Signed handkerchief : Driver V C Ball, 1 Company, Australian Army Service Corps, Gull Force

Place Asia: Netherlands East Indies, Ambon, Pulau
Accession Number REL31815
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Cotton
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia
Date made c 1940
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Square plain white cotton handkerchief with 25mm wide hem. A felt colour patch (triangle, divided vertically into white and dark blue, on a grey background) of 1 Company, Australian Army Service Corps (AASC) is sewn to the top centre of the handkerchief, and is surmounted by the title AIF / AASC GULL SEC. The remainder of the handkerchief has been divided into three columns, the outer two of which have been carefully ruled in ink into a series of horizontal lines and which serve as guides for signatures. Names in the left column are: RJ Wilson, NX42169; RJ Devlin NX7377; CE James NX7342; C Fernie NX7345; AR Grimison NX5726; JAV Rowland NX72105; RA Simpson NX7039; LR Stoney NX5705; VL Smith NX7333; PE Boreham NX7323; LO Pyers NX42145; FW Goodwin NX6979; AK Atkins NX42150; Cpl JR Whittaker NX72770; JH Williamson NX7108; Cpl V Denegate NX71262; NX41769 KC Alder; NX678 C Warn Driver Mec; Driver P Cook NX4369. Names in the centre column are: ROD Rudder NX76229; S/Sgt Storer SD NX56678; JR Burns Capt NX70405; Sgt B Love NX53808; Leuit (sic) CE Usher NX76227. Names in the right column are: Driver HC Youngberry NX71865; Driver J Solomon NX2116; Sgt Mc (illegible); Pte Trelford CCW NX4527; Driver K Ingram NX5494; Pte Hall H NX72495; Pte EF Johnstone NX10277; Pte RW Bacon NX4409; Pte S Hillian NX7305; Pte A Quinlan NX973; WO JP Peters NX41759; Driver S McClure NX72800; Pte Corliss HJ NX42183; Pte Laws W NX41939; Pte Serrant JL NX40912; Pte Marden WV NX; Sgt Frank H Elliott; Driver VC Ball NX1677. Ball has also inked his name in above the title.

History / Summary

Related to the Second World War service of NX1677 Driver Verdun Clive Ball, 1 Company, Australian Army Service Corps, born at Molong, NSW on 27 July 1916, a wool buyer and classer with the company of FG Ball of Peak Hill, NSW. Ball enlisted on 29 April 1941 and trained at Goulburn, NSW with his troop before they were attached to 2/21 Battalion and transported to Darwin. Called ‘Gull Force', the battalion and its supporting troops embarked for Ambon on December 13 1941. The force of 1,090 was also made up of C troop, 18th Anti-Tank Battery, three sections of the 2/11th Field Coy, 2/12th Field Ambulance Detachment, 23rd Special Dental Unit, and 104 Light Aid Detachment. The entire force was quickly captured by the Japanese. Over 200 Australians were massacred at Laha, Ambon, on 6 February and between 15 and 20 February 1942 . By February 1942, Gull Force was in captivity at Tantui (on Ambon). In October 1942 the prisoners were divided into two groups. One group was transported to Hainan Island aboard the Taiko Maru, disembarking on 5 November 1942 and were imprisoned in Haicho Camp (Colonel W J R Scott's Force). The other group remained on Ambon. Driver Ball was one of the survivors from the Ambon group. Of the forty two names signed on the handkerchief, twenty two died upon capture, at the Laha massacre or as prisoners. They are: NX7377 Private Ronald Joseph Devlin, died 24 August 1945; NX7342 Private Charles Edmund James died 20 June 1945; NX7345 Private Cyril Fernie died 7 May 1945; NX5726 Private Athol Russell Mudie Grimison, died 25 March 1945; NX72105 Driver JAV Rowland, died 21 April 1945; NX7039 Driver Ronald Alex Simpson, died 26 April 1945; NX5705 Private Leonard Richard Stoney, died 27 July 1945; NX7323 Private Percy Edward Boreham, died 17 February 1943; NX6979 Private Frederick Worral Goodwin, died 13 June 1945; NX42150 Private Albert Kayce Atkins, died 20 February 1942; NX72770 Corporal James Robert Whittaker, died 20 February 1942; NX7108 Private James Henry Williamson, died 20 February 1942; NX4369 Driver Percy Cook, died 20 February 1942; NX70405 Captain Jack Rowland Burns, died 20 February 1942; NX53808 Lance Sergeant Bruce Love, died 20 February 1942. Names in the right column are: NX71865 Corporal Henry Charles Youngberry, died 1 May 1945; NX2116 Driver Jack Solomon, died 26 April 1945; NX4527 Private Clarence Clive William Trelford, died 20 May 1944; NX4409 Private Roy William Bacon, died 22 May 1945; NX973 Private Albert James Quinlan, died 22 June 1945; NX41939 Corporal William Laws, died 9 April 1944; NX39656 Private William Vincent Marden, died 24 May 1945.