Signed Japanese flag : Sapper J B Eckley, 2/7 Field Company

Place Asia: Malaysia, Labuan
Accession Number REL31112
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Flag
Physical description Cotton
Maker Unknown
Place made Japan
Date made c 1939-1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Large cotton Japanese flag with the red disc sewn rather than printed in the centre. A seam also runs across the flag below the sun symbol. The flag has been signed in ink by members of the 2/7 Field Company and is also repeatedly marked in numerous places with Japanese ink stamps. The bottom right corner is marked with Japanese characters which read, in part, the name of 'Iwai'.

History / Summary

This flag was seized by members of 2/7 Field Company after an attack on the Japanese forces at the Labuan Pocket area on 16 June 1945. The members of the unit later signed the flag and it was kept by NX176566 Sapper John Brian 'Jack' Eckley of Parkes, NSW. Eckley enlisted on 11 November 1943, aged 18 and served with the 2/7 Field Company until his discharge on 11 November 1946. His signature is accompanied by the nickname 'Trading Post', earned because Eckley never smoked and used his tobacco issue to profitable effect, telling his family later that 'not smoking was worth a fortune'. Eckley established himself as a dry cleaner in Five Dock, Sydney after the war and died in 2003. The other legible names on the flag can be identified as the following: VX133591 V J Cahill, QX876 R J Moores, NX125891 V Sperry, NX178305 T R Tunks, NX55122 K I Blake, QX35624 L J Zurvas, NX39977 R S Willis, QX8128 W M Milton, QX10589 JG Maguire, QX7501 R J Ridgeway, QX5661 J V Heelan, TX13084 C L Maxwell, QX6616 N P Porteous, QX7530 M B Palmer, NX92211 C A Felton, TX4724 R J Lane, VX68341 H F Putt, QX1000 E F L Whittington, NX113618 F E Pike, QX39146 A J Lester, Q5170 J H Hewitt, NX99265 A G Hoppner, NX42320 A Heppel, NX171575 J P Morrow, SX5018 F S Oldham, VX63257 F F Rodgers, QX8590 I Stevenson, VX75919 H R McNiff, QX9768 W F Hollett, SX16596 W L Tucker, QX14986 E A Hage, QX6688 R G Palmer, QX9820 E Eeley, QX20542 H G Jackson, NX115614 S Westwood, SX30307 J R Green, NX4207 F W Dyke, SX18998 R E Sampson, QX45090 T McManus, WX29740 C T Young, QX3319 N J Campbell, QX21358 G Heck, NX176186 E G Pearce, QX41268 N E McDonough, WX21763 J N Male, QX21194 B W McPherson, VX86106 R W Poynton, VX138143 A W Woods, VX62649 T M Maher, VX73349 K J White, QX4368 A Harvey, QX7406 H F Beauchamp, NX146262 S R Besnard, QX6925 S W Brady, QX5747 N D Heelan, VX86303 J V J Kilkenny, WX10062 W M Lawrie, NX177832 P D Lowe, QX823 S J Newman, NX92211 D R McPherson, VX39574 N J McLaren, WX26181 J E McCavanagh, QX5268 A G McGregor, QX21568 R Riley, QX19832 R J Sherman, VX125499 J W Spencer, QX13718 A J Whittle, NX92277 D E Johnston, NX12686 L P Teddiman, WX26388 A Cherry, QX18122 J L Franklin, QX1616 F C Tippen, QX20349 E C Schwarten.