Group portrait of 25 members of 2/22 Battalion Regimental Band, 23 of whom were originally ...

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Accession Number P04138.002
Collection type Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia
Date made c 1941
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Description

Group portrait of 25 members of 2/22 Battalion Regimental Band, 23 of whom were originally members of Salvation Army bands who had enlisted in 1940. The battalion served as a garrison force at Rabaul, New Britain, until 23 January 1942 when a force of over 20,000 Japanese troops with air and naval support stormed ashore in the early hours of the morning. The vastly superior force overran the underpowered defenders, who ran out of ammunition and any means of communication. The Australian garrison was forced to withdraw and split into small groups. While some managed to escape by sea, a great many were killed or captured. Of the 24 band members who enlisted, VX29061 Private (Pte) Frederick William (Fred) Kollmorgen was the only one who survived the deployment to New Britain. Most of the band died at sea on 1 July 1942 when the Montevideo Maru, carrying an estimated 845 POWs and 209 civilians from Rabaul, was sunk off Luzon in the South China Sea by the United States Navy submarine USS Sturgeon. The 23 Salvation Army band members were: VX29061 Pte Kollmorgen (survived); VX37500 Private (Pte) Raymond Frederick Cairns, (later died 1 July 1942, at sea); VX37490 Pte Ronald Harry (Ron) Cook (later died 23 January 1942 at Rabaul); VX37498 Private (Pte) Frank Mortimer (Morrie) Thomas (later died 1 July 1942, at sea); VX37491 Private (Pte) Stanley Reginald (Stan) Parker (later died 1 July 1942, at sea); VX37503 Private (Pte) Austin Bramwell Creed (later died 22 February 1942 at Rabaul); VX37496 Private (Pte) Kenneth Rawie (Ken) Drew (later died 1 July 1942, at sea); VX20598 Private (Pte) Stanley Albert (Stan) French (later died 15 February 1942 at Rabaul); VX27254 Private (Pte) Francis Roy (Frank) Meddings (later died 1 July 1942, at sea); VX37502 Private (Pte) Thomas Henderson (later died 1 July 1942, at sea); VX37499 Acting Sergeant William Arthur (Arthur) Gullidge (later died 1 July 1942, at sea); VX37635 Private (Pte) Albert Richard (Alf) Fry (later died 1 July 1942, at sea); VX37940 Private (Pte) Frederick John (Peter) Meyer (later died 27 April 1942 at Rabaul); VX37510 Private (Pte) Trevor William George (Bill) Haines (later died 4 February 1942 at Rabaul); VX37492 Private (Pte) Harry Desmond Harvey (later died 1 July 1942, at sea); VX40805 Corporal Herbert William (Bert) Morgan (later died 1 July 1942, at sea); VX37513 Acting Corporal Harold James Pannell (later died 1 July 1942, at sea); VX37497 Corporal John Stanley (Jack) Robertson (later died 1 July 1942, at sea); VX37494 Private (Pte) Neil Stanford Smith (later died 1 July 1942, at sea); VX37505 Private (Pte) Jack Stebbings (later died 23 January 1942); VX40058 Acting Corporal Wilfred Ernest Trigg (later died 1 July 1942, at sea); VX37495 Private (Pte) Reginald Joseph (Reg) Watkins (later died 1 July 1942, at sea); VX39656 Private (Pte) Mervyn Albert McPherson (later died 1 July 1942, at sea.