Signed Union Jack, Trocadero Dance Palais, Sydney : Bombadier J S Crogan, 11 Battery, 2/6 Field Regiment

Accession Number REL44433
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Flag
Physical description Cotton, Rope
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom: England
Date made c 1942
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Standard printed cotton Union Jack, with the words 'FAST COLOURS MADE IN ENGLAND' printed on the upper left white horizontal, and 12" x 48' handwritten at the reverse upper hoist area. The flag is equipped with a rope hoist and has been signed by multiple hands. The area of the front lower hoist is marked '9-7-40' - the date Crogan souvenired this flag.

Names appearing on this flag are: 'J.S.Crogan, BDR NX16980 11th Bty 2/6th FD Regt 7th Div A.I.F.' - there is a red ink asterix against this name; 'Signalman Wally Connors, VX26795 NO 1 Section, 1st Anti Aircraft Brigade Sigs'; 'QX5037 Sigm W.E. Sinclair-Rogers, No 1 Section, 1st A.A. Bde Signals'; 'NX24321 Sgt Keevers W.M., 1 AA Bde. HQ Sigs A.I.F. 21/4/42'; 'L.A.C. Keys 405809 RAAF Lindfield 21/10/41'; 'LAC Coutts 15448 2AD ARS, RAAF Richmond'; 'L.A.C. Warmuth, W.H 408716, No 1TS RAAF Lindfield N.S.W.'; '414042 Johnston, H.D.'; 'L.A.C. Pearce, G.W. 42280 RAAF Miloura - VIC'; '[indecipherable name] 6 Aust Frt Coy RAE, Chowder Bay'; '64696 Richardson, R, I.R.'; ''T.Bartle Fireman N.S.W. Fire Brigades'; 'NX33631 Sgt (crossed out) Lieut E.E. Beale 8th Btn A.I.F. (POW)'; 'NX20205 Signalman J.R. Cole 1 Anti-Aircraft Bde Signals AIF 8.4.41'; 'Gnr R(oddy) Trewin NX23070 2/6th Fld Regt A.I.F. Returned 21.4.42'; 'Cpl P.T. Humble H713 Darwin Mobile Force'; 'N40183 Lieut F Adlam C.Coy, 45 Bn A.M.F.'; 'Gnr D.W. Rayner NX21222 2/5 Fld Reg 10th Battery Bathurst Returned 16 May 1942'; 'M.R. Cole NX20783 14 Fd Bty 2/6 Fd Reg. 7 Div AIF. Sailed 14/11/40 Returned 3/5/42'; 'N392063 Pte M.K. Bell A.W.A.S. Showground'; 'Sgt M.G. Lees Darwin Mobile Force Darwin 21/10/40'; N272661 Sig. M. Wenden Area Signals E.C.'; 'Cpl Norman Reynolds N40308 A Comp. 45 Bn'; G. Croft L/S HMAS Vendetta'; 'R.J. McGuniess NX18052 AIF'; 'A.N. Allen NX50639 2/6th Fd.Regt.'; 'NX19184 W.H. Webster 2/5 Fd Regt. A.I.F.'; 2926 Cpl C.J. Ireland 14 A.L.H. Reg A.I.F.'; 'NF454442 Pte Taylor P.H. A.A.M.W.S. 113th A.G.H. Concord'; 'No 3432 Pte H.G. Nichols 14th Aust Light Trench Mortar Bty, C Coy 54th Batt. 1st AIF'; 'VX12392 Sig F/? A.W. Arnold A.A Bde Sigs A.I.F.'; 'NX17716 Sig Robert D Cole 2/5 Fld Reg Ingleburn. Sailed 5-10-40 Returned 30-4-42'; '93474 Sgt. D. Andrews 'Andy' W.A.A.A.F.'; '63995 L.A.C. Levote, F R.A.A.F. 20.1.45'; 'N218276 Pte P.W. Nicholas 19 Platoon 45th Bn Cronulla'; 'SX29597 Gnr Sharrad G.R. 228 Lt A/A Bty Crafers Sth Aust'; 'NX129506 W.O.II Moore, R.L. 14th Aust Fd Regt Port Moresby'; 'Cpl Cooney, C 105503 W.A.A.F. Bondi'; 'MacDairmid, C.S. No 404345 RAAF Lindfield'; 'ACI J.L. Kent 58397 R.A.A.F. Bondi (accompanied by a small cartoon face)'; 'A.C.I. Agnew D.H. 414744 R.A.A.F. Bondi'; 'T30382 Sapper R.S. Aitken 36th RAE Fort Pierson Tas'; 'Gnr E.H. Eddy NX16055 B Troop 11th Bty 2/6 Fld Reg 7 Division A.I.F.'; '65040 LAC Dalton, H.G. RAAF'; '432442 LAC Wallington, L RAAF'; 'Pte E.G. Cole No 744 B. Coy 20th Batn 1st AIF'; 'Pte E.G. Cole No 21290 E Coy. 10th Bat V.D.C.'; 'Pte Jimmie Cole L/Cpl (crossed out) Cpl (crossed out) Sgt (crossed out) Lieut. N40520 E (MG) Coy 45th Btn St George Regiment'; 'N32940 Sjt C.R. Brown "A" Coy 45 Bn St George Regt'; 'Lester Cobb 162 Inf U.S. Army'; 'Sgt Ral Alley Duty Pilot, Cootamundra'; 'N40463 Cpl R. Scott, D Coy 45th Battalion Engleburn'; 'Cecil Bookey 20933855 Col 152 Inf A.P.O. 41 U.S. Army'; 'S/Sgt McDonagh, J.N.G. N270634 P and RT Staff Eastern Command'; '58396 A.C.I. Jennings 3 S.T.T. Ultimo 54 Derby St Kew Victoria'; 'QX9039 Sigm Light, L 1 AA Bde Sigs AIF 21-4-42'; 'Warden Wilkinson (N.E.S.)'; '93477 A.C.W. (Sgt written underneath) Sanders, J. 3 S.T.T. Ultimo River St MacLean Clarence R'; 'L.A.C. E. L. Russell R.N.Z.A.F. 414143'; 'W.D.Cole Jnr Red Cross'; ' A.C.W. Edwards 3 S.T.T. Ultimo Bondi'; '[within drawn frame] N40465 Cpl C.C.Cox D Coy 45th Bn Ingleburn'; 'W. Tilly Bunbury West Aust.'; 'A.C.W. Cole 97643 W.A.A.A.F' [this is Patricia Cole, Crogan's sweetheart]; 'Martin, W.J., 54852 R.A.A.F.'

On the reverse, the following: 'Dvr A. J. Smith N240100'.

History / Summary

Standard size printed cotton Union Jack flag souvenired from the Trocadero Dance Palais in July 1940 by NX16980 Bombardier Joseph Sydney ('Joe") Crogan, born 27 September 1918 at North Sydney, NSW.

Crogan enlisted on 24 May 1940 at Paddington, NSW with 2/6 Field Regiment. He and his sweetheart, Patricia Cole (then 16) attended a farewell ball for the regiment at the Trocadero Dance Hall in Sydney on the evening of 9 July 1940. Joe souvenired this flag for Patricia from among the many national flags decorating the ballroom that night, signed it and presented it to her. It was also signed by Pat's four brothers - Ross, James, Robert and John and some of their mates.

Crogan's unit fought in the Middle East, and in 1941, moved with 7 Division to Syria where they fought the Vichy French. In mid July they were dug in before Jezzine, supporting 2/14 Battalion's assault on French positions in their move on Beirut. Bombardier Crogan served as the Number 1 on Gun 3 of A Troop. On 20 July the 25 pounder positions were shelled by French artillery and bombed by French bombers, the latter killing Bombardier Nick Koorey - the unit's first casualty. Shelling occurred again 2 days later. The guns were moved rearwards 'behind a rocky outcrop' some hundred yards away, but on 24 July they were again shelled. Harry Taylor recalled 'As the first round came over we hit the ground. ... There was a lull which gave us the chance to dig in. Just as well as the next round landed four feet from Bluey Sleet's slit trench.' A French reconnaissance plane then appeared but was brought down by British anti-aircraft. 'The enemy fire resumed and was very accurate. One round burst between No2 and No3 guns. Joe Crogan was killed and three others wounded. The right wheel of No3 was punctured...Section commander Vince Hayes took over as Number 1.'

Back in Australia, Patricia Cole mourned the loss of her sweetheart. Since Joe's departure, she had been introduced to a number of friends of her four brothers, all of whom served. They would bring friends home for dinner and Patricia would bring out the Trocadero flag for them to sign. She enlisted with the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) on 14 May 1942 where she served under service number 97643 as an Aircraftwoman at 3 School of Technical Training at Ultimo. A number of her work colleagues at Ultimo also signed the flag. When men returned from the Middle East, they would note their return date on the flag. Patricia was discharged on 31 March 1943.

One of Patricia's brothers eventually introduced her to Donald Rayner, a Lance Bombardier with 2/5 Field Regiment who had enlisted on 24 May 1940, the same day as Joe Crogan. His name also appears on the flag. He served in the Middle East and New Guinea and whilst on leave when training in Australia in 1944, he and Patricia were married at Earlwood. Rayner was discharged early, in 1945, due to ongoing malaria attacks.