Armstrong, Thomas Drewett (Gunner, b.1914 - d.1988)

Accession Number PR05868
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 1 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Document
Maker Armstrong, Helen
Australian Military Forces
Place made Australia, Germany, Greece
Date made 1940-1945
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Copying Provisions Copyright expired. Copying permitted subject to physical condition. Permission for reproduction not required.

Collection relating to the Second World War service of VX11840 Gunner Thomas Drewett Armstrong, 2/2 Field Regiment, Second Australian Imperial Force, Australia and the Middle East, 1940-1945.

Wallet 1 of 1 – Consists of three items relating to Gunner Thomas Drewett Armstrong.

The first item is a notebook kept by Gunner Armstrong’s younger sister, Miss Helen Armstrong, between mid-1941 and mid-1942. In this notebook, Miss Armstrong wrote letters to Gunner Armstrong while he was thought to be missing as a result of his service with 2/2 Field Regiment in Greece and Crete, and later found to be a German prisoner of war. In her letters to her brother, which were never sent, Miss Armstrong writes about her feelings of concern and love for him, that she and their family miss him, their sadness upon finding out that he was missing, their relief that he was found to be a prisoner of war, the supportive responses of extended family and friends, longing for peace, hearing news of the death of Gunner Armstrong’s friend, gathering news of Gunner Armstrong from a variety of sources, preparing a parcel to send to him, and being visited by a mutual friend who had served in Palestine. She goes on to write about looking forward to the time when Gunner Armstrong would return home, visiting patients in the Caulfield Military Hospital, being visited by a soldier who lied about his identity, sending letters to Gunner Armstrong, receiving letters and cards from him, and becoming engaged to a man she loves. This notebook also contains arithmetic exercises and notes on Latin language.

The second item is the paybook of Gunner Armstrong, containing entries dated between March and August 1940. This paybook records information such as rates of pay, earnings, medical history, and next-of-kin. In his paybook, Gunner Armstrong also writes the names and addresses of several fellow servicemen. Additionally, this paybook contains one note of German prisoner-of-war currency.

The third item is Gunner Armstrong’s Certificate of Discharge from the Second Australian Imperial Force, issued 11 September 1945.

History / Summary

Gunner Thomas Drewett Armstrong enlisted to the Second Australian Imperial Force on 27 March 1940. He was posted to 2/2 Field Regiment, and embarked for service in the Middle East in April 1940. Gunner Armstrong served with his unit in Palestine and Greece before becoming a prisoner of war of the Germans in Greece in April 1941. He was interned in various prisoner of war camps in Greece and Germany, and was liberated in May 1945. After the war, Gunner Armstrong returned to Australia, and was discharged on 11 September 1945.