Lapel button for 2/23 Battalion : Mrs Josephine Johnson

Place Oceania: Australia, New South Wales, Albury
Accession Number REL24219
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Button
Physical description Cellulose Nitrate, Tin; Paper; Plastic
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia
Date made c 1942
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Circular tin lapel button with pin back fastening. The front is made of paper and covered with clear plastic. The printed design on the front shows the post 1943 T-shaped colour patch of the 2/23 Battalion surrounded by the words 'ALBURY'S OWN 2/23RD BN.'.

History / Summary

Button given to Josephine Johnson, wife of VX42266 Acting Corporal John Leslie Johnson, 2/23 Battalion. 'Jack' Johnson was born at 'Rock View' near Walwa in the Upper Murray region of Victoria on 22 July 1902. On 18 June 1940 he volunteered for service with the AIF in Albury. Married to Josephine and father to seven children, Johnson was nearing the age of 38. On the 27 July he formally enlisted in Caulfield, Melbourne and by 1 July was back in Albury training with B Company, 4 Infantry Training Battalion. On 20 August, 2/23 Battalion, known as 'Albury's Own', was raised and Johnson became an original member. He continued training with the battalion and was promoted acting corporal in October. On 16 November the battalion embarked for the Middle East aboard HMT Strathmore. By this time Johnson had learnt he was to be a father for the eighth time. He served in North Africa, sending letters home from Dimra in Palestine, Mersa Matruh, Fort Capuzzo and Tobruk. In May 1941 the Afrika Corps captured posts in the area of Post S9 around Tobruk. 2/23 Bn counter-attacked and on 17 May, Johnson was wounded in action. He later died of his wounds and is buried in the Tobruk War Cemetery. In 2003 Johnson's life in the army, as revealed by his letters home to his family, was the subject of an ABC television documentary and book.