-25  2/11th Battalion went into action at Derna. 
Other  1941-04-11  2/11th battalion deployed in Greece. 
Other  1941-04-25  2/11th Battalion evacuated from Greece by sea. 
Other  1941-04-26  2/11th Battalion landed on Crete. 
Other  1941-08-10  Arrived in the Middle East. 
Other  1941-09-01  Appointed temporary major. 
Date promoted  1941-10-13  Appointed major. 
Other units  1941-10-29  Seconded as commanding officer 19th Australian Infantry Training Battalion. 
Other  1942  Receieved Commander in Chief of the Middle East Commendation for service in Cyrenaica. 
Date of honour or award  1942-03-31  Military Cross. 'This officer is the best Company Commander I have known in this or the last war. Throughout the campaign he has led his men on all occasions with courage, cheerfulness, calmness and skill. He commanded the rear-guard from KALABAKA through LARISSA to DOMOKOS and later distinguished himself at THERMOPYLAE.' Recommended for the award by T S Louch, commanding officer of the 2/11th. 
Date returned to Australia  1942-05-14   
Other units  1942-08-01 - 1943-07-05  Appointed temporary lieutenant colonel and commanding officer of 39th Battalion. 
Other  1942-08-05  Arrived in Moresby. 
Date returned to Australia  1943-03-14  Returned to Cairns. 
Other  1943-07  39th Militia Battalion disbanded. 
Other  1943-08-02  Arrived in Moresby. 
Other  1943-10-14  Sick with Malaria. 
Date of honour or award  1943-12-21  Companion of the Distinguished Service Order. 'Lt-Col HONNER commanded 39 Aust Inf Bn which was under command 21 Aust Inf Bde in the GONA area from 2 Dec 42 till 21 Dec 42. From 6 Dec to 9 Dec (Both Inclusive) 39 Bn participated in the attacks on the Eastern enemy position at GONA Mission. These attacks culminated in the capture of GONA Mission area on 9 Dec 42. On 10 Dec Lt-Col HONNER was ordered to move through the jungle with his Battalion, and destroy a detachment of enemy about two miles west of GONA Mission. He made contact with the enemy in marshy country surrounding a village on the 11 Dec 42. From that day until the 18 Dec 39 Bn slowly but surely destroyed the enemy detachment, the destruction of which was its object, killing approximately 150 enemy and wounding a considerable number. During all these operations Lt-Col HONNER exercised close personal control making frequent visits to forward Companies in order to co-ordinate attacks. At no time did he spare himself. He frequently exposed himself to great personal danger in order to get the best from his troops, and was at all times an inspiration to Officers and men. It is recommended that he be awarded the DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER as a periodic award in the dispatch on the New Guinea Campaign.' Recommended for the award by I N Dougherty, commander of the 21st Brigade. 
Date promoted  1943-12-30  Appointed lieutenant colonel, the rank was back dated to 1 September 1942. 
Other  1944 - 1968  Chair of the War Pensions Assessment Appeal Tribunal. 
Date returned to Australia  1944-01-12  Returned to Sydney. 
Other  1944-07-12  Medically downgraded to Class B2 due to his injury and deemed 'fit only for clerical work involving no walking or much standing should be retained in base area.' 
Other  1944-12-15  Relinquished his position as general service officer grade 1. 
Other  1944-12-22  Again medically downgrade to Class D due to his gun shot wound. 
Other  1955 - 1957  President of the New South Wales United Nations Association. 
Other  1961 - 1963  President of the New South Wales Branch of the Liberal Party. 
Other  20 May 1941  The invasion of Crete began. 
Other  22 July 1940 - 25 August 1940  Attended a course for company commanders at the Middle East Tactical School. 
Other  23 December 1943  Relinquished command of the 2/14th, unfit for duty due to gunshot wound to his right thigh. 
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs)  24 October 1939   
Other  3 January 1945  Transferred to the Reserve of Officers. 
Date of discharge  3 January 1945   
Other  30 May 1941  Honner, offered the choice between escaping Crete and surrendering by Major Sandover, managed to escape to Alexandria. 
Other  31 August 1944  Appointed general service officer grade 1, Director of Military Training, G Branch, Land Headquarters. 
Date wounded  4 October 1943  Wounded in action, gun shot wound to left thigh and buttock. 
Other  5 July 1943 - 23 December 1943  Appointed commanding officer of the 2/14th Battalion, leading them in the campaign in the Ramu - Markham Valley. 
Other  December 1942  The 39th Battalion contributed to the victory at Gona. 
Date of death15 May 1994 Australia: New South Wales, Sydney 

Interviewed by the author Peter Brune regarding his service in PNG.