Locket with photograph of Private Albert William Dengate, 2/19th Battalion, worn by his sister Doris Jean Dengate

Accession Number AWM2020.915.1
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia
Date made c 1940-1941
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Gold, oval locket with small Rising Sun badge brazed to the front. The locket contains a black and white portrait photograph of NX35266 Private Albert William Dengate, 2/19th Battalion. A fine modern chain is threaded through the suspension ring.

History / Summary

Born in Hastings, Sussex, England in 1907 Albert William Dengate emigrated to Australia with his family in 1912. He was employed as a painter and decorator at Wagga Wagga, New South Wales when he enlisted in the AIF on 17 June 1940.

Dengate was posted a private, service number NX35266, to C Company, 2/19th Battalion, and trained as a cook. The battalion arrived in Singapore for service in Malaya in February 1941. Towards the end of the year he retrained as a truck driver. Dengate was killed on 19 January 1942 when the Japanese attacked a convoy of trucks attempting to withdraw southwards from Bakri.

This locket belonged to Dengate's youngest sister, Doris Joan Dengate, with whom he shared a close bond. It is not known whether he gave her the locket, or whether she afterwards acquired it to wear in his memory. She had last received a letter from him at the end of December and had been hoping to receive another in time for her 21st birthday, on 19 January. Instead, she later received the news of his death on that day.