Signed Union Jack: Private Donald John Tisdale, 2/3 Battalion

Accession Number RELAWM37018
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Flag
Physical description Cotton
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1940
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Description

Signed and annotated Union Jack with Rising Sun badge pinned to centre. The text includes:

Top left quadrant (canton): 2YDUNION JACK [2 Yard Union Jack]; TOP; CPL. J. CLIFTON NX7858; H ALLEN COUNT; E.C.DICKENS A 6 M 2/7; GOD SPEED. / I KNOW THAT MAN ; X Sgt. W. BEATON; B. OUTRAM 2/3; SCOTTY MURTY; SUMDALE NX13967; I. H. HANSELL NARRANdERA; H MICHELL 3 BTN; Hickson(?) 2/3 (?); T. BROAD; SCARLETT O’HARA 3RD BN; TO(?); Doggie WESTERN / STEAM HUT; R H PEARN NX13080; NX1???3 [illegible]; I F???R?K; F. BRITTON; P.J.(CURLY) CUMMINS 2/3 BN; G MORGAN; A.V.ALLSO; A BENTLEY Canowindra; U/A/SJT S.P.A. ?/LN?TS A.A.Q.?; NX1024(?) W.WEBB; Powders A. Davis 2/3 Bn; E A DUNN 3 BAT?; STEPMD(?) COO-EE DAVIDSON OF THE FIGHTING 3RDS; E. F. SMITHERS; 2/3 PTE T. PALFREYMAN BACK TO WOLLONGONG; S. ABELL; JOE. Edwards “Palooka; R TAMP?; ? J TISDALE TASSY; A. R. LAURIE Gloucester; P SMITH; F MURRAY Mt GEO??; P K BRIMSTONE TAREE

Top right quadrant (canton): T J MILLER; MENACE BURNS; GLAMOUR MURRAY; NX5458 POP MORGAN; J. C. SEARLE. NX7987; T. SOUTTER THE ROOTER 3RD BATT; A DONOVAN 3RD; PTE J. WINDLEY 3RD; SPEEDY DAYDO; E.O BERG; NX13025 A.W.SEWARD [illegible]; NX 7858 J. CLIFTON; W. PLENDERLEITH SCOTTY; NX4500 BILL GRANT; PTE J ? O’BRIEN LOST ? SEA; NX BROWNLEE ALBION PARK; R TAMPLIN NX11103 FAIRFIELD; SN R WATTERSON AANS; M ROSS Bellingen; N.LLOYD; PTE J H BRIEN DAPTO 2/3; Pte W. H. Evrett(?) Geelong Vic; Shorty(?); J. H. WALKER; SGT SSR SEYMOUR B COY; E. ELLIS S/S STEAMO’S; Pte M. P. TUSSUP Ex. STEAMO 2/3 Bn 2/AIF; PTE ? BERTIE NEWTOWN; RIT MADDEN; PTE JACK McDON???; ?. MACK??; J. MACKIE; BULL ANDERSON; WALLA?? BE??? DOYLE

Lower left quadrant (canton): P. FITTOCK LISMORE; R. CHANDLER PICTON; W02 WARNOCK(?) 1ST AUST CON ???; T.P. “BALDY” GRAHAM 2/S “STEAMO”; R.J. WEIR 2/3 BAT; JACK HUTLEY “(HOT)”; J V MATHER; N?20608/2/11; SGT. H. E. KING THE GEH?NOGH KID; SGT. H. BARRACLOUGH “SLOPEHOPE”; BILL WRIGHT 2/1 BN NX7200; CPL J. T. MAY ORIGINAL; E DREDGE PICTON; ? DELANEY WEST WYALONG; [illegible green ink]; SERGEANT MACLEAN; F TAMPLIN NX28631; 165 A.C.T.; W.O. REANEY; PACANNINO “Gaiffeth”(?) [illegible] BN; TOGO HAYDON NX13637; F.W.TAYLOR NX 15099 2/IST BTN; LH BUTLER NX13538; SGT. G.L. CONYARD 2/3 30/9/40

Lower right quadrant (canton): I. R. ALLAN NX11409 2/3 BN; D.W. MURRAY NX11743 2/3 BN; MIDNIGHT. McFARLANE. NX11336 (2/3rd) KINGS CROSS; YARK. ARMSTRONG. G. NX11344. 2/3rd CLOVELLY; ARMSTRONG. S. PLOWRY. SID. NX11345 CLOVELLY; PTE W. E. ADDISON NX11311 ERSKINEVILLE; SNOWY WOOD 2/3 GUILDFORD; E V HAYWOOD; E BURGES NX13545 [illegible]; Cpl K Crawford CONDIE ASS. VX2135; LT. C. W. HILDEBRANDT. 2/3.Bn NX4882; NX4588 SGT. E. J. MORGAN 2/3 BN.; F. PERRITT 3rd; M FAKHRY AANS; [2 lines illegible]; 433721 F/S FITZGIBBON 460 SQN; S/? L A SINCLAIR; [illegible] LAC CROSS [illegible] N[illegible]6; WO WASER 1ST [illegible] CONV DEPOT AIF; NX13049 PTE E. GALLOWAY; TODD M. NX4909 2/3 BN LIDCOMBE; E. ?. [illegible] NX.15??? ?EEZIL BURD?; R.W. STEPHENSON NX13091; AW Macdonald NX 13206; E.E.Duncan TINY. NX13234

Lower cross arm: N STANLEY NX4724 2/3 BTN; G E CORY M.C.,D.C.M 2/3 Aust Inf Bn NX7864; N G COOKE NX5431 2/3 BN

History / Summary

Little is known of this flag apart from the dozens of individual experiences of the men and women whose names are featured. The names indicate that a number of the signatures were inscribed in the Middle East during 1940 or early 1941 by members of the Australian 6th Division, many from the 2/3rd Australian Infantry Battalion. Two sisters from the Australian Army Nursing Service, 2/5 Australian General Hospital, Ruby Ida Watterson and Maureen Matilda Fakhry, are also featured. Other signatures, such as 433721 Flight Sergeant William John Fitzgibbon of 460 Squadron RAAF, and Sergeant Gilbert Cory of the 2/3rd Battalion date to 1945.

Following the disastrous Greece and Crete campaigns, a number of the men who signatures appear on the flag became Prisoners of War of the Germans. Others became Prisoners of War of the Japanese after their units were rushed back to Australia to counter the Japanese thrust. Identified POWs include:

“J TISDALE TASSY” - NX13067 Private Donald John Tisdale
“A. V. ALLSO” - NX13148 Private Aubrey Vincent Allso
“A. R. LAURIE” – probably NX11655 L/Cpl Alexander Robert Laurie
“R TAMPLIN NX11103 FAIRFIELD” – Driver Raymond Leslie Tamplin
“F TAMPLIN NX28631” – Driver Francis John Tamplin
“TOGO HAYDON NX13637” – Private John Sylvester Haydon
“F. W. TAYLOR NX15099” - Private Frank William Taylor
“SGT. G.L. CONYARD 2/3 30/9/40” - Sergeant Gilbert Lawrence Conyard
“D.W. MURRAY NX11743 2/3 BN “ - Private Richard William Murray

Those that did not survive the war include:

“S. ABELL” - probably NX13032 Sydney William Edward Abell, killed in action at Crete, 1 June 1941
“LT. C. W. HILDEBRANDT. 2/3.Bn NX4882” - Lieutenant Charles William Hildebrandt, killed in action in Syria, 27 June 1941
“Cpl K Crawford CONDIE ASS. VX2135” - Corporal (later Sergeant) Kenneth Crawford Condie, died of illness in Palestine, 4 Sept 1941
“B. OUTRAM 2/3” - probably NX11940 Private Brian Hugh Outram, killed in action in New Guinea, 24 October 1942
“J H WALKER” - possibly NX12875 A/Cpl Jeffrey Haggard Delabare Walker, died of wounds at Papua, 7 Nov 1942

Others went on to be recognised for their gallantry including:

“NX5458 POP MORGAN” - Corporal Walter Morgan awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the capture of Fort Goybet near Damascus from the Vichy French on 21 June 1941
“MIDNIGHT. McFARLANE. NX11336 (2/3rd) KINGS CROSS “ - NX11336 Private Ernest Roy McFarlane who was awarded the Military Medal for his actions Eora Creek, New Guinea in 1942
“G E CORY M.C.,D.C.M 2/3 Aust Inf Bn NX7864” - Sergeant Gilbert Ernest Cory who was Mentioned in Dispatches for his conduct in the Middle East, awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions on the Kokoda Track in 1942, and later as an officer was awarded the Military Cross for his courage and leadership near Danmap, New Guinea, in 1945.

Individual identification is ongoing and we invite information on any of the featured names that are not accompanied by service numbers to contact the Military Heraldry and Technology section of the Memorial (mht@awm.gov.au). Any information about the history of the flag would be gratefully received.